WorkSafe Tasmania

WorkSafe Tasmania

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Notify WorkSafe Call 1300 366 322

Conference speakers

Angela Martin

Professor Angela Martin

The global and national context for workplace mental health: Increasing focus on psychosocial risk management and mitigation

This presentation provides an overview of recent and current developments in the field of workplace mental health, both globally and within Australia. It summarises the key findings of the Productivity Commission’s recent Mental Health Inquiry that pertain to workplaces.

Focussing on the prevention of harm to workers’ mental health in the context of employment, key concepts and resources in relation to psychosocial risks and mitigation strategies will be explained and illustrated.

Industry-based and government-led initiatives will be reviewed, and initial steps toward the development of a Tasmanian Workforce Mental Health and Safety Strategy will be discussed. Input from the audience around pertinent issues and priorities in Tasmania will be sought.

About Angela

Angela is a Professorial Research Fellow of Work and Mental Health, Menzies Institute for Medical Research; and an Adjunct Professor of Management, School of Business and Economics, at the University of Tasmania. She is a Director and the founder of Pracademia, a knowledge translation consultancy organisation.

Her PhD is in industrial and organisational psychology and she is well known nationally and internationally for her research on mental health in the context of working life and for developing mental health management capabilities in leaders, managers and workers.

Angela has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications and been an investigator on several nationally competitive funded research grants for studies of interventions that aim to create healthier working environments. Her consulting work has been undertaken in diverse settings including government, small businesses, large corporations, blue collar occupations, first responder and not for profit organisations.

Alex Collie

Professor Alex Collie

Work injury, suicide and self-harm: Findings and implications of a global evidence review

This presentation discusses the global research that suggests injured workers are at increased risk of suicide and self-harm. The risk of completed suicide is significantly higher in people who are injured at work and make a workers compensation or disability benefit claim.

The presentation explores the opportunities to intervene in the pathway to suicide early following work injury, for example via enhancing risk screening, reducing stress in claims processes, and altering service delivery programs.

About Alex

Alex is Professor and Director of the Insurance Work and Health Research Group in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, and Co-Director of the Division of Health Services, Systems and Policy.

He is an applied public health and social policy researcher, with a focus on occupational health and workers’ compensation. He leads multiple large projects funded by the Australian Research Council, the National Health and Medical Research Council, state and commonwealth government agencies. He holds a prestigious Australian Research Council Future Fellowship, where he is leading research on outcomes for people with work disability, and the intersection of Australian workers compensation and social security systems.

Alex has a PhD in psychology. He has published over 200 peer reviewed research articles, book chapters and technical reports, and is regularly invited to speak at national and international conferences.

Sharron ONeill

Dr Sharron O’Neill

WHS data: Business intelligence, distraction or fake news?

This presentation explores the role of performance measures in managing work health and safety performance. Many performance measures used in the safety space are not fit for purpose, and this presentation examines the quality of performance data.

It provides tips for choosing appropriate performance indicators and critically evaluating the quality of work health and safety data. Examples of lead and lag indicators will be discussed, and examples from recent annual reports will be included to illustrate key concepts.

About Sharron

Sharron is Associate Professor in Accounting at UNSW Canberra’s School of Business. A former financial accountant, Sharron’s academic research centres on performance measures and indicators for management and accountability. Her research on work health and safety performance indicators, in particular, is internationally recognised.

She was invited to the Netherlands by the Global Reporting Initiative to chair an International working group developing a global work health and safety reporting standard (GRI403 2018). She was a Ministerial appointee on the ACT Government’s advisory Work Safety Council, and currently serves on the evaluation working group of the National Mental Health Commission's National Workplace Initiative.

Sharron was recognised in Vice Chancellor’s Awards for her excellence in teaching, in research and in social justice. She is a member of Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Australian Institute of Health and Safety and advises government, investors and industry on work health and safety performance measurement and reporting.

Dianah Brown

Dianah Brown

Managing psychosocial hazards at work

Psychological injuries carry the highest cost and lead to significantly more time off work than other claims in Australia. Work health and safety laws include broad duties for employers to ensure the psychological health of their workers. In May this year work health and safety ministers agreed to strengthen these duties by explicitly including requirements in the model work health and safety regulations for psychosocial hazards. This reflects the growing community expectation that psychosocial hazards be given the same consideration as physical hazards.

This presentation explores psychosocial hazards, how to identify if those hazards are present in your workplace, and the practical steps we can take to manage them. It discusses common pitfalls in managing psychosocial risks and how to avoid them.

About Dianah

Dianah is an Assistant Director in Safe Work Australia’s Psychosocial and Consultation Policy area. She joined Safe Work Australia in 2011 and is now using her experience working with the model work health and safety laws to improve the way we address psychosocial hazards.

Dianah is co-ordinating Safe Work Australia’s Mental Health Advisory Group, drawing on this group’s wealth of experience and expertise from work health and safety authorities, industry bodies and unions to develop a model code of practice for managing psychosocial hazards at work.

Peter Gahan

Professor Peter Gahan

The future of work after COVID: What’s next?

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, predictions about the future of work centred on how automation and artificial intelligence will drive job destruction and creation. Many predictions suggest technology would destroy more jobs than we can create. These predictions also suggested that low and mid-skilled jobs were increasingly at risk, and that the impacts would be unevenly distributed across industries and regions.

The immediate impact of COVID-19 saw the rapid destruction of human-centred jobs, challenging these predictions. But what are the medium and longer-term consequences? What types of jobs and industry are likely to be most affected? Will working from home become a permanent part of working life? And who is likely to bear the brunt of these changes as they unfold? This presentation explores what we know about how COVID is altering the future of work; and what it is likely to mean for jobs, how we work, and health and safety at work.

About Peter

Peter is Professor of Management at the University of Melbourne and Associate Dean Engagement for the Faculty of Business and Economics, where he was Foundation Director of the Centre of Workplace Leadership (2012-17). He has previously held academic and visiting positions at UNSW, Monash, University of South California, The European University Institute, Cardiff Business School, New York University and Stockholm Business School.

He has published extensively on leadership, high performance systems, worker wellbeing, work-life conflict, negotiation and bargaining, and human resource management. He is currently involved in research projects investigating how digital technologies are transforming work and leadership; the challenges for leadership and human resources management associated with an ageing workforce and age diversity; and the ongoing consequences of COVID for working arrangements.

Peter has previously worked as senior public servant as Director of Workplace Innovation in the Victorian Department of Industry, Innovation and Regional Development; and has undertaken commissioned research for both State and Commonwealth governments on areas related to workplace innovation. He delivers executive education in leadership, high performance teams, performance management, and conflict and negotiation across the private, public and third sectors, in Australia and internationally.

Updated: 11th June 2021