In occupational health and safety, as with any profession, it is useful to ask for evidence. When on a work site, it is important to always ask “why?” Why do you do your work task that way? Why are you not wearing the PPE that everyone else is wearing? Why are you working such late hours?
But in the publishing and internet world it is equally important to ask for evidence from safety commentators. The SafetyAtWorkBlog has an editorial policy and practice of linking back to original material, articles or court cases, if they are available online, or providing some other references so that readers can source the original material, the evidence on which an article is based or a comment made. This type of editorial policy and practice is missing from many blogs leading, as a result, to the perception of a lack of authority. The latest example of this is the 30 Days of OHS campaign by the Safety Institute of Australia (SIA).
The 30 Days of OHS campaign is a new strategy for the SIA and it should be applauded for trying something new. But the initial editorial practice for the early campaign contributions is shaky. For instance, the 12 October 2011 article on resilience says
“..in a recent survey….” and
“..research has clearly shown…”
The author, Rhett Morris, has told SafetyAtWorkBlog that the survey mentioned was undertaken for a client. (Morris has provided a copy of the survey which is available HERE). When contacted by SafetyAtWorkBlog Morris had not been advised that the article had been accepted for the campaign let alone it being online. He also stressed that the article is a 400-word extract from a much longer article, a fact that the SIA should have included in order to provide a better context for the article. There is clearly more dialogue required between the SIA and contributors. More…