The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

10th Industrial and Organisational Psychology Conference

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) College of Organisational Psychologists is hosting the 10th Industrial and Organisational Psychology (IOP) Conference.

The 2013 Conference has the theme: Crossing Boarders: Exploring the contribution of psychology to organisations in a global economy


The psychology of work will be under examination at IOP where leading international and Australian experts from organisational psychology will provide insights into workplace issues such as building high performance cultures, coping with work-life conflict, job stress prevention, on-boarding and designing work spaces for employee health.

Taking place between Wednesday 3rd July to Saturday 6 July 2013 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Perth, Western Australia

Internationally renowned presenters will deliver global perspectives on topics, including:


Professor Talya Bauer, Cameron Professor of Management, Portland State University, USA

The faster new employees feel welcome and prepared for their jobs, the faster they will be able to successfully contribute to their organisation’s mission. 

Formal ‘on-boarding’ has been shown to increase performance, job satisfaction and commitment, lower stress and enhance career effectiveness.

Prof Bauer, who has implemented on-boarding at Google, Microsoft and Huntington Bank, will discuss research-based on-boarding best practice.

Designing work and work spaces for employee health

Dr Cristina Banks, President, Lamorinda Consulting and University of California, Berkley, USA.

Dr Banks and colleagues at Berkley have established a national depository for cutting edge research on factors that have a proven impact on employee health and wellbeing.  She will share learnings from innovative research across several disciplines – psychology, business, public policy, public health, environment design, ergonomics, biology and medicine, which she will use to begin building the template of the healthy workplace.

Evidence-based approaches to leadership development:

Dr Matt Barney, Director Infosys Leadership Institute, India.

It is regrettably rare that science about leaders and leadership is used in organisations.

Dr Barney will talk about evidence-based approaches to leadership development and present the Cue See leadership model that combines theory from psychology, strategy, engineering, marketing and finance.

Money not the only factor keeping fly-in fly-out workers in the job
‘Fly-in fly-out’ (FIFO) workers adopt one of three distinct identities to cope with their working arrangements: work-family balanced, dominant career focussed and FIFO. 

Intention of workers to stay in the job can be predicted by identity type.

Asset Integrity Summit: Human Factors Focus Day

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Asset Integrity Summit: Human Factors Focus Day

02 October, 2013

Venue to be Confirmed, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

The human factors focus day is set aside for considering human factors in correlation with asset integrity management and process safety. 

Topics to be addressed include:

Why human factors is  a crucial management aid in preventing human failures;

Understand the nature of human factors and how this is impacted by cultural norms;
Identifying human factors that lead to errors and failures;

Strategies in determining human factors threats and assessment of risk; and 

Monitoring behavioural safety effectively.

Take Care if Responding To Suicide Attempts

Graham Marshall - Monday, May 20, 2013

Canadian Police in Ontario are warning emergency crews and the general public about the need for extreme caution when Hydrogen Sulfide fumes are suspected during suicide attempts. 

The Police warned the public that they should immediately call the police in the case where they spot any person who appears to be sleeping in a vehicle or another enclosed space. 

They also suggested that people should use extreme caution in an effort to access the victims. 

People should check inside the vehicle for any signs of chemical use, before opening the doors. 

The gas concentration in the vehicle can be extremely high and the inhalation of the gas might be fatal for the responder. 

Hydrogen Sulfide smells like rotten eggs. 

The danger from the gas is that the gas is similar to cyanide and it is five times more toxic than carbon monoxide. 

Violent Incidents in UK Workplaces for 2012

Graham Marshall - Saturday, March 30, 2013

The UK Health and Safety Executive (UK HSE) report on the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) that the number of violent incidents occurring at work shows a downward trend over the last decade.

But the number of violent incidents has remained fairly constant over the last four years.

Findings from the CSEW illustrate that in 2011 - 12 there were 643,000 incidents of work related violence estimated in England and Wales.

Of these incidents, 324,000 were classified as assaults and 319,000 were classified as threats.

The CSEW demonstrates that the risk of being a victim of work related violence are low for both men and women.

But 41 per cent of victims were assaulted or threatened twice or more in 2011 -12.

The occupations with the highest risks of experiencing work related violence were those involved in protective services, health and education.

A substantial proportion (40%) of offenders were known to victims of violence in the workplace.

Alcohol and drug use remain a factor in many incidents.

And whilst in the majority of cases no injuries are sustained, in 12 per cent of cases, physical trauma is indicated with possibly serious physical and psychological consequences for the individual involved.

Security Risk Management

Graham Marshall - Friday, February 22, 2013

Businesses involved in the supply chain of hazardous chemicals which could be used by Terrorists are encouraged to consider adopting relevant security risk management controls.

Security risk management should be a normal part of good business practice in such businesses.

It should be part of your business culture and integrated into your business philosophy.

The treatment of security threats will be specific to your business and may include a combination of measures.

As a minimum, you should identify the security gaps and find out where chemicals could be lost or diverted from your business and find their way into the wrong hands.

And remember, all suspicious incidents and security breaches should be investigated and, if necessary, reported to the National Security Hotline on 1800 1234 00.

Examples include:

+   Attempts to purchase chemicals for no clear purpose, with cash, or with identification that appears fraudulent;

+   Doors not secured, holes in fences, signs of illegal entry;

+   Unauthorized entry into restricted areas;

+   Unexplained signs of vehicle activity in restricted or remote access points;

+   Unexplained requests for technical information about a facility;

+   Major unexplained process upsets;

+   Unexplained losses of containment of chemicals;

+   Unexplained losses of chemicals; and

+   Major cyber attack on internal process controls or inventory systems.

National Code of Practice for Chemicals of Security Concern

Graham Marshall - Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Australian state and territory governments are seeking your feedback on the draft National Code of Practice for Chemicals of Security Concern. A copy of the draft code is available here.

The consultation closes on 1 March 2013.

Many chemicals that are in use every day have been used by terrorists to make homemade explosives.

Business and Australian governments need to work together to detect and prevent the use of chemicals for terrorist purposes and ensure a safer Australia.

The Australian and state and territory governments have decided to pursue a voluntary code of practice for businesses that manage, handle or use products containing 11 chemicals that are precursors to homemade explosives.

Your feedback will shape the final version of the code and ensure that it can be easily understood and effectively used by businesses.

Once completed, you can submit your feedback to: Mark Whitechurch, Chemical Security, Attorney-General’s Department, 3-5 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600, Australia.

Fundamental Attribution Error in Incident Investigations

Graham Marshall - Friday, January 04, 2013

When examining and explaining the behaviour of other people, there is sometimes a tendency for incident investigators to overestimate the effect of internal "attitudinal" factors, and underestimate the effect of external factors on that behaviour.

In psychology, this problem is known as the Fundamental Attribution Error.

You'll have seen the Fundamental Attribution Error at work when you hear someone say "the person involved in the incident was a bit stupid, or had a poor attitude."

But the problem with adopting a focus on attitudes as a key safety failure mechanism is that it ignores what Psychologists know about mechanisms of the brain.

Many psychological studies have shown that people will experience attention failures, memory lapses, slips of action and mistakes based on incorrect knowledge or experience.

None of these failures can be explained by attitudes alone.

And an attitudes-based focus to incident causation is unlikely to resolve most of these failure mechanisms.

And even deliberate and willful violations of safety rules which do have a strong "attitudinal componant" often occur in response to external pressures rather than just being driven by internal attitudes.

Good incident investigations avoid the fundamental attribution error by recognising the range of failure mechanisms of the brain and the role of external factors in those failures.

And organizations with mature safety culture design error-tolerant work arrangement based on identifying which errors are most likely to occur.

Moreover, mature organizations view incidents as an opportunity to learn something about their systems, assets, or culture, rather than blaming individual workers and their "negative" attitudes.

Finally, they recognise that safety attitudes are most effectively fostered through genuine leadership practices and leading by example at all levels of the organisation, every day.

FIFO Worker Survey

Graham Marshall - Sunday, December 16, 2012

Are you a FIFO worker in the Australian resources sector?

The Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) and the Minerals Safety and Health Centre (MISHC) at the University of Queensland are conducting a survey of FIFO (and other non-residential) resource industry workers.

The purpose of this study is to better understand how different accommodation options may impact on the health, wellbeing and job satisfaction of non-resident workers. So if you are a fly-in fly-out (FIFO), drive in drive out (DIDO) or bus in bus out (BIBO) worker, the CSRM would like to hear from you.

Please click on the following link and let us know your views.


Mates in Construction

Graham Marshall - Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mates in Construction is an Australian suicide prevention, mental health and well-being program run across the Aussie construction sector.

At the Risk Management Tool Box, we're big supporters of the progam as it works to assist construction workers on Australian construction sites.

Mates in Construction is based on the community development model aimed at creating structures on construction sites that connect workers in need to high quality mental health assistance.

The Department of Health and Aging has funded Mates in Construction to expand its services in Queensland, SA, NSW and Western Australia.

Mates in Construction will expand considerably over the next 6-12 months with field officers being currently recruited across Australia.

To find out further information about the program or apply for a job working in this program, simply google "Mates in Construction" and follow the links.

Causes of Death In Australian Males

Graham Marshall - Monday, September 10, 2012

Below is a list of the most common causes of male deaths in Australia:

●  Heart disease (causes 17% of all male deaths);

●  Lung cancer (6.8%);

●  Stroke (6.4%);

●  Chronic respiratory disease (4.6%); and

●  Prostate cancer (4.1%).

Among young Australians aged 12 to 24 years, there are three male deaths to every one female death.  Accidents and suicide account for most of this difference.

Source: InPsych, The Bulletin of the Australian Psychological Society, August, 2012.

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