OH&S Consulting News - July 2016
WA WHS Regulations - Open for Public Comment
Taken from WorkSafe WA Newsletter 01/06/2016
WorkSafe has conducted its review of the model WHS regulations to identify where they can be modified to minimise prescription and keep the burden of compliance at an acceptable level. The recommendations in the discussion paper are consistent with this aim.
However, the recommendations are not the settled position of the State Government, which will be considered after all submissions are considered.
WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch said the Western Australian version of the national model WHS Act (known as the “Green Bill”) was released for public comment last year, and 50 submissions were received. “The submissions identified areas of potential improvement, and further modifications have been suggested to Minister for Commerce as a result of the feedback process,” Mr McCulloch said.
“The Act provides the overarching principles of workplace safety laws while the regulations provide the more specific details for the various industries and procedures, and it is the regulations that are now being offered for public consideration.
“The public comment process gives all participants in WA workplaces the opportunity to have input into WA’s WHS regulations. All submissions will be considered and any necessary modifications will be made.
“After these processes are completed and any necessary Cabinet approval is obtained, the new laws will be introduced into Parliament for consideration and passage.
“Regulations based on the new laws will not be in effect until the new Act is passed and proclaimed, and any necessary interim regulations will be introduced only after a full consultation process.
“Western Australians with an interest in workplace safety are now being given the opportunity to view the discussion paper and the proposed regulations and contribute their opinions on WA’s future laws.”
The public comment period will end on August 31. To view the Discussion Paper – Work Health and Safety Regulations for Western Australia and find out about the process for making a submission, please go to www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe/public-comment-work-health-and-safety-regulations.
UN: Coffee no longer deemed possible carcinogen
Source: FOX NEWS Health/Associated Press 16/06/2016
LONDON – The World Health Organization's research arm has downgraded its classification of coffee as a possible carcinogen, declaring there isn't enough proof to show a link to cancer.
But the International Agency for Research on Cancer, or IARC, also announced in a report published on Wednesday that drinking "very hot" beverages of any kind could potentially raise the cancer risk.
In particular, it cited countries including China, Iran and those in South America, where teas such as the bitter herbal infusion mate are traditionally drunk at extremely high temperatures — above 65 or 70 degrees Celsius (150 or 160 Fahrenheit) — considerably hotter than drinks would normally be served in cafes across North America and Europe.
Experts convened by the Lyon-based IARC concluded that there was inadequate evidence to suggest coffee might cause cancer, according to a letter published in the Lancet Oncology.
"I'm not really sure why coffee was in a higher category in the first place," said Owen Yang, an epidemiologist at Oxford University who has previously studied the possible link between coffee and cancer. He was not part of the IARC expert group. "The best evidence available suggests that coffee does not raise the cancer risk," he said.
Drinking very hot beverages, however, just might.
Dana Loomis, deputy head of the IARC program that classifies carcinogens, said they began to look into a possible link after seeing unusually high rates of oesophageal cancer in countries where drinking very hot beverages is common. He said that even at temperatures below 60 degrees Celsius (140 Fahrenheit), hot beverages can scald the skin, and that consuming drinks at even higher temperatures could be harmful.
Loomis said very hot beverages might cause a "thermal injury" in the throat that could eventually promote the growth of tumours, but that evidence was limited. He said there wasn't enough evidence to suggest if eating very hot food might also be risky.
Other experts said that people should remain focused on the leading causes of cancers including of the oesophagus and that there were more important changes they could make other than waiting for their drinks to cool.
"Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption are much more significant for reducing cancer risk than the temperature of what you're drinking," said Dr Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. Brawley said the cancer risk posed by drinking hot beverages was similar to that posed by eating pickled vegetables.
Still, he welcomed the news that coffee would no longer be deemed a possible carcinogen.
"As a heavy coffee drinker, I have always enjoyed my coffee guilt-free," he said. "But now there is scientific evidence to justify that."