Griffith University organisational psychologist Dr Tristan Casey has been awarded an Advance Queensland Fellowship to help key employment sectors develop resilience amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In collaboration with QUT and three industry partners from the hospitality, transportation, and manufacturing industries — sectors which have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 — the fellowship will identify safety risks emerging during the pandemic, pinpoint the most effective responses, and how organisations can create resilience and success under demanding conditions.

“Work life has changed dramatically for Queenslanders in this pandemic,’’ Dr Casey said.

“At the frontline, service workers are exposed to the risk of infection and transmission. Many are struggling to prioritise, manage, and respond.

“Organisations must identify which existing health and safety processes and practices can be used to control emerging and unexpected physical and psychological risks, as well as capitalise on opportunities to innovate.”

The research team will interview safety managers across the three industry sectors monthly for six months throughout the pandemic to inform development of the toolkits.

“These will be practically relevant tools that enable organisations to capture live data on emerging challenges and the effectiveness of their responses. Tools will also facilitate resilience, for example, through leadership and teams training packages, communication guidelines, and resilience assessments.

“The fellowship will improve Queenslanders’ capability to stay safe and ‘thrive’ under adversity, so they are better equipped to sustain successful performance under demanding crisis conditions now, and into the future.”

Dr Tristan Casey is a lecturer at Griffith University’s Safety Science Innovation Lab and co-founder of ‘The Culture Effect’–a collaboration between Griffith and QUT that provides commercial research services to industry.