School of Property, Construction & Project Management
On November 16, 150 people gathered in Storey Hall at RMIT University for the event Celebrating the Work of Andrew Hopkins. This all day seminar heard from 12 speakers covering government, industry, academia and safety professionals regarding Andrew’s work and influence across a wide range of sectors. Judith Hackitt, Chair of the UK Health and Safety Executive said, ‘Andrew has provided a bedrock of knowledge which can be used by regulators, governments, industry and individual companies to help save lives, reduce business inefficiencies and risks.’ Bill Hoyle from the US Chemical Safety Board spoke about Andrew’s influence in the US, in particular his work on the organisational causes for the BP Texas City and Macondo disasters and his advice on effective safety regulation. Santos CEO David Knox told several anecdotes about the way in which Andrew’s work helped him understand the link between his leadership and safety outcomes in the field. The day concluded with a reply from Andrew in which he traced the origins of the workplace health and safety movement through the second half of the 20th century, contrasting today’s attitudes with a time in which workplace deaths were seen as an inevitable price to be paid for construction of major infrastructure.
The event does not mark Andrew’s complete retirement from academic work. He retains his adjunct professorial appointment with PCPM and an active interest in our research on organisational safety.
Organised by Jan Hayes, the event was sponsored by PCPM, the Energy Pipelines CRC, the Safety Institute of Australia and CCH Publishing.
Author: Dr Jan Hayes
Image: RMIT PCPM. Pictured Left to Right: Bill Hoyle, Kym Bills, Andrew Hopkins, Judith Hackitt and Peter Wilkinson