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Coalmining poses risks that can’t be managed away. AAP Image/Incident Control Centre Hazelwood

The real disaster, at Hazelwood and elsewhere, is brown coal itself

Fittingly for a report on a huge fire, the findings of the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry act as a smokescreen for the bigger issues behind the disaster. Partly because of its narrow terms of reference, the…
The Black Box flight data recorders from the 2005 fatal aircraft accident near Lockhart River, Qld, arrive at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Canberra. AAP/News Ltd/Ray Strange

What a black box can tell us about missing flight MH370

As the search continues for wreckage from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane it’s probable that answers surrounding the mystery of flight MH370 will not be available until the recorders are recovered…
Plenty of questions on what happened to flight MH370 but patience needed in any investigation. AAP Image/Getty Images Pool, Paul Kane

Keep calm and carry on – don’t rush the investigation of MH370

Air crash investigators on flight MH370 will need to counter the public demand for a quick answer as they begin the long-term safety analysis. What happened to the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 will likely…
Nanosafety research ensures everyday use of nanoparticles – such as sunscreen – stays safe. Flickr/Eliya

Nanoparticles and nanosafety: the big picture

Nanoparticles — or nanomaterials, as they are often called — are chemical objects with dimensions in the range of 1-100 nanometres (nm). Particles this tiny are hard to imagine, but it may help to think…
It’s easy to see how ‘wexting’ accidents can happen. Flickr/Jonathan Adami

How texting turns you into a walking disaster

For most of us, walking in a straight line at reasonable speed is a simple task. But watch someone texting or reading on their mobile phone and you’d be forgiven for thinking that walking is not as easy…
Brisbane cyclists have to keep their helmets on after all, including on bike paths. AAP/Dan Peled

Politics trumps hard-headed reason on bicycle helmets

For a few hours, late last week, it looked like Queensland could become the first Australian state to start relaxing its strict bicycle helmet laws. After months of careful review of the evidence, a state…
Not everyone heeds the advice to turn their phones off during take-off – but should they? Jetstar Airways

What a turn-off: why your phone must be powered down on flights

It’s a fact of life for anyone boarding a plane: all electronic devices need to be turned off during take-off and landing. Most airlines have had this rule in place for more than a decade now, even though…
Three-quarters of Indians say cricket helps the relationship between India and Australia, a new survey has found. Flickr/Foxypar4

It’s not just cricket: Indians have their say on Australia

Australia should work harder on its official and unofficial diplomacy to strengthen its ties to India, after a new survey…
Seventeen Australians have died this year from quad bike accidents, also known as all terrain vehicles or ATVs. Flickr/sharkbait

It’s time for quad bike manufacturers to rollover on safety

The tragic quad-biking death of an 11-year-old boy from northwest Victoria on Monday takes the 2011 death toll from all terrain vehicle (ATV) accidents to 17. The boy reportedly died after his ATV overturned…

Child car safety seats not foolproof

Children as young as three can unbuckle their car seat restraints placing them at significantly increased risk of harm in…

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