Work health and safety is concerned with preventing injury (especially serious and fatal), illness and psychological stress arising from workplace activities. Organisations and individuals have a duty to ensure work is carried out in ways that don’t harm workers, other people who enter the workplace, or those who are otherwise affected by work activities. Therefore, organisations must ensure they have policies and procedures in place for managing health and safety in the workplace, and that workers are correctly trained in these policies and procedures. Employers also play an important role in rehabilitating workers through carefully designed return-to-work policies and practices.

Organisations are often the site of workplace health and safety research, particularly across construction, mining, healthcare and other high-hazard sectors. Recent research has focused on the impact of work intensification and working time issues, such as shift work and fly-in fly-out operations, on workers’ health and wellbeing. Important research is also emerging about the impact of dietary habits of workers in the construction industry. This research explores the development of policy and programs at both organisational and individual levels, with the aim of preventing or reducing the onset of chronic health diseases such as type II diabetes, among the workforce.

Areas of research

  • Chronic health diseases of workers
  • Employee participation and shift roster scheduling
  • Adolescents and work health and safety
  • Mining industry
  • Risk cognition
  • Safety and risk management
  • Work intensification and working time
  • Working time/ work-life balance
  • Employee wellbeing assistance programs

Health & Safety

Associate Professor Rebecca Loudoun explains what Health and Safety at work is and it's important role in the employment relationship.

Recent research outputs

  • Bowden, B. 2014, ‘Commentary–Bangladesh clothing factory fires: The way forward’, South Asian Journal of Human Resource Management, 1(2), pp. 283–288.
  • Bowden, B. & Stevenson-Clarke, P. 2010, ‘Re-considering managerial use of child labor: Lessons from the experience of nineteenth century Australia’, Journal of Management History, 16(3), pp. 380-395.
  • Gifkins, J., Johnston, A. and Loudoun, R. 2018,'The impact of shift work on eating patterns and self-care strategies utilised by experienced and inexperienced nurses', The Journal of Biological and Medical Rythm Research, 35(6), pp. 811-820.
  • Gifkins, J., Loudoun, R. and Johnston, A. 2017, 'Coping strategies and social support needs of experienced and inexperienced nurses performing shiftwork', Journal of Advanced Nursing, 73(12), pp. 3079-3089.
  • Glendon, A.I. 2015, ‘Risk management: An international perspective’, in S.G. Clarke, T. Probst, F. Guldenmund, & J. Passmore (eds), Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of the Psychology of Occupational Safety and Workplace Health. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Glendon, A.I. & Clarke, S.G. 2015, Human Safety and Risk Management: A Psychological Perspective (3rd edn), Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press/Taylor and Francis.
  • Markwell, K.E. and Loudoun, R. 2016, ‘Construction work environment influences on nutrition and beverage intake’, Journal of Nutrition and Intermediary Metabolism, 4, p.24.
  • Roesler, M.L., Glendon, A.I. & O’Callaghan, F.V. 2013, ‘Recovering from traumatic occupational hand injury following surgery: A biopsychosocial perspective’, Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 54, pp. 73–80.
  • Loudoun, R., Muurlink, O., Peetz, D. & Murray, G. 2014, ‘Does age affect the relationship between control at work and sleep disturbance for shift workers?’, Chronobiology International, 31(10), pp. 1190-1200.
  • Loudoun, R. & McDonald, P. 2014, ‘The impact of employment-level characteristics on work–life interference in school-aged children’, Journal of Industrial Relations, 56(4), pp. 508-526.
  • Loudoun, R. and Townsend, K. 2017, Implementing health promotion programs in the Australian construction industry', Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 24(2), pp. 260-274.
  • Thurston, E. and Glendon, A. I. 2018, Association of risk exposure, organizational identification, and empowerment, with safety participation, intention to quit, and absenteeism', Safety Science, 105, pp. 212-221.
  • Townsend, K., Loudoun, R. & Markwell, K. 2016, ‘The role of line managers in creating and maintaining healthy work environments on project construction sites’, Construction Management and Economics, 34(9), pp. 611–621.

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