WhyWork® Podcast | Professional adult content | Sponsored by ViVA health at work

S04-E05: To live is to be anxious, especially in the toxic workplace

WARNING: Suicide is mentioned in this episode

Trajce introduces the idea of psychosocial factors causing work-related mental health disorders and psychological injury claims in a case in Victoria that led to the regulator’s prosecution of the workplace. Alan reminds us that in this case the worker committed suicide, and even though this was not found to be directly related to the workplace dynamics, the prosecution fine was significant. “This case,” Alan recalls, “demonstrates that the public sector is not immune to prosecution, even one that is a body of the administration of the courts.

Trajce speaks on Brodie’s law, Victorian anti-bullying legislation, commenced in June 2011 that made serious workplace bullying a criminal offence, punishable by up to 10 years in jail. The courts instituted this law after the tragic suicide of a young woman, Brodie Panlock, who was subjected to relentless bullying at work.

Sara introduces the idea of the ‘Enduring Impact’ of good design, the new ‘EI’, instead of ‘Emotional Intelligence’, she discusses the ‘Enduring Impact’ of design strategy (albeit work design strategists and regulators may view these approaches as emotionally intelligent management approaches). She urges workplaces to synthesise codes of practices and ISO standards that educate on hazard types in an integrated whole-of-person and work system design practice, recognising who is most vulnerable in the workplace and what circumstances cause vulnerability among workers, especially when “To Live is to Be Anxious” she posits.

This episode aligns well with Season 01 Episode 05: Kozarov and the need for purpose.

Tip: Here are resources on recovery-oriented language.