Risk management in a safety dependent environment – an embodied approach

Dr Melenie Ross1
1Gabben Consulting, Vacy, Australia


Safety dependent learning environments are those were learners are routinely exposed to safety hazards and risk. Such environments require effective control measures to be implemented to reduce the likelihood and impact of safety related incidents.

Despite the most robust risk management framework, safety related incidents still occur due to a number of factors. Within some safety dependent learning environments, the nature of learning itself has an increased element of safety risk, whilst others introduce elements of safety risk as a result of the unique contexts where learning occurs.

Drawing on research in the vocational context, and applying a model of knowledge partnerships, this presentation will explore the knowledge required to connect theory and practice where safety risk management is a key consideration in the learning environment. Forming parallels between safety dependent vocational education and outdoor learning, the role of embodied learning to simulate specific situations is examined as an approach for developing a sense of noticing and knowing within the learning environment, leading to authentic, safe, experiences.

Melenie has over 20 years experience in Adult and Vocational Education, in both the public and private sector. Her doctoral research focused on the role of safety risk management within safety dependent vocations. When not working, Melenie is out exploring the forests and mountains in the Hunter Valley region on her heritage stock horse, Baritone

About OEA and Outdoors NSW

Outdoor Education Australia (OEA)  was established in 2006 as a national network of outdoor education associations. The organisation facilitates communication between state and territory outdoor education associations about the practice and delivery of outdoor education; advocates for outdoor education across primary, secondary and tertiary education; and provides policy advice.

Outdoors NSW is the go-to place for all things outdoors in NSW.

The peak body for the outdoors in NSW, the organisation, (formerly known as ORIC), represents the outdoor community, advances outdoor standards, safety and practices, and fosters greater participation in the outdoors.

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