Injury Worksafe investigating AFL on concussion

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_Mike_

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The OHS Act also requires employees (footballers) not to put themselves or others at risk at work. This means that footballers also have a duty of care in regards to reckless/negligent actions which can harm themselves or another player/official/employee.

If the AFL wants to get serious about concussion then all reckless/negligent/intentional head contact must be illegal within the rules of the game and penalised accordingly.
 

HairyO

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The OHS Act also requires employees (footballers) not to put themselves or others at risk at work. This means that footballers also have a duty of care in regards to reckless/negligent actions which can harm themselves or another player/official/employee.

If the AFL wants to get serious about concussion then all reckless/negligent/intentional head contact must be illegal within the rules of the game and penalised accordingly.
It already is. The problem is the way they punish it. Where possible they hand out a fine rather than a suspension. A fine is effectively zero punishment for most players. Its really only a penalty for players in their 1st couple of years when they are only on average wages.

The AFL should be serious and say that anything head high which is above "minimal" contact is at least 1 week, rather than the starting point being a fine.
 

John Who

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You can’t put an entire blame on the AFL for concussions causing significant complications down the track. The club medicos are the ones doing the diagnosing during the incidents, and they’re the ones doing the clearance for “return to work”. The AFL only sets up the rules to minimise incidents, but the medicos and players are also part responsible for being “right” to return to footy duties.
 

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John Who

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I'm not sure there is a test able to determine when it is safe to return and any number put on that would be arbitrary that gives an illusion of safety for liability purposes.
A lot of it is educated guesses by the medicos. And relative to how heavy the knocks were or how significant the symptoms play out during a concussion. This is the first issue.

The next issue is the more baffling one, how do we know who will get the second or third concussion? Then how do we know who will be chronically affected by these concussions?
 

JackFlash

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Not being a Doctor i probably have no idea what i'm talking about (again). Concussions happen when your brain gets pounded against the inside of your skull. It's a pretty violent injury, and symptoms can show up immediately or weeks later. One of the primary symptoms of a concussion is fatigue. This is not your body's way of playing a cruel trick on you. Your body is experiencing fatigue in order to tell you that your brain needs rest. Rest is, in fact, one of the best possible ways to treat a concussion. Give them 2 weeks off IMO. The truth is that most of us aren't exactly doctors when it comes to our knowledge of modern illness. Sports medicine has made incredible advancements this century, but as fans a lot of what we know and believe about concussion is based on old wives' tales and approximately as medically advanced as the idea that masturbation causes blindness. It is a contact sport, rest them.
 

John Who

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Not being a Doctor i probably have no idea what i'm talking about (again). Concussions happen when your brain gets pounded against the inside of your skull. It's a pretty violent injury, and symptoms can show up immediately or weeks later. One of the primary symptoms of a concussion is fatigue. This is not your body's way of playing a cruel trick on you. Your body is experiencing fatigue in order to tell you that your brain needs rest. Rest is, in fact, one of the best possible ways to treat a concussion. Give them 2 weeks off IMO. The truth is that most of us aren't exactly doctors when it comes to our knowledge of modern illness. Sports medicine has made incredible advancements this century, but as fans a lot of what we know and believe about concussion is based on old wives' tales and approximately as medically advanced as the idea that masturbation causes blindness. It is a contact sport, rest them.
There is no argument that resting is needed to recover. The million dollar question is “what is the most suitable resting period?” The difficulty is that there is no one type of concussion so applying a blanket rule will likely benefit some, whilst being a disadvantage to others.

I did have one episode of concussion many years ago in a training drill with a local amateur footy club. I was blacked out for 5-10 seconds and it took me a couple of minutes to fully readjust myself to the surroundings. But thankfully, it was the one and only time I’ve experienced it and with no long term complications. It was definitely on the very minor end of the concussion spectrum. So with my particular example, 2-4 weeks off resting is probably a little too extreme.
 

JackFlash

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There is no argument that resting is needed to recover. The million dollar question is “what is the most suitable resting period?” The difficulty is that there is no one type of concussion so applying a blanket rule will likely benefit some, whilst being a disadvantage to others.

I did have one episode of concussion many years ago in a training drill with a local amateur footy club. I was blacked out for 5-10 seconds and it took me a couple of minutes to fully readjust myself to the surroundings. But thankfully, it was the one and only time I’ve experienced it and with no long term complications. It was definitely on the very minor end of the concussion spectrum. So with my particular example, 2-4 weeks off resting is probably a little too extreme.
It's a very difficult one as it's a trauma to the brain injury, we don't know enough about the brain to come up with what is the required time for full recovery? Certainly a week off must come in?
 

Bunk Moreland

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The OHS Act also requires employees (footballers) not to put themselves or others at risk at work. This means that footballers also have a duty of care in regards to reckless/negligent actions which can harm themselves or another player/official/employee.

If the AFL wants to get serious about concussion then all reckless/negligent/intentional head contact must be illegal within the rules of the game and penalised accordingly.
There’s been a fair bit of change regarding hits to the head, the next hurdle that needs to be negotiated is players who put themselves in danger.

These days the biggest contributor to head hits is often the “victim” leading with the head.

We actually celebrate it as bravery rather than condemning it as poor technique, which is what is needed.

Where we have a collision between two players who are diametrically opposed, a player who leads with the head is a problem.
 

Power Raid

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The OHS Act also requires employees (footballers) not to put themselves or others at risk at work. This means that footballers also have a duty of care in regards to reckless/negligent actions which can harm themselves or another player/official/employee.

If the AFL wants to get serious about concussion then all reckless/negligent/intentional head contact must be illegal within the rules of the game and penalised accordingly.
I was of the belief Selwood should have been given an indefinite ban until he rectified his actions. It is no different to a spin bowler, being given time out for bending the arm.

Both bans are for technique but more importantly Selwood's had a safety aspect to it.

I really hope Selwood doesn't pay with his life or quality of life. However I fear Selwood will be tomorrow's Platten and Williams.
 

Ants

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The driver of AFL behaviour as far as on-field rules (and penalties for breaking them) is likely to be less Worksafe and OHS rules and more the science about the consequences. New research is showing that the brain is vulnerable after the concussion symptoms have disappeared, for at least 3 weeks and unknown after that. It also potentially gives a way to measure if the brain is ready for contact again.

If that research is certified and becomes consensus, then the average players will miss will be longer. So let's say they narrow it down to ~30 days, as others have mentioned.

If AFL players start missing 4 weeks for concussion, that is going to drive AFL behaviour to on-field rules a hell of a lot more than anything else. They don't want larger squads, they don't want "stars" missing, so the idea that a player with concussion might be out for 4 rounds on average would have them making far more changes than any pressure from other sources.


The Monash University study of concussed Aussie Rules players found on average they showed no ill symptoms after a week. However, analysis of their blood showed their brains had released elevated levels of the protein Neurofilament light (NfL), which is evidence of damaged brain cells. Even more worrying was that the levels of NfL had doubled a week after the concussion and tripled after two weeks, all while players' symptoms had subsided.

The Monash study, published in the journal Biomarker Research, carried out baseline blood testing on between 100 and 200 Melbourne University Blacks players in pre-season each year from 2017 to 2019. The researchers then followed up with further blood tests and MRI scans for the 28 that suffered a concussion. It found on average NfL levels were double the player's baseline figures after one week. After a fortnight, they had increased three-fold. Players were not tested after that time.
Wrong jurisdiction, Comcare not Worksafe look at ADF safety matters!!!!! And do a sterling job or least so I have heard??
Actually, I think defence is separate from Comcare. Been a while since I was involved with them.
 

Delecate Des

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The driver of AFL behaviour as far as on-field rules (and penalties for breaking them) is likely to be less Worksafe and OHS rules and more the science about the consequences. New research is showing that the brain is vulnerable after the concussion symptoms have disappeared, for at least 3 weeks and unknown after that. It also potentially gives a way to measure if the brain is ready for contact again.

If that research is certified and becomes consensus, then the average players will miss will be longer. So let's say they narrow it down to ~30 days, as others have mentioned.

If AFL players start missing 4 weeks for concussion, that is going to drive AFL behaviour to on-field rules a hell of a lot more than anything else. They don't want larger squads, they don't want "stars" missing, so the idea that a player with concussion might be out for 4 rounds on average would have them making far more changes than any pressure from other sources.





Actually, I think defence is separate from Comcare. Been a while since I was involved with them.
Nup, Defence falls under Comcare for Work Health Safety in the Commonwealth jurisdiction. They have the power to investigate safety across both the ADF and supporting agencies.
 

Cubs2Lions

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I was of the belief Selwood should have been given an indefinite ban until he rectified his actions. It is no different to a spin bowler, being given time out for bending the arm.

Both bans are for technique but more importantly Selwood's had a safety aspect to it.

I really hope Selwood doesn't pay with his life or quality of life. However I fear Selwood will be tomorrow's Platten and Williams.
Boy do I hope players such as McCartin, Selwood & Frost to name a few don't suffer heaps with the effects of CTE and concussion in the future of their lives.

God it's going to be a very expensive payout for the AFL in the next 10-20 years as players later on in life wanting payouts for their issues with concussion.

I really do fear that in the future they would probably ban the tackle as we know it as well so it will turn into some form of Gaelic Football for example.
 
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HairyO

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Boy do I hope players such as McCartin, Selwood & Frost to name a few don't suffer heaps with the effects of CTE and concussion in the future of their lives.

God it's going to be a very expensive payout for the AFL in the next 10-20 years as players later on in life wanting payouts for their issues with concussion.

I really do fear that in the future they would probably ban the tackle as we know it as well so it will turn into some form of Gaelic Football for example.
Players have insurance. The AFL would only be paying if they are found liable. For the last 20 years they have been driven by science.

Really the only issue is rewarding players who duck.
 

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Power Raid

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Players have insurance. The AFL would only be paying if they are found liable. For the last 20 years they have been driven by science.

Really the only issue is rewarding players who duck.
not quite correct as this is a criminal issue as well as a civil issue

in the case of a successful criminal prosecution, there is no insurance
 

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