safety compromises
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By SafetyCulture Team   |  
January 18th, 2019

Safety Compromises: News You Might Have Missed This Week

Reading Time: 2 minutes

There’s a lot going on in the world, and it can be hard to stay on top of everything. So, here’s five things you need to know that you might have missed this week.

1. Australia and India Sign Mining Safety Agreement

India and and the Australian state of Queensland have signed an agreement aimed at improving safety for workers in mines. While mining safety rates in Australia are the best in the world, the Indian government is keen to improve theirs. 377 people died in India’s mines between 2015 and 2017. But there’s also an expectation the collaboration will further improve Australian mine safety, as the two nations work together to improve conditions.

2. As US Shutdown Continues, More Safety Fears Arise

The shutdown is deep into its fourth week with no end in sight, and while federal agencies are bringing more furloughed workers back onto the job without pay to try to keep up with essential safety work, there are concerns about gaps in the system that could endanger Americans. The National Transportation Safety Board is not carrying out investigations into crashes at the moment, raising fears that people could be placed at risk due to delays.  “We don’t know what conclusion they would have come to or if they could have saved more lives by starting or finishing an investigation,” the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee told NBC. “They can’t even start—they’re just keeping a list.”

3. Prince Philip’s Car Accident Shines Light on Unsafe Road

England’s Prince Philip had a car accident on a stretch of road that was already under scrutiny this week, prompting the Norfolk City Council to announce it would adopt new safety measures for the stretch of the A149 where the 97-year-old prince flipped his Land Rover. The speed limit will be lowered and safety cameras will be introduced in the hopes of preventing further accidents, the council decided. Although unharmed, the prince’s advanced age has raised some eyebrows, but the Palace says he has a valid license, like 110,790 UK drivers aged 90 or over.

4. Heat Wave Prompts Calls for Rules for Outdoor Workers

Australia is in the grip of a heat wave that is prompting calls from experts and unions for hard rules for outdoor workers to be introduced that govern when they would be required to stop work because of the heat. Presently that’s largely up to employer discretion, and unions say workers fear punishment or the loss of their job if they don’t continue to work through extreme heat. One academic is calling for a graded, legally enforceable system to help workers get some relief from the heat. Maybe the Australian Open’s new policy could serve as inspiration.

5. Nurse Pushing for Better Hospital Safety Policies

Boston nurse Elise Wilson almost lost her life at work when she was stabbed 18 months ago, but now she has become a safety advocate and is pushing for better safety conditions at hospitals across the United States. Since the incident Wilson has been unable to return to work, and instead has been calling for basic safeguards for frontline hospital staff such as metal detectors and personal silent alarms. Massachusetts’ state legislators will begin considering legislation this week to try to address the issue.

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