‘Innovative thinking is critical in meeting the global challenge of reducing the toll of accidents and occupational disease’
Dr Karen McDonnell, Occupational Health & Safety Policy Adviser at RoSPA, highlights the need for innovation but reflects on the unfinished business we have in terms of OHS performance improvement.
“As parents, practitioners and professionals we are all familiar with the need to make space and time to prepare ourselves for the challenges posed by assessments in their many and varied forms: the long game of well-planned study in the run up to the ‘test’, or the last minute intensive revision the day before. We each have our own unique style and while we can coach others, there’s no wrong path to reach our destination – in RoSPA’s case, lives free from serious accidental injury.
“In 1927 Zeigarnick published her paper ‘On Finished and Unfinished Tasks’, the findings suggesting incomplete tasks are easier to remember than those that have been successfully completed. It is interesting to reflect that being interrupted whilst focussing on completing a piece of work can actually improve your ability to remember it afterwards.
“Innovative thinking is critical in meeting the global challenge of reducing the toll of accidents and occupational disease. However there is still unfinished business in embedding the principles of regulatory craft; fatalities resulting, for example, from falls from height, being struck by a moving vehicle, or implementing the HSE Stress management standards to build proactive organisations that provide a structured approach to managing the broad range of factors that impact on employees’ mental health.
“Every day I am interrupted by updates from a range of sources on the latest news from our shared global health and safety community… it is invariably where ‘we’ have failed to learn the lessons embedded in the rich history of OSH. This interruption brings an introduction to individual names, ages, occupations and sometimes families, serving as a personal reminder that what we do as practitioners has real value, but is far from finished.”