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Aspen Medical launches pioneering Health & Safety research partnership with NIER

Aspen Medical has launched a new Centre for Resources Health & Safety in conjunction with the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER) at the University of Newcastle, a research centre aimed at saving lives in the high-risk resources sector. The new Centre has been established through a research partnership, worth $1 million between Aspen Medical and NIER.

According to government agency Safe Work Australia data, injuries at work resulted in the deaths of 2,593 workers from 2002 to 2012. In 2012 alone, seven people working in the Mining industry were killed at work.

Speaking at today's (12 March 2014) launch, Chairman and Co-founder of Aspen Medical Dr Andrew Walker (pictured) said collaboration with world-class researchers with strong links back to the industry is critical to addressing healthcare challenges.

“We are delighted to be leading the way once again and to be working closely with the talented team at the University of Newcastle in delivering world-class research into health in the mining and resources industries. Aspen has been at the forefront of developing innovative healthcare solutions at home and overseas for over a decade. This partnership is a further example of our reputation for innovation and passion for excellence.

“This is not only great news for Newcastle but also for Australia, as the changing face of the nation’s workforce can be mitigated by moving towards a knowledge-based economy, which is what this partnership represents.”

NIER Director Dr Alan Broadfoot said the health, safety and wellbeing of those working in the resources sector was critical to the growth of the industry.

“More has to be done to reduce the personal toll of illness and injury, so that everyone who works in the sector can go home to their families each day. In addition, poor work health and safety costs our nation more than $60 billion each year.

“The new Centre will harness expertise across a range of disciplines within the University to address key healthcare challenges for the resources and mining industries.

“This Centre will be unique. It extends the traditional concept of resources health and safety from delivering benefit to people working in the industry, to the communities and economies that rely on mining and resources.”

Areas of research will include occupational health and safety, respiratory studies, psychology, psychiatry, environmental impacts and social impacts.