Current Research Projects

We are currently working on research projects across several areas important to workplace health and safety. Some examples of our current research projects are shown below.

Evaluation of WorkSafe Victoria’s Inspector induction, on-going training and continuing professional development programs

The context of work for health and safety inspectors is changing rapidly, both within the regulatory structure and in the workplaces visited by inspectors. Inspectors are required to work independently, elicit information from managers and workers, undertake complex risk assessment in diverse contexts, engage in persuasion and ensure compliance, as well as be resilient, given that they may face varied responses from the duty holders at the worksites they enter. The role clearly requires a range of capabilities and key among these are assertiveness skills, job crafting, psychological capital and career adaptability as inspectors regularly have to set expectations and confront noncompliance; make self-initiated changes to their role; cope with challenging interactions; and be flexible in dealing with unanticipated tasks, transformations  and shocks in their role. This research project aims to evaluate the induction, ongoing training and continuing professional development (CPD) programs delivered to three cohorts of “new-start” OHS inspectors employed by WorkSafe Victoria. A pre-test, post-test and follow-up experimental design will be employed. The evaluation focuses on the process and impact outcomes specific to the development of assertiveness skills, job crafting and adaptability of OHS inspectors.

Preventing workplace bullying: An innovative approach to changing attitudes

The aim of this research project is to better understand workplace bullying and the attitudes that drive it.  Drawing upon insights from implicit cognition literature, this research will examine the role of explicit (self-reported) and implicit (impulsive or automatic) attitudes to workplace bullying. Using the resources of the Monash Behavioural Laboratory, we will capture implicit attitudes using a recent methodological innovation – the Implicit Association Test (IAT). Our overall aim for this study is to inform interventions, policies and practices that can prevent or arrest bullying behaviours through attitudinal change, rather than just ameliorate their impact on the targets of bullying.