Stanley’s story is powerful and unforgettable

Recently I was telling a colleague to temper their online video strategy and consider extracting the audio tracks from which a podcast strategy coud be developed. The advantage of podcasts is they can be listened to, be more portable, less distraction and, I think, can be more powerful. Earlier this week I listened to a Canadian podcast/documentary about the familial and social effects of a workplace death in the 1950s.

What can you tell me about Stanley?” is not a contrived plea for greater focus on workplace fatalities, as we often get from occupational health and safety regulators.  It is a snippet of family history, a painful and secret family history about the death of an uncle and a brother in a steel mill in the 1950s.  The  podcast looks at coronial records, company records, notes taken at the time by Stanley’s brother and shows that shame that many feel around workplace deaths now, existed then.

I listened to the podcast several days ago but I shiver now when I recall some of the pain and surprise that the family experienced.

“What Can You Tell Me About Stanley” can be listened to as a straight tale of a workplace death and the way such an incident was perceived in the 1950s.  But just as importantly, this should convince people of the power of simplicity in storytelling and social media.  The documentary obviously took months to put together and the revelations to the family are clearly not linear but this effort provides a fascinating 30 minutes for your attention.

Think of Stanley when you are applying your OHS skills.  You’ll be better for it.

Kevin Jones

Categories audio, death, Duty of Care, government, grief, justice, law, OHS, risk, safetyTags ,

2 thoughts on “Stanley’s story is powerful and unforgettable”

  1. Podcasts and videos can have a powerful effect on the attitudes in the workplace, especially when they relate to personal stories and the impact it has on lives. One of the most moving videos is ‘Kate’s Story’. A personal recount and the impact on fellow workers and the business as a whole. It is difficult to show these videos without becoming impacted by the message. (

  2. Great post Kevin – a salutary tale that we should take note. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Cheers, Russel

    Sent from RJS’s iPhone.


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