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CHILD RESTRAINT LAWS CHANGE IN AUSTRALIA

Changes to the Australian Road Rules will introduce a mandatory size-appropriate restraint system for all children up to the age of 7. Specifically, the new laws will require children:

  • Up to the age of 6 months to be restrained in a rear facing child restraint (eg, infant capsule)

  • From 6 months until the age of 4 to be restrained in either a rear or forward facing child restraint (ie, child safety seat)

  • From 4 years until the age of 7 to be restrained in either a forward facing child restraint or booster seat restrained by a correctly adjusted and fastened seatbelt or child safety harness.

The new laws also deal with the issue of children sitting in the front seat of a vehicle. Children aged between 4 and 7 will not be permitted to sit in the front seat, unless all other seat positions are already occupied by children under 7; and children up to 4 years must be restrained in the rear of the vehicle (where the vehicle has two or more rows of seats). Drivers will be fined $A230 (US$160, €120, £110) and incur 3 penalty points if one passenger is not wearing a seatbelt or suitable approved child restraint, with increased penalties if more than one passenger is not properly restrained. It is expected that the new laws will come into effect in the second half of 2009.

PREVENTING KNEE INJURY IN LOW-SEAM MINES

Knee injuries associated with working in low-seam mines have been a longstanding problem for the US mining industry. Accident statistics from the Mine Safety and Health Administration indicate that more than 50% of all knee musculoskeletal injuries occur in coal mining. Statistics also suggest that coal miners who incur a knee injury are away from work a median of 25 days, 10 days longer than those who are off …

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