The International Scene: Schoolyard Fight, Workplace Violence, Sleep Disorders, Farm Deaths, Workplace Safety

The International Scene: Schoolyard Fight, Workplace Violence, Sleep Disorders, Farm Deaths, Workplace Safety

Here’s a round up of recent interesting news from around the world…

Glasgow Teacher Gets Punched in Mouth, Denied Compensation. From Scotland we have the recent news story about a 58-year old teacher who tried to stop two pupils from fighting, but was punched in the mouth, breaking her teeth. The Glasgow City Council refused to pay the bill for dental work or allow the teacher time off to see a dentist. The Council sent a strong message to teachers that they should think twice before getting involved in playground scuffles with students. Read more

New Ontario Law Targets Workplace Violence, Sexual Harassment. In Canada, amendments to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act now provide that employers must protect workers from the threat of violence or harassment at work, as well as develop policies and programs with respect to dealing with these issues. The Ministry says that employers may still take reasonable actions against employees, including appropriate correction or discipline at work, and that minor disagreements among workers don’t necessarily rise to the level of something actionable under the statute. It’s expected that any vagueness in the laws will be addressed by the courts at some point.  Read more

Australian Study Says Brain Injuries May Lead to Sleep Problems. In an article published in Neurology, Australian scientists performed research on traumatic brain injury patients and found that they such patients may be producing reduced amounts of melatonin, causing sleep problems. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates biological rhythms and is produced at its highest level right before we go to sleep. The study also points out that lack of sleep can elevate depression in the individual. Read more

A New Zealand Farmer Dies Every 28 Days. The Accident Compensation Corporation has created new safety booklets to stem the tide of deaths and injuries for farm workers. Last year 13 farmers died and over 18,600 injuries were reported. ACC’s advice to farmers that handle animals includes speaking softly and carrying a big stick(!), among other things. The ACC has also provided suggestions for quad bike and tractor safety. Read more

China Partners With Vermont Law School to Open First Public Interest Environmental Law Firm. As previously reported by this blogger, “workplace safety” is an oxymoron when it comes to many of China’s factories and places of business. The Vermont Law School issued a press release on Tuesday, announcing that it has partnered with China to open the first public interest environmental law firm. Among the plans are collaborating with a labor law clinic at Sun Yat-sen University Law School to promote workplace safety and teach students how to practice law and bring workplace injury lawsuits involving environmental health and safety issues. Read more