Presented by Emeritus Profession UNSW and Author, Michael Quinlan, this year’s lecture is entitled: Avoiding Back to the Future.
The world of work has undergone profound changes in the past four decades as has the wider society including challenges posed by rising levels of income inequality, burgeoning global population, resource depletion, environmental degradation and rapid climate change. These trends interact in complex ways but the need for a more sustainable approach to managing organisations and society is becoming ever clearer. At the same time these challenges present opportunities to devise and implement more sustainable, effective and multi-modal interventions and OHS can be a key element of this.
We can also draw on positive developments as well as learning from the past – and thereby avoiding re-living it. This means avoiding past failures (like unregulated subcontracting or an over-emphasis on behavioural interventions in OHS) and using knowledge more effectively.
To illustrate this, the presentation will initially focus on 10 pattern causes of death and serious harm at work and how this can be used to build safer workplaces in very different work-settings (from mines to entertainment parks). It will then highlight the ethical and wider-sustainability rationale for these interventions by briefly examining the impact of workplaces death on families and how the 10 pattern failure points also has relevance to understanding recent financial disasters and preventing a recurrence.
Finally, I will examine how work organisation affects health, psychosocial wellbeing and safety at work including the impact of ‘new’ forms of work. Again, understanding underlying causes affords opportunities for more effective interventions and ways in which the OHS profession can demonstrate its relevance and value into the future.
The Dr Eric Wigglesworth AM Memorial Lecture is presented in conjunction with the SIA’s Annual Education Awards. This year, the lecture coincides with the SIA National Health & Safety Conference which will be held from 22-23 May at the International Convention Centre Sydney.
Now in its tenth year, the Dr Eric Wigglesworth AM Memorial Lecture is an annual event presented by the Safety Institute of Australia. The event was established to recognise the pioneering contributions and engagement of Dr Wigglesworth in the field of occupational health and safety.