In bid to stimulate occupational health and safety (OHS) research, a cash prize competition for researchers will take place at the new Melbourne Convention Centre during the Safety in Action Conference in April, a conference managed by Australian Exhibitions & Conferences .
Peak OHS professional body, the Safety Institute of Australia (SIA), will host a Three Minute Thesis Competition as part of the Safety in Action Conference, in which researchers must present their explanation of the value and potential impact of their studies.
Researchers will also gather at the Safety in Action Conference to launch the SIA Education Chapter Academy of OHS University OHS Education and Research. The first meeting of the Academy will provide a focus for OHS research in Australia, which SIA Education Chapter secretary, Pam Pryor, says is currently highly limited.
"OHS education and OHS research is at a crossroads with threats from various sources, but also great opportunities," says Ms Pryor.
"Part of the threat derives from a lack of agreed strategy and direction for OHS research and little promotion and publicity for the research that is conducted, and therefore a low level application of what is learnt from the OHS research, thus inhibiting improvement in workplace safety and health."
Ms Pryor expects the Safety in Action Conference to produce a discussion paper describing the current state of OHS research in Australia and containing recommendations to enhance research output and quality.
The meeting will also develop a policy for the SIA Education Chapter Academy of OHS University OHS Education and Research that "sets a viable and sustainable basis" for OHS research over the next decade.
Professor Niki Ellis, CEO of Monash University's Institute of Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research, will present the outcomes of the meeting to Safety in Action Conference delegates on April 20.
The Safety Institute of Australia will hold the Safety in Action Conference in partnership with WorkSafe Victoria, concurrently with the Safety In Action trade show in April at the Melbourne Convention Centre.