On OHS Innovation

‘Forward-thinking’ safety and well-being consultancy, Work Science, reckon Australia is a 'melting pot of creative and boundary-pushing entities driving radical WHS improvement.


Dr Tristan Casey, an organisational psychologist and chief scientist at Work Science, has authored a research paper which articulates ‘new view’ work health and safety principles, as well as how to overcome barriers to innovation.

They’ll probably sound familiar to Union trained HSRs…

  1. People make mistakes. Accept that people are human, so errors and mistakes are inevitable. Build systems that are 'safe to fail', error-tolerant, and forgiving of mistakes.

  2. Blame fixes nothing. Don’t search for simple explanations and focus heavily on retribution, rather, repair and restore.

  3. Context drives behaviour. Identify the deeper story underpinning why things go wrong and emphasise the role of broader organisational and work system factors

  4. Learning is vital. Learn from both what goes wrong and what goes right. Examine everyday work to understand how things are really done at the frontline and how this may be different to plans and procedures

  5. Response matters. Be mindful of the response to error and failure. Reactive and simplistic responses are usually less effective

Dr Casey’s full report can be accessed here.

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