International reinforcements have arrived are they prepared

Reinforcements from overseas are finally starting to arrive in force. They couldn’t be here at a better time. This firefight has been a long one, and with many more months to go, Australia with its collection of state services, volunteer and paid agencies simply cannot do it alone. I for one am truly thankful for […]

The tactical athlete on deployment

Ok Australia, hang on to your hats!  Its only October and we are already seeing bushfires out of control in our northern parts. Teams have been working day and night trying to control these infernos, where in many cases their efforts prove almost futile as house after house is destroyed by the horrific conditions. And […]

Workplace wellbeing is broken

There, I said it! The way that we address wellbeing in the workplace is failing so many people, in so many ways! We seek simple solutions to complex problems and we are breaking people by pushing forward with initiatives that have failed in the past, or are easy to do, simply because we lack the […]

By removing recruitment standards do we actually understand what they are for

This week, in response to a cultural review, it was identified that Victorian Police (Australia) were unable to meet their 50% gender target during recruitment. One of the main reasons for not meeting the targets was placed squarely on the pre-recruitment physical standards which are now effectively being eased or practically erased. While I am […]

Preparing for the heat of summer are your workers ready?

This week saw the launch of the 2019/20 bushfire program here in Australia, off the back of a dry winter and predictions of a long hot summer ahead. We have watched with horror, the heatwaves that have smashed the people of Europe and the United States, with the tacit understanding that this is headed our […]

Physical standards in recruiting are our tests getting the right people

One of my passions in my working life is exploring the idea of how we best prepare and maintain the physicality of individuals for the rigours of life as a police officer, a firefighter or as a soldier. In fact, any occupation that requires a level of physicality draws my interest and critically, how different […]

Are we being fair to those we employ

Like many of you, yesterdays news that NASA cancelled a spacewalk for one of its female astronauts was puzzling, regardless of whether you sit on the side of this being sexism or normal After all, surely an organisation like NASA who (I can only assume) would check every bolt, every fuse, every wire over and […]

Not all risks can be seen from the surface

As an Australian, I have grownup acutely aware of dangerous things living in the natural world around me. From snakes to spiders to jellyfish, from a young age we are taught to assess the risks in our environment whenever we head into the great outdoors. Every now and then, we see news reports of people […]

How safe is safe for workers in extreme environments?

After many years of working at the “coal face” where risks on paper are very real, I have often wondered whether our systems are robust enough to accurately detect risks and whether sometimes a simplistic box ticking approach to risk management is doing more harm than good. In essence, are we eliminating risk, by identifying […]

Can we continue to address hazards in isolation

Its 40 degrees outside. The sun is baking down. For the umpteenth time today, the bells ring and its time to race off to deal with latest crisis the general public is throwing at you. You are hot, you are tired and faced with the likelihood of a structure burning out of control, you brace yourself for the inevitable frenzy of […]