Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR) - eUpdate #2 - April 2011

Monday, 11 August, 2008 - 10:00
Industry news


We are pleased to forward for the information of all SIA members the following ISCRR eUpdate.

I recently presented a keynote address at the Safety Institute of Australia Conference. I was keen to talk about how ISCRR has used a futures research approach to help identify what research is needed to anticipate and prepare for the future of OHS. It's not easy to look 25 years into the future. One of the most challenging aspects is to realize that our preconceptions and beliefs may be inhibiting how we anticipate issues and conceive ways to respond to them.

Our horizon scanning project had turned up a 2010 Dutch study on metaphors in OHS which found that there were really only two important and deeply held beliefs in this sector. People believe either that ‘accidents' are caused by the unsafe behaviour of individuals or that ‘accidents' are caused by unsafe environments. Many managers, the paper stated, believe in the individual hypothesis. (183 of the best papers our horizon scanning turned up are available in our Annotated Bibliography).

Interestingly, other research in Australia has also investigated this idea. The Law School at the University of Sydney found that by and large, employers believe in the safety behaviour approach, whereas regulators believe in the environmental approach.

One idea that emerged from ISCRR's foresight work was that OHS in the future will feature different partnerships between governments, businesses, and non-government organisations. A follow up workshop with employers, which I held recently at the invitation of Safesearch, indicated that workforce shortages and corporate social responsibility were already driving the formation of interesting new partnerships and relationships, and that in the future, local partnerships were likely to be very important. Interestingly, the National Commission, which reported on the BP Deepwater Horizon environmental catastrophe, also recommended that regulators and employers needed to work together, if major eco-disasters are to be avoided.

Not only regulators and employers benefit from working together. ISCRR and the New Zealand compensation scheme, ACC are jointly planning and organising a conference on compensation health research to be held in Melbourne on 13 - 14 October 2011. A committee made up of Australian and New Zealand representatives is being established to develop the program collaboratively although I am very pleased to announce that Dr Ben Amick, from the Institute of Work and Health, Toronto, Canada will be one of our keynote speakers.
More about this conference will appear on our website and in future communications. We look forward to seeing you there!

Professor Niki Ellis

From time to time, ISCRR commissions Rapid Reviews on behalf of WorkSafe and the TAC, from experts in areas for which knowledge is required to inform policy and program development. A Rapid Review is a brief report done in short time frames which summarise and distil the findings of quality research in order to address highly focussed research questions.

As Rapid Reviews are released, we will make them available on our website.

What organisational/employer level interventions are effective for preventing and treating occupational stress?
December 2010

A review of literature about this topic was completed by Tony LaMontagne and Tessa Keegel of the McCaughey Centre, Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne.
They concluded that job stress can be prevented and controlled at the organisational level through the application of a systems or comprehensive approach. Despite the extensive evidence in support of systems approaches to job stress intervention, prevalent practice in Victorian workplaces and internationally remains disproportionately focused on individual-level intervention with inadequate attention to the reduction of job stressors.
Download the Executive Summary
Download the Final Report

ISCRR's Chief Research Officer, Dr Alex Collie recently returned to Australia from an extensive six-week international study tour funded by a Churchill Fellowship.

From the UK Wales' Health Information Research Institute at Swansea University, to the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto, Canada, Dr Collie visited a total of 12 international centres of compensation health research excellence.

He has developed strong relationships with several of the centres and gathered vital intelligence built through the 30 or more years that many of these international organisations have been studying the impacts of compensation on work, health and wellbeing. This will give ISCRR collaboration opportunities on an international scale.

Click here to read a more extensive summary of Dr Collie's study tour.

Paul Jennings of Monash University's Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine is the inaugural recipient of an ISCRR Early Career Research Fellowship.

The Fellowship, funded for three years, focuses on developing the research credentials of early career graduates. It has been awarded to Paul who has recently submitted his PhD on the epidemiology of pre-hospital pain and its management. He will lead the ISCRR research project that focuses on persistent pain following transport and work related trauma in Victoria.

"I am a qualified paramedic with practical clinical experience and now want to consolidate my full-time research career," said Paul.

"The ISCRR Fellowship allows me to continue working with preventive medicine, with a strong epidemiology focus and provides the opportunity to work with some of the best researchers in the field from throughout Australia."

Paul was also recently awarded the 2010 Sir Edmund Herring Memorial Scholarship into road trauma prevention presented by the RACV.

The Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR) recently hosted international PhD student from VU University Amsterdam, Ms Nieke Elbers for a day of collaboration and discussion with Chief Research Officer Dr Alex Collie and his team.

Nieke recently published a study which examines the physiological and psychological impact that the compensation process has on those who experience a personal injury and is evaluating the effectiveness of an internet intervention aimed at empowering personal injury claimants.

Click here to read more about Nieke's visit, and to view or download a copy of her paper.


Dr Katherine Lippel holds the Canada Research Chair in Occupational Health and Safety, Ottawa University. ISCRR has arranged for her to present some of their findings on "return to work" interventions.

This seminar is at no cost and will be of interest to WorkSafe Victoria and TAC personnel, unions, employers and researchers interested in supporting the return to work of individuals post injury or illness.

Where: Monash Conference Centre, Level 7, 30 Collins Street, Melbourne
When: Tuesday 11 am, 21 June 2011.

Please RSVP to


Professor John E. Ware has been invited to Australia to conduct a series of seminars and workshops. Professor Ware is Professor and Chief, Outcomes Measurement Science, Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts.

He is internationally recognised as a leader in the field of health care outcomes assessment and is the co-originator of the SF-36 health status instrument. His work has had a substantial impact on health outcomes assessment and quality of life research.

Professor John Ware will be presenting seminars in Australia from 2 May to 10 May 2011.

Current dates and locations are:

  • Sydney 2 May 2011
  • Canberra 3 May 2011
  • Adelaide 5 May 2011
  • Brisbane 6 May 2011

These seminars have been organised by The Australian Health Outcomes Collaboration, University of Wollongong and the Centre for Advances in Epidemiology and IT (The Canberra Hospital).

To register your attendance, please go to and click on the Health Outcomes Series banner.

We will be launching our new Sharepoint system and a new website in the coming weeks. This will enable us conduct "virtual" events, engage in collaborative work with partners both in Australia and internationally, and bring you a wealth of information to support your work in compensation and OHS.

Watch this space!

For more information about expressing interest in ISCRR events or to be added to our eUpdate mailing list, please contact ISCRR's Stakeholder Relations Manager  -
Best wishes,
Margaret Miller
Stakeholder Engagement Manager
Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR)
Level 11, 499 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3004
M: 0457 606 017
P: +61 03 9097 0603