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Interview – Dr Peter Simpson (DBA, MBA, MSc(Ergo), MA(Theo), BSc(Aviation)(Hons))

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Peter Simpson (DBA, MBA, MSc(Ergo), MA(Theo), BSc(Aviation)(Hons)) has over 25 years of leadership in the areas of safety, health, wellbeing, risk, security, and quality & assurance.  Lived and worked in Australia, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Japan whilst working for airlines, defence, regulators, industry bodies, and the banking sector. Passionate about leading organisations through customer-driven change and simplification, and about coaching and mentoring the next generation of leaders.

What do you feel are the biggest challenges safety leaders are currently faced with within their business?

Moving from old fashioned regulatory OHS compliance, to a function that adds value to the entire business and impacts productivity and engagement. The inclusion of mental health and broader wellbeing is another stretch we are faced with.

As a safety leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their Health and Safety strategy?

A narrow focus on compliance rather than adding broader value. Related to this, business leaders will often talk about the wellbeing of their staff, but do not support this with action. There are often ‘middle management’ roadblocks.

What are the latest trends and behaviours you predict will be surfacing on the market over the coming 12 months?

Smarter use of data analytics. Turning data into wisdom and predictive information.

What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?

Question everything you do. Ask yourself, ‘why are we doing this, and how would risk change if we stopped doing it?’. So much of what we do is based on historical habit that adds no value.

What is one key takeaway you hope our OHS audience leaves with after hearing your presentation on site?

Wellbeing, health and safety may differ between cultures and regions. There isn’t a one size fits all approach, even within a domestic market like Australia as it has a multicultural workforce.

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