On 20 March 2016, Scott Spark launched a short series of podcasts as part of the Showcase program on ABC’s Radio National called WorkLife. The fourth episode, set for broadcast on April 10, discusses the relevance of occupational health and safety (OHS) and is based on a couple of interviews with the author of the SafetyAtWorkBlog, Kevin Jones.
All of the episodes are important listening for OHS professionals and advocates because of the fresh perspectives about work that are offered. The first three episodes are available for download:
WorkLife: Let’s improve the way we hire people (March 20, 2016)
WorkLife: How to get a pay rise (March 27, 2016)
WorkLife: Why diversity will save your workplace (April 3 2016)
The interviewer, Scott Spark, admitted to me that he knew very little about OHS so I took the opportunity to ask him some questions about the WorkLife series.
Q:What did you learn about workplace safety that surprised you?
Scott: Perhaps this exposes my ignorance, but I never appreciated just how entangled our health is with our work. I knew there was a relationship, but didn’t appreciate the complexity of that relationship and how it truly is a two-way street. So much of work health and safety is determined by workers, what they bring to the workplace and how they relate to colleagues.
I’ve also come away from the series wondering how we address increased unpaid overtime. This seems to be exacerbating problems for people.
Q: What changes will you make to the way you work?
Scott: The greatest thing for me is a more acute awareness of how I influence both my health and safety at work and the wellbeing of my colleagues. I’m more mindful of that personal responsibility I reckon.
I’ve also been reminded just how important open communication is between colleagues. If you have ongoing conversations with workmates, then you’re more likely to pick-up concerns early.
Q: Did the aim of the series change the more you spoke to people about the issues you wanted to address?
Scott: It became far more nuanced. It went from a blunt assessment of what conditions arise from work health and safety claims to something more sophisticated and human. Hopefully it’s also more informative and helpful as a result.
Q: Did you drop or replace any topics?
Scott: I certainly broadened the scope of my considerations as I learned more. It probably became more comprehensive as a result.