OHS and Daniel McConville

The submissions for the humanising occupational health and safety challenge continue to roll in. Daniel McConville of McConville OHS & Risk Solutions is the latest.

If you want to humanise the occupational health and safety profession consider emailing through your answers to these questions.


How did you get into Health & Safety?

I was working on a contract and renegotiated just prior to the contract finishing.  With the change, my position became redundant and I was asked to take on the OHS role. After almost 20 years working in a kitchen, I enjoyed the less ‘physical’ stress.

What drives you?

Seeing employers doing the right thing is a big driver. That keeps giving me hope that we are changing the culture and thinking, one employer at a time.

What helps you slow down?

Taking the dog for a walk; catching up with friends and enjoying a drink with those people; I also like to cook; and I like to travel. At the moment we are talking about going overseas at the end of 2021 or early 2020 when our youngest finished VCE.

OHS Regrets?

I went about 8 years in OHS without doing one bit of training, it was learning on the job and I felt ‘inferior’ to other OHS professionals. I should have pushed my employer harder to do some training and I should have sourced a mentor, however I didn’t know many people in the industry at that stage.

Favourite nonfiction writer?

Don’t really have one, I’m not one for reading books, I will read OHS and food magazines and I’m just finishing reading ‘Yellow and Black’ by Konrad Marshall.

What is one OHS trend you are watching keenly?

Psychological illness/health and culture of safety: I think this is an area that we are still learning about, every case is different and there is not a simple, easy answer. I’m interested to see where we are in 10 years time. Self-isolation is going to be a big learning curve for businesses.

Person/s who you watch and take inspiration from in OHS that you think will have an increasing impact in the sector.

Kevin Jones is having an impact; his daily blogs are insightful and not full of the crap that other blogs are filled with.

Graham Dent – I’ve worked a couple of times with Graham and I like his style – straight shooter!!

Hopefully me at some stage!!

What are you most excited about in our sector?

The shift in psychological learnings and improvements is something that I like. When I first started in OHS (last century) it was all about your LTI numbers and if a worker got injured then they were the idiot that made a mistake. There was no such as bullying and if you complained about being bullied then the solution was to move you to another department or show you the door. The philosophy was that only the weak got bullied and they probably deserved it. I’m glad we are moving away from that line of thinking

What’s your favourite quote?

We have an expression in prize fighting: “Everyone has a plan until they’ve been hit.” Well my friend, you’ve just been hit. The getting up is up to you.

Biggest issue facing the OHS profession?

Slogans and fads: I’m just not a fan of them and I think we lose our focus when we get caught up in the ‘numbers’ game. I worked for a company who lived and died by their LTI’s numbers and I could never understand it.

What do you wish you had understood about OHS sooner?

Communication and Consultation: I wish I had of learnt a lot earlier that consultation is not me, or the boss, telling the workers what to do.

What would you like to see to improve collaboration in OHS?

I’ve never understood why we have so many different sets of legislation in this country. I would like to see the states and the Commonwealth work together to get one set of legislation, standards, codes etc. for every state.

What should you have been doing whilst you answered this?

Trying to find paid employment like everyone else in the country!!

Kevin Jones

Categories OHS, Uncategorized

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