Taking responsibility

first_imgAsDr David Kelly’s employer, should the MoD have done more to help him deal withthe stress he was experiencing, and what measures could OH have taken tohelp?  By Nic Paton Amid the clamour surrounding the conclusions of the Hutton In- quiry intothe death of Government scientist Dr David Kelly, the criticisms of histreatment by his employer, the Ministry of Defence (MoD), have garneredrelatively little publicity. Yet there are lessons for occupational health in how the MoD handled Kellyin the run-up to his death. Management attitudes towards OH best practice insupporting a stressed employee, how to manage a whistleblower and dealing withan employee who may not naturally ask for help or assistance are all issuesthat were relevant to the inquiry. In his summary, Lord Hutton was clear that the MoD did fail Kelly. Once thedecision to give his name to the press had been taken, “the MoD was atfault and is to be criticised for not informing Dr Kelly”, he said. “It must have been a great shock and very upsetting for him to havebeen told in a brief telephone call from his line manager, Dr Wells, on theevening of 9 July, that the press office of his own department had confirmedhis name to the press, and [this] must have given rise to a feeling that he hadbeen badly let down by his employer,” he concluded. “I further consider that the MoD was at fault in not having set up aprocedure whereby Dr Kelly would be informed immediately his name had beenconfirmed to the press and in permitting a period of one-and-a-half hours toelapse between the confirmation of his name to the press and information beinggiven to Dr Kelly that his name had been confirmed to the press,” headded. In mitigation, Hutton argued that the issuing of Kelly’s name to the presswas simply one factor placing him under stress, that MoD officials did try tohelp him, particularly over his appearances before the Commons’ foreign affairscommittee, and that Kelly was not an easy man to help or to give advice. Most of the issues arising out of the care of Kelly boil down to poormanagement, argued Greta Thornbory, consulting editor of Occupational Healthand a former senior occupational health adviser with the Cabinet Office. “Occupational health can be instrumental in advising managers and beinginvolved with managers in the development of policy. But it is all about beingproactive and preventative. Once an event such as Dr Kelly’s death hashappened, it is too late,” she said. How Kelly was treated was also, of course, an HR issue. As Hutton madeclear, the right level of support was not given and managers did not react inthe right way. It is also evident that whatever protocols were in place fordealing with such an eventuality, they were either inadequate, not followedthrough or not communicated properly. “Even if there was support there, even if there was something in placelike an employee assistance programme, the employees may not have known it wasthere or might not have wanted to use it,” added Thornbory. By all accounts, Kelly was an intensely private, self-sufficient man. Whenan employee is going through a traumatic or stressful incident, however muchhelp there may be on tap, there still has to be an element of willingness onthe part of the employee to accept help. Stress consultant Carole Spiers said: “The OH professional can giveencouragement to seek support but only once the person has made contact. But italso is a case of OH having a higher profile, so that managers and employeesknow to whom they can turn.” Even though Kelly was a whistleblower who had unauthorised meetings withjournalists and so was also under a disciplinary cloud, the MoD still had aduty of care. As such, his managers needed to handle the situation carefullyand – even if there were no outward signs that he was not coping – withconsideration for his mental state. No doubt the MoD will learn lessons, but Thornbory said that too often thetalk is still about how much initiatives are going to cost, rather than what isthe cost going to be if we don’t do it. “It is about management and HR.Too many employers gamble on the fact their employees will be all right,”she said. Key questions for OH–  Had there been a risk assessment of the workplace and employeeroles in relation to the mental health risks?– Was the employee known to OH, and if so, had their progressbeen monitored/followed-up? – What were the relevant sources of support (employeeassistance line, health information, intranet, etc)?– Were these easily accessible, how were they marketed, and howfrequently?– What was the level of backing of well-being issues from keystakeholders?– Was there a pressure management policy in place, was itseffectiveness reviewed regularly, was there any pressure management educationin place for employees and managers?– Was private healthcare insurance in place for easy and quickreferrals?– What workplace adjustments had been made to support theemployee?– What sort of relationship was there between OH, HR and linemanagers to ensure effective case management?– Did line managers and colleagues feel confident they couldrecognise signs/symptoms of stress, did they know of sources of supportavailable to them?– Were managers’ interpersonal skills assessed as part of theirappraisals? Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Taking responsibilityOn 1 Mar 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Press release: PM meeting with Prime Minister Andrej Babis of the Czech Republic: 27 July 2018

first_img The leaders also discussed the recent meeting between President Trump and President Juncker on US-EU trade, welcoming the progress they made. A Downing Street spokesperson said: The two leaders began with an update on Brexit with the PM setting out the proposals in the UK’s White Paper with the government’s proposals for a future relationship with the EU. They agreed it was important to find a solution and that negotiations should continue at pace. She highlighted that a UK-EU free trade area would maintain frictionless trade that would enable businesses across Europe to maintain their vital integrated supply chains. Prime Minister Babis commented that migration continues to be a pressing issue for Europe. The leaders agreed that it was important to tackle the issue on a number of fronts – including tackling unscrupulous people smuggling gangs and improving communication efforts to ensure that people did not undertake perilous journeys in the first place. They closed by reaffirming their commitment to an ongoing close bilateral relationship between the UK and the Czech Republic.last_img read more

Watch: George Porter Jr., Papa Mali, Billy Iuso & More Highlight Day Two Of NOLA Crawfish Festival

first_imgLoad remaining images George Porter Jr. Trio with June YamagishiWhat is there left to say about George Porter Jr. that hasn’t been said countless times before? Easily one of the most respected and revered bass players of this or any age, Porter is one of the most respected elder statesman of the music world. As one of the founders of the legendary band The Meters, he is responsible for much of what the world thinks of as funk music. His playing style is as unmistakable as the energy he brings to each and every performance. Let’s watch what the man can do with a pair of tracks from his Trio’s performance at NOLA Crawfish, along with special guest and guitar wonder June Yamagishi, including a spectacularly funky “Turn On Your Love Light.” Papa Mali & FriendsThe bayous of Louisiana have given birth to an amazing array of flora and fauna, and few musicians more exemplify the spirit of their cajun country heritage than the drawling, sprawling guitarist Papa Mali.  Heralding from Shreveport, LA, Mali found his life’s mission defined on the streets of New Orleans after witnessing legends like George Porter Jr. and Dr. John. Mali was joined by former 7 Walkers band mate Matt Hubbard and funky local bassist Eric Vogel, along with special guest Brian J of the Pimps Of Joytime.  Watch a couple of stellar clips from the show below. John “Papa” Gros & FriendsThe second Papa to bring the noise to the second day of the NOLA Crawfish Festival was funky and soulful keyboard player John Gros. Equally adept at ribald, barrel-rolling piano solos as he is at bringing the house to a stand still with his whisper quiet vocals and ivory tickling, Gros (pronounced “Grow”) brought a stellar cadre of the city’s finest to help him close out the second day of the festival. The cheers were long and loud as he took the stage, and seemed to rise with the end of each tune he shared with the audience.  Yamagishi stayed handy after his previous musical destruction with George Porter Jr. to help Gros and company finish the day in fine style. With two incredible days in the books, fans are buzzing at the final day’s pair of super jams, a crawfish cook-off to be judged by some of the artists themselves and one more chance to sample the limited edition suds from the NOLA Brewery. Check out the full schedule below, and find more information here.Check out a full gallery of photos below, courtesy of Marc Millman and Sam Shinault: The NOLA Crawfish Festival‘s second day built on the foundation of love already established with more food, more fun and more of the music that defines New Orleans. Situated in the “daze between” Jazz Fest weekends, a pairing between Shaggy, the NOLA Crawfish King and NOLA Brewing Company made for the perfect environment to host a musical celebration.Yesterday marked the second day of the festival, bringing an incredible lineup of musicians to the forefront. Legends like George Porter Jr., Papa Gros, Papa Mali, Billy Iuso, June Yamagishi and many more were all on hand for the second day festivities. Let’s take a look at some of the artists and highlights from day two of the NOLA Crawfish Festival.Billy Iuso & The Restless NativesGuitarist Billy Iuso is a shining example of the Crescent City’s musical fire power.  Though not a native, Iuso has been grandfathered in to the local music scene through his relentless work to bridge the gap between funk and rock.  Since arriving in the early 2000’s, Iuso has tirelessly gigged around town with his band, The Restless Natives, as well as hundreds if not thousand of sit ins with the many friends he’s amassed along his long journey from his birthplace in New Jersey to his beloved bayou home. Check out a couple of his tunes from yesterday’s stellar set on the Tap Room stage below.last_img read more

Keller Williams Gets Holidazed & Amused In Exclusive Interview [Watch]

first_imgKeller Williams is proud of his place as the whimsical jester of the jam band scene.  There is no musician more versatile than Williams, who is able to change genres as easily as most of us change shirts.Whether he is getting funky with his More Than A Little outfit, taking fans to church with his Grateful Gospel choir, delving into the jazzy side of life with KWahtro or just joking around and building layers of sound solo he always brings the same smile and spirit of fun to everything he does and we love him for it.Watch Keller Williams’ KWahtro Deliver Jazzy Grateful Dead, Joe Walsh Tunes At Summer CampTo help folks around his home in Virginia work off their upcoming tryptophan-induced comas after turkey day Williams has gathered Larry & Jenny Keel, Jeremy Garrett of The Infamous Stringdusters, Danny Barnes and Jay Starling for a three-night barnstorming run of picking, grinning and dancing off the holiday pounds! We sat down with the always engaging Williams right after Halloween to talk holidays, his view on the political scene and the burning question of the day…which of his many bands would survive a reality breaking, no holds barred faceoff battle to the death. Clearly, the chat was simply no fun at all. Check out our brief but delightfully off-kilter conversation below!For more information on these special holiday shows and to get tickets for Keller’s upcoming dates, check out his tour page here!last_img read more

The latest violence in the Middle East

first_imgIsrael carried out more airstrikes in Gaza on Wednesday as the military and political conflict between Israel and Hamas intensified.Stephen M. Walt, the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), discusses the factors behind this latest outbreak of violence between the sides, and what the international community can do about it.HKS: What prompted this latest escalation in violence?WALT: The proximate cause was the kidnapping and murder of three young Israelis on the West Bank, followed by the seizure and murder of a Palestinian teenager. But the background causes are just as important: the increasing radicalization on both sides of the conflict, the collapse of the peace process and the “two-state” paradigm, and the failure of Israeli, Palestinian, and U.S. political leaders.HKS: What is the current state of political relations between Israelis and Palestinians, and how much has changed since the collapse of the American-led peace talks?WALT: As U.S. Middle East envoy Martin Indyk recently acknowledged, there is pervasive mistrust on both sides, which is hardly surprising. The Palestinians believe — with considerable justification — that the current Israeli government is more interested in colonizing the West Bank and completing the creation of “greater Israel” than it is in making peace or permitting the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. The Israeli leadership believes — with somewhat less justification — that their Palestinian counterparts secretly hope to reverse Israel’s creation and replace it with a state of their own. At this stage, there is little trust or good will on either side.HKS: What can and should the international community be doing right now to diffuse tensions?WALT: Unfortunately, the international community has rarely been willing to take bold action to end the seemingly endless cycle of violence. The United States and European Union have considerable leverage over both sides, but neither group has been willing to use its influence constructively. Halting the present violence will save lives in the short-term and would therefore be desirable, but only a genuine peace agreement will prevent it from breaking out again at a later date.HKS: What would be the possible repercussions from a ground invasion by the Israelis?WALT: A ground invasion would cause additional deaths and great human suffering, but it will not eliminate Hamas or end the Palestinians’ desire for a state of their own. It would be a one-sided event that would further tarnish Israel’s deteriorating image, including its support here in the United States. The past three U.S. presidents have all understood that a two-state agreement was in Israel’s long-term interest, and it is deeply regrettable that they have been either unable or unwilling to use U.S. influence to achieve that goal.last_img read more

NDI implements new policy

first_imgLauren Weldon Notre Dame International (NDI) is implementing a new policy beginning in the fall 2016 semester, under which the University will no longer pay airfare for students studying abroad during a semester. This change allows more students to study abroad.Tom Guinan, associate vice president for administrative operations for Notre Dame International, said this change was made in an attempt to increase acceptance rates for students applying to study abroad.“86 percent of applicants got offered acceptances into the program this year, and we were down, you can see from just two years ago, it was closer to 70 percent, which is terrible,” Guinan said. “For kids who are qualified and able to go, we did not want to turn away 30 percent of the students … Our goal is to have 90 percent or more acceptance, with the limitations being just capacity in a program.”Junior Frank Wamsley, who, along with Guinan, gave a presentation about this change to the student senate in November, said the lower acceptance rates were due to NDI’s budget not being increased in the past several years while the cost of sending students abroad has risen.“The amount of money that Notre Dame International gets to send students abroad has stayed the same, however, the costs for sending students abroad … have gone up over the years, and as a result, they’ve had to decline more people in the application process,” Wansley said. “[Guinan] and his team at NDI decided that the one thing that they could foresee cutting out and having the least amount of impact was the cost of the overseas flights.”Cutting airfare not only made sense in comparison to other expenses covered by the University, Guinan said, but it also would fit more with the policies of other schools throughout the country.“We found that really there are no other schools that actually fund airfare the way we had in the past, and I think it was something that we had been interested in looking at,” he said. “When we were looking at ways to have more resources to send students abroad, there were three things that we considered … One was tuition that we pay to the school, one was lodging and one was airfare.”Guinan also said the possible ramifications of this policy for students who may not be able to afford overseas flights were carefully considered before making a final decision.“Just based on the fact that the summer programs are so popular and the students pay airfare for summer programs, we said let’s see if there’s a way that we can make sure the students who are on financial aid aren’t cut out of it because of the airfare component,” he said. “As long as we can assure that the financial aid’s available to the students, we think we should be able to kind of have a win-win situation where the cost of the plane ticket will actually be able to send 35 to 40 more students abroad a year.”While he understands and supports NDI’s decision now, Wamsley said he wishes the administration had been clearer with students about the decision-making process.“I think something that’s lacking in the administration’s decision-making is how they’re going to relay news and information that pertains to students to the students,” he said. “Whether it’s holding a town hall meeting to explain big changes that apply to students or using the student senate and Hall Presidents’ Council…I think that the administration ought to find more ways to convey the reasons for the things they do with the student body.”Sophomore Meghan Santella, who will be studying abroad at Trinity College in Dublin during next fall said she would have appreciated more of an explanation for the change.“We got an email over the summer, I think, and then I didn’t really think too much about it, but I didn’t understand why they were doing it,” Santella said. “I feel like if [NDI] explained [the reasoning], that would’ve been more beneficial for them.”Santella said despite the change, having to pay for the airfare didn’t affect her decision to study abroad.“I wasn’t going to not do it because of [the airfare],” she said. “Notre Dame’s so good to me for financial aid, just in general, that honestly, if they won’t pay airfare, it’s not a big deal, they’re already doing so much for me.”Guinan emphasized his hope that acceptance levels won’t be affected by any extra costs and students will seek help, if necessary.“I’m excited that we were able to send out so many acceptances, and I hope that the students are excited, as well,” he said. “The acceptances or the decisions from the students are actually due on Monday, and [we] expect that we’ll see 800 plus acceptances or that most of the students will accept.”Tags: airfare, NDI, Notre Dame, Notre Dame International, study abroadlast_img read more

Meet Spring Awakening Star Austin McKenzie

first_imgAge: 22Hometown: Mesa, AZCurrent Role: A powerful Broadway debut as the charming and thoughtful Melchior in Deaf West Theatre’s revival of Spring Awakening, in which he is utlizing American Sign Language, which he studied at Columbia College Chicago with the aim of being an interpreter.Stage Cred: McKenzie sent a video to Deaf West for a job as an interpreter, but ended up with the leading role when Spring Awakening premiered in Los Angeles earlier this year. It’s his professional acting debut.”The first thing I wanted to be when I grew up was a cowboy. My family didn’t go to church too often, but I remember wanting to be a music minister. We went to the store after church one day and that’s what I told the cashier I wanted to be.””I did some theater when I was in high school, but this is the only professional theater I’ve done. Throughout this experience, I’ve become a big believer in things presenting themselves. At the moment, I’d like to do this for the rest of my life.””I saw the tour of Spring Awakening when I was 15, and I didn’t fully understand the significance of the story, but the lyrics were just so beautiful. I always thought I was more of a Wendla than a Melchior. [Laughs.] I connected to her so much.””My apartment is in Hell’s Kitchen and I’m living with two people I met on Craigslist. So far, I’m still alive [laughs]. They haven’t turned out to be serial killers or black market workers. My favorite thing to do is sit on my fire escape and listen to jazz.””I like to think that I was born in the 1920s because I like to be a moody person and lounge in my bed and listen to music and talk on the phone and pretend like there’s some romance in my life. I can’t smoke cigarettes, obviously, but I pretend.””My best friend asked me if I’d be the godfather to her son, and he’s very special to me. I told her I’m going to teach him sign language so that he and I can talk to each other while she’s there, and he can tell me all the ways his mother’s annoying him.” Spring Awakening View Comments Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 24, 2016last_img read more

Gear: Mizuno Wave Rider 15

first_imgThe Mizuno Wave Rider 15 is loaded with tech.I’m a casual runner in every sense of the phrase. I’ll log a few miles a few times a week, anything more than that and I’m running the risk of extreme tiredness. Being a casual runner, I don’t know that much about running gear, which consists mainly of shoes since that appears to be the only piece of gear that matters – for example I witnessed a man coming in from what appeared to be a significantly taxing jog while wearing tight black hipster jean cutoffs. I knew it was a jog and not an emergency because he was wearing running shoes and not jellies. He also checked his mailbox before heading for the door, which had a sign on it that said, “Poverty Barn.”You can draw your own conclusions from that previous paragraph, but that guy is my neighbor.Aaaaanyway. I got a sweet new pair of kicks to review, specifically the Mizuno Wave Rider 15 running shoe, and I’m all about new kicks because I have this weird shoe/sock OCD. I had never worn a Mizuno shoe, much less run in one, up to this point – and too be honest with you, I thought they only made baseball and golf equipment. Surprise! I had on my feet the Mizuno running flagship; and on top of that, this was the 15th anniversary of the series, so they have been in the game for a while to say the least.Industry, Science, and TechnologyMizuno set out to make the perfect running shoe and they think they have with the Mizuno Wave Rider 15. The Wave in Wave Rider refers to Mizuno’s Wave Technology, which uses the natural waves (sound, tidal, stadium) of nature to produce a more perfect midsole.  That is about all I can gather from their description; I assume its actual functionality is borderline magic, if not heresy.Wave Technology is supposed to provide a more gentle ride while reducing weight and keeping you balanced over the shoe – which it does. Not sure what waves have to do with it because as anyone who has been blindsided by a double overhead at the beach or an air-horn at any moment in time, those waves are not gentle. Lucky for us, the ones in the bottom of the shoe are more like the stadium variety, good wholesome fun for the whole family.The Wave Rider 15 also utilize Mizuno innovations called SmoothRide Engineering™ (“Minimizes the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the foot during transition, creating the smoothest ride possible”) and Dynamotion Fit™ (“Relives the stress the foot naturally places on footwear, eliminating distortion for the perfect fit”). So you’ve got that going for you when you lace them up.HumanityIt’s still a shoe, right?Yup, so the only way to know if the technology lives up to the lofty standards is to get some miles in.Essentially, all this moody technology thrown into one shoe makes the Wave Rider 15 a running quiver of one. Long distance, intervals, races, looking fly while walking the dog, this shoe covers it all due to its light weight (10.6 oz) and lock down fit. My foot runs very narrow and for this reason I’ve mainly chosen Nike because it usually runs narrower than the rest and I get a better fit without having to cinch up like a corset. The Wave Rider 15’s heel and mid foot wrap my foot up nice and snug, which is the main thing I care about. The heel cup performs especially well on my slippery heels.Apparently the magic of Wave Technology works like a charm because my feet could not be happier with the cushioning. Heel to toe is fluid and gentle, even on cement. I also like the stiffness of the shoe, although this has been a source of contention on the internets for diehard Wave Rider fans. A stiffer shoe appeals to more people than a floppy racing flat-esque runner so Mizuno gave the people what they wanted.The Wave Rider 15 also runs true to size so go with what you know for the best fit.All in all, the Wave Rider 15 is a great running shoe that blends cushioning, lightness and support exceptionally well. Throw in the durability factor and this could be the last shoe you’ll ever need.last_img read more

Horoscopes by PsychicDeb for February 2016

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Aries – Ruling planet in 8th house – be creative, move furniture or add touches of pictures or flowers to beautify your environment. Your taste for luxury and fine foods will be accented. A parent or parental figure wants to help you in a project.Taurus – Ruling planet in 9th house – pay debts, bills and make a clean sweep of financial obstacles. The key is to look at the big picture, finding a new source of back-up cash. Someone with a daring competitive manner will show you the way – be receptive. Former burdens are no longer yours to carry.Gemini – Ruling planet in 9th house – the accent is on success, prestige and an intense love relationship. You’ll gain through association including more material resources. Someone, to whom you are attracted to, is on the way up and will reveal strong ambitions. A Capricorn figures in the picture.Cancer – Ruling planet in 12th house – pay attention to new technologies and work methods. A complete change of pace is on the agenda including a fascinating change of scenery. A meeting of minds may be needed to foster cooperation. You’ll work beside someone who stimulates romantic fancies and dreams.Leo – Ruling planet in 7th house – make adjustments in partnership matters. Sentiment will surge to the forefront but shouldn’t be allowed to rule the situation. Someone with a stubborn manner and distinctive voice figures prominently.Virgo – Ruling planet in 6th house – a nostalgic journey is on the agenda. Feelings will be uppermost greatly influencing where you go and what you do. Old friends, neighbors and distant relatives will welcome you warmly. Belief systems, historical facts and family genealogy are accented.Libra – Ruling planet in 4th house – emotions run high this month as the lunar cycle sweeps upwards. You’ll be in the right place at the right time and will have positive support from a family member who believes in you. Be gentle with those near and dear.Scorpio – Ruling planet in 3rd house – your personal body image is in the spotlight. Your sense of style and fashion is heightened. Others will put you on their best dress list. Travel, parties and popularity could draw you away from more routine pursuits. Have fun. Your lucky number is 3.Sagittarius – Ruling planet in 10th house – work with the materials at hand. A career project gains from a steady pace and willingness to learn the rules before you break them. Be practical, shrewd and willing to learn through former mistakes. A person in authority has eyes on you. Your lucky number is 4.Capricorn – Ruling planet in 12th house – remember, no one is perfect. Get the inside story before you sign a mutual agreement. You’re looking for someone to idolize but could be fooled by your own high expectations. Play the waiting game where legal or marital matters are concerned.Aquarius – Ruling planet in the 3rd house – develop a creative project in private. You’ll have unique ideas and can work best alone or with someone who encourages your originality. Strong bonds of love are felt. This person wants only the best for you and will be generous with all your requests.Pisces – Ruling planet in 1st house – a high powered romance is on the agenda. Intense feelings and long-range plans are involved. An attraction is strongly physical. Daring new attitudes will make love more exciting. You’ll share secrets and psychic awareness with your loved one. Your lucky number is 1.IF YOU KNOW YOUR RISING SIGN, CONSULT THE HOROSCOPE FOR THAT SIGN AS WELL.PsychicDeb has been a professional astrologer for over 25 yrs. Self-taught, she began her studies in astrology when she was 8 yrs. old learning what she could from her mother’s astrology magazines. As she got older and learned geometry, she searched for books on Astrology and taught herself how to construct a chart. She teaches Astrology for a nominal fee. PsychicDeb also uses the tarot to do psychic readings channeling her spirit guide Helen. Reiki is one of her obsessions. She is a Reiki Master and loves to teach others the benefits of Reiki. Namaste. You can find her at the Original Psychic Fairs on Sundays. A listing of the Fair dates can be found on her website at: www.astro-mate.orglast_img read more