A daily occurrence for me is listen to someone complain about workers comp. Whether it’s an injured worker, an employer, a claims manager, or the person standing behind me in the BWS queue who was once on compo. The blame seems to lie with the “other” person, and the injustice is being perpetrated on whomever I’m speaking with.
So, when James Ellis invited me to go sailing on his yacht with Scott Coleman, John Holt, and Shaun Cronin, I literally jumped at the opportunity to spend time with people who believe in “humanising workers compensation” (check out James’ article), and who have faith that the system is generally good.
The day started with a quick safety briefing (yes, we can all swim). This was followed by my spinning the boat around a complete 360 with James and Scott looking at me with kind eyes and telling me it was “totally fine”, whilst the two of them scrambled to unfurl the sail to prevent a perfect 720. After we (okay, “they”) got us back on track, we talked about compensation, safety, technology, life, love, family, and humanity.
We discussed the merits of the compensation system, but also about the failures of humans who work in and around the system. We learnt about technology and the power of tech to develop an individualised approach to workplace interventions for both safety and injury management. We lamented that some workplaces are inherently dangerous, and safety begins with acknowledging the danger. And, we mused about truly employee-centric workplaces, and recalled examples of workplaces who are walking the walk, and not just ticking the boxes.
We ate mushroom risotto (because, we’re fancy like that), gobbled down Nutella filled doughnuts, and chocolate croissants (because, again, we’re fancy like that), whilst we laughed, and talked passionately about our work and our ideas. I was buoyed and energised by the experience.
There are great people working in compensation and safety who are using their humanity, and their common-sense to improve the lives of workers in an attempt to shape a better system.
Find them and eat doughnuts with them (because, you’re fancy like that).