How did you get into Health & Safety?
Initially picked safety up as an extension of process engineering and quality management, then found safety to be a better fit with my personal ethics. Looking back now, I realise that a lot of the process improvements we were implementing had a safety improvement too, but this was not really the main intention of the work.
What drives you?
The knowledge that what I am doing when providing assistance is often improving the situation for those I am directly working with.
What helps you slow down?
Weekends at our holiday house – sitting on the balcony watching the ocean, and/or kayak fishing in the bay
(in my early safety days…) Being instructed to do what I now know were some very unprofessional things in the company’s interest towards “managing” workers’ compensation cases. It makes me both sad and angry to think back at what was done in those times.
Favourite fiction writer?
JRR Tolkien – what’s not to like about hobbits and orcs.
What is one OHS trend you are watching keenly?
Seeing how providing safety-related services “remotely” can still deliver the benefits that organisations really need or are looking for.
Person/s who you watch and take inspiration from in OHS that you think will have an increasing impact in the sector.
Martyn Campbell – open, honest, and so refreshing to see a senior regulator with that breadth of professional safety experience and qualifications in the field.
What’s your favourite quote?
I have 2:
“The standard you walk past is the standard you set” (or accept), Lieutenant General David Lindsay Morrison AO, and
“If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough”, Albert Einstein [links added]
Biggest issue facing the OHS profession?
Lots of “buzz words” and feel good consultants, with limited substance behind what is being provided or delivered, and too many people are lapping this sh!t up. It sounds great, I might feel better after hearing what you have to say, but what do I really have to do?
Look at the real issues behind the serious incidents and fatalities that occur, the same root causes are still there. Are we forgetting the basics?
What do you wish you had understood about OHS sooner?
How simple the “basics” of safety really can be.
What would you like to see to improve collaboration in OHS?
Listening more to the people on the front line of work – not just safety
What should you have been doing whilst you answered this?
Drinking red wine (no, actually I was doing that while I answered these questions 😊), its Friday evening
What do you think of SafetyAtWorkBlog?
A great blog, with balanced and researched/referenced information on a wide range of issues and topics.