Last week, I wrote about the misrepresentation of mental health in a common graphic about the “mental health spectrum”. If only I had had time to read the Productivity Commission’s report into its inquiry on mental health. On page 10 is this image which provides a more accurate context for mental health in Australia.
Infographics are increasingly used to summarise sometimes quite complex reports about occupational health and safety (OHS) matters. But often the nuance of the facts being depicted are stripped away in the translation process. There is one graphic that is repeatedly used in the context of mental health that seems to misrepresent reality for the sake of clarity.
On Sunday November 4 2018, The Herald-Sun newspaper’s regular Body & Soul supplement devoted several pages to an exclusive article about workplace wellbeing ($). It is clearly an advertorial as the supplement has several full page advertisement from Medibank Private and the article includes a text box labelling it as the
“b+s 2018 Worklife Survey in partnership with Medibank”.
The article and survey is less than helpful from an occupational health and safety (OHS) perspective as there is no mention of organisational control measures or even the recent campaign in National Safe Work Month by WorkSafe Victoria on wellness!
Australia’s Office of the Chief Economist has released its first Industry Insights document for 2018. This one focusses on flexibility and growth and included this statement in the chapter written by Andrew Charlton, a Director, of AlphaBeta :
“At the macroeconomic level, much of this change has been positive. The economy has created new jobs that are, on average, better paid, more satisfying and safer than the jobs that were lost.” (page 19)
Safer jobs? The last claim sent me to the source of the data –
Infographics have become a popular format for distributing information about occupational health and safety (OHS) and other topics but they are often seen as a shortcut in consultation. They can be visually engaging but are often too shallow as the writers and designers try to depict safety data in the simplest manner. Terminology also needs to be consistent so that readability is most effective.
Recently Safe Work Australia produced
LinkedIn and other social media often includes “inspirational” posters and memes. They are eye-catching and often funny but they can also be thin and simple. This simplicity can reinforce thoughts that may work against being safe. The image on the right is an example.
The Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman, called a “snap” election for the end of January 2015. On 11 January 2015, Newman tweeted:
“Queenslanders injured at work are covered by Australia’s strongest workers’ compensation scheme.”
This is a further example of political newspeak as what does a “strong” workers’ compensation scheme look like? Newman’s tweet included an image that provides some clarity to his claim.