Accumulating experience and gray hair has its advantages. More…
On May 3, 2012, I had the honor to present “20 Years of Making the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) work for business’ in Massachusetts” at the Cancer Council Autralia’s (CCA) Cancer in the Workplace – A forum on practical solutions for prevention. I was amazed at the feedback I received and of the hope my presentation gave to the attendees. I was even more amazed at the great research and presentations that I was asked to be part of. The presentations opened my eyes to Australia’s biggest occupational health issues of mesothelioma (working with/mining asbestos) and melanoma (sun exposure).
I was able to attend a strategic planning meeting with the CCA. When I was about to leave they asked me to give my two cents of advice on how to get a TURA-like law rolling. I reminded CCA that TURA was first ignited by Ken Geiser (then at Tufts) and Mike Ellenbecker (then at U Mass Lowell) who were from acadamia…not the legislature. Maybe the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology could be the starting point. Also, that starting off with Victoria, one state, rather than going country-wide would have a greater chance of success. Lastly, I said don’t forget TURA’s secret sauce…mandatory reporting/planning…voluntary implementation based on a viable business case.
When saying good byes and giving hugs Terry Slevin, CCA said to me that they weren’t sure what they were going to get when we they asked me to come down to speak, but one minute into my speech they knew we had asked the right person…I remarked, “Did the cape frighten you?” He replied, “Not at all.” His only fear was that Dr. Tim Driscoll, Professor at University of Sidney, would start wearing one.
For those of you who have never wore a cape when making a presention, I would highly recommend it…it did make me feel like I could do or say anything!
Today I met with the staff from the Australia Council of Trade Unions and Work Safe Victoria (our equivalent to OSHA).
I was welcomed warmly and was happy to share stories about TURA and how by getting workers involved in the TUR process so we can create safer work places. Though I did not have quantitative dollar amount saved in workman’s compensation claims and a direct correlation between TURA and a reduced percentage of cases of cancer, we all agreed that if we can reduce the amount of carcinogens used in the workplace and the amount of carcinogenic byproducts produced, it’s reasonable to deduce that the risk of workplace related cancer is likely to eventually be reduced.
Though my plan is to use this blog to share my experiences related to my Toxics Use Reduction presentation for the Cancer Council of Australia …I thought I should get this out of the way at the onset of the trip. Many of you have asked me to verify whether the Bart Simpson episode about the Coriolis effect is true. Rumor has it that the Coriolis effect causes the vortex which causes a flushing toilet to spin in the opposite direction…counter clockwise in the southern hemisphere. After close scrutiny, I must report that the flushing action of the toilets down here don’t really lend themselves to proving this theory. So we used a draining bathtub instead. Please click on the following button to see for yourself.
I’ve also attached some shots of kangaroos, koalas and the awesome surf at Australia’s most popular surfing beaches…
Lucy, Nick ,and Frankie Servidio – Great Ocean Road, Victoria AU