Insights on safety from the rising star recipient

Why PhD student is putting the spotlight on secondary victims

Insights on safety from the rising star recipient

In a recent interview on Canadian Occupational Safety Television (COSTV), Alyssa Grocutt, a PhD candidate at Queen's University's Smith School of Business, shared her insights on the often-overlooked issue of secondary victims in workplace incidents. Grocutt, who was recently honored with the Minerva Rising Star Award at Canada's Safest Employers Awards, emphasized the importance of recognizing and supporting those affected by workplace safety incidents beyond the immediate victims.

Recognizing the significance of the award

Upon receiving the Minerva Rising Star Award, Grocutt expressed her deep gratitude, stating, "This award means so much to me beyond professional reasons. This award is very personally meaningful to me." She went on to share that her passion for promoting workplace safety began at the age of 11, when her father passed away from a workplace accident. She says being recognized for her work in this field is a dream come true.

A call to spark a conversation

Grocutt's focus extends beyond personal accolades, as she hopes her award can "spark a conversation around the secondary victims of safety incidents." She believes attention needs to be directed towards the family members, friends, coworkers, and leaders who are all affected by safety incidents. She underlined her commitment to raising awareness about the impact of these incidents on secondary victims.

Supporting secondary victims

In her research, Grocutt delves into the impact of workplace incidents on secondary victims, and she offered valuable advice to safety leaders on how to better support these individuals. "We need to consider these groups more and how we can support them," she stated. She urged safety professionals to work towards finding ways to provide emotional and psychological support resources to secondary victims, emphasizing the importance of this aspect of workplace safety.

Advice for aspiring safety professionals

When asked about advice for aspiring safety professionals, Grocutt highlighted the value of getting involved in the safety profession. She suggested attending symposiums and conferences focused on safety as an excellent way to learn, connect with other safety professionals, and make a meaningful contribution.

Threads of Life - a vital resource

She also encouraged individuals to explore organizations like Threads of Life, a charity dedicated to supporting families of workplace tragedies. Grocutt says Threads of Life is a fantastic organization and highlighted the impactful work they do in the field of workplace safety.

Grocutt’s dedication to promoting workplace safety and shedding light on the plight of secondary victims is commendable. Her passion for sparking a conversation around this vital issue serves as an inspiration to the safety community.