Lisa is the latest in this series of profiles intended to humanise those who are interested, or active, in workplace health and safety
How did I get into Health and Safety?
My first taste of health and safety was working in the Dept of Labour and Industry (SA) many years ago as a casual clerk. Five years later I was managing the medical record department for a large psychiatric hospital, when I was asked to provide training for nurses who were undertaking return to work programs in the department. I wanted to know more about developing return to work programs , and the only available was a subject within the Diploma of OHS (and I am talking about the pre-competency based training era!!)
What drives you?
Knowing that, hopefully, I am making a difference to people’s lives and making sure that people go home at night in one piece.
What helps you slow down?
Two dependant cats – the original interactive toy and perpetual teenagers!!
Not studying a science.
Favourite Fiction writer?
One OHS trend you are keenly watching?
Given the current circumstances, the impact of remote working, particularly on consultants and whether remote working will continue post-Covid-19.
Person/s who you watch and take inspiration from in OHS that you think will have an increasing impact in the sector?
I am not sure that there needs to be any further explanation other than to say John Merritt. He has had a huge impact and now a………….
What are you most excited about in our sector
I am not sure that there is any thing that really excites me at the moment so far as OHS sector. Perhaps I have been around too long and that I have seen the wheel re-invented so many times…
What is your favourite quote?
I have a number of favourite quotes.. Einstein and Socrates are definitely up there with these two
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”. Einstein
“One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.” – Socrates
Biggest issue facing the OHS Profession?
The move to generalist OHS professionals giving rise to a lack of specialists especially in the area of chemical management, dangerous goods and laboratory safety.
What do you wish you had understood about OHS sooner?
The propensity for people to overthink, build complicated processes, and management systems when OHS is really about good management and good communication, with a bit of regulatory compliance thrown in for good measure.
What would you like to see to improve collaboration on OHS?
Let’s see… improving collaboration on OHS…. Less paperwork, less emails and more conversations with the people who do the job, who know the hazards and the risks, and are able to problem solve as they go.
What should you have been doing whilst you answer this?
There is a very long list of things I should have been doing, however…. It can all wait for another day!!