Rory O’Neill was a member of a panel at the 23rd World Congress for Safety and Health at Work, ostensibly, about Safety in Design in high-risk industries. It is fair to say he was expansive, engaging and provocative. It was a rare opportunity to hear him speak in person. Below are some examples of his challenging and, in some ways, traditional approach to occupational health and safety (OHS).
Plain speaking is one of the greatest challenges of any profession. Many professionals struggle to communicate their excellent work and knowledge which has created the moves for Research-To-Practice and specialised communicators (as opposed to public relations advisers). Human Resources (HR) and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) need communications specialists, or perhaps just interpreters, if a recent article on workers compensation and mental health is anything to go by.
If we are going to achieve a successful and effective change on workplace mental health, we need to start to understand each other.
Subscribers will know that I often make connections with ideas from beyond the traditional occupational health and safety (OHS) areas. The other day I was travelling back from a regional part of Victoria, listening to All Things Considered. There was an article about regaining and maintaining a sense of wonder. I found some wonderful OHS stuff.
Recently a discussion of occupational health and safety (OHS) in Australia’s construction industry during COVID-19 lockdowns was published. “What’s it going to take? Lessons Learned from COVID-19 and worker mental health in the Australian construction industry” is thankfully “open access” and well worth reading for its strong and controversial OHS recommendations, but it could have paid more attention to the role of the employers or Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) in applying legislative OHS obligations and how their resistance continues to harm workers.
Recently this blog wrote about an article on the news website of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation concerning burnout. One of the people interviewed for the article was Sally McGrath, who responded to a series of questions put to her to clarify some of the workplace mental health issues raised.
SAWB: Did your three burnout experiences happen at the same workplace?
Continue reading “The personal and cultural factors in work addiction”
SM: Yes – this was a result of me taking on too much, and being “capable” is something that I believe can work both for and against a person. In my case (and many I see) always saying yes and being delegated work is where the burnout begins, you don’t want to be seen as not coping or capable. You also want to be seen as the “next in line for promotion” and saying no can work against you.
Two new books about burnout arrived on my doorstep this week. They could not be more different. They reflect the mess of approaches to this type of psychosocial injury. Only one provides valid, useful evidence and advice.
Bev Aisbett released a book that I found unreadable – partly because of the advice offered but mostly because of the atrocious formatting where she YELLS almost all the time in the most annoying social media way. Below is a random example.
This end-of-year list is more complex than one of unread books because of the qualitative elements. In writing this article, off-the-cuff, I thought of the three or four books that I could readily remember reading in 2022; those that stuck in my mind for several reasons.
The book that most readily comes to mind from 2022 is the Jessie Singer book “There are no Accidents“. Singer makes the same point as many occupational health and safety (OHS) people have – accidents are not an “act of God”. There is always a cause IF we choose to look. There is always a social, corporate, economic of ethical environment that either encourages or fails to discourage decisions that can lead to harm.Continue reading “Notable books on safety and work”