New Consensus Statement Backs the Health Benefits of WorkNew Zealand, (News4us.com) March 30, 2011
A new Consensus Statement signed in New Zealand this afternoon by Comcare’s CEO, Paul O’Connor backs the benefits of work for improved health and well being.
Comcare is one of 79 organisations across Australia and New Zealand that are signatories to the Consensus Statement, an important development linking the work health and public health agendas. Other signatories include the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and Safe Work Australia.
Mr O’Connor said the Consensus Statement is an important document for federal workers, their employers and unions. It describes the relationship between work and health and is a commitment to take action to promote the health benefits of work.
“The commitment from the signatory organisations is to encourage employers’ continuing support of improved work health and to promote the health benefits of work.
“This is an important deliverable towards the Government’s ‘healthy worker, healthy community’ agenda”, he said.
The signing ceremony in New Zealand this afternoon followed the release of a Position Statement from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine on the need to promote the positive effects of work on health and well being.
It found that absence from work through sickness; work disability and unnecessary exclusion from employment are major issues in Australia and industrialised countries world-wide.
However Mr O’Connor said research leading up to today’s Consensus Statement reveals not all work is good for all people.
“It is important to understand that deriving a health benefit from work must also include the proviso that the workplace be safe for all workers, an issue we continually push at Comcare, an area extensively covered in our 2015 Plan” he said.
Mr O’Connor said these include a stronger, fairer Australia, social inclusion, harmonised work health and safety laws, strengthening the enforcement of work health and safety laws and providing stronger guidance to employers.
“In New Zealand, I was particularly pleased to see such a strong willingness from employers, unions and community groups to promote the health benefits at work in a safe environment” Mr O’Connor said.
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