Updating Results

WorkSafe Victoria

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Joshua Orr

I am fortunate in my role as a WorkSafe Victoria engineer to observe the changes we make to workplaces, and know that what we do is helping Victorian workers get home safely.

What's your job about?

I am currently a WorkSafe Victoria Graduate working within the Specialists, Programs & Licensing Division. Despite our scope of work being quite diverse, we are primarily here to assist in developing safer Victorian workplaces.

Within this division I am part of the Specialist Services Engineering team. Our role is to assist the WorkSafe Victoria inspectorate and other stakeholders by providing expert advice on a range of technical matters. The engineering team itself is comprised of people of many engineering disciplines such as mechanical, civil, structural and electrical.

My work has involved me in many of the major events located here in Melbourne. For instance, I was heavily involved in the MOOMBA Festival, ensuring that all potential risks associated with the rides were mitigated or minimised as much as possible.

The role of an engineer has often meant that I have had to travel to various workplaces around Melbourne and engage with many different stakeholders. Whilst at these workplaces, it is our responsibility to identify any potential hazards or areas of non-compliance in the OHS legislation, as well as propose any necessary risk control measures. As I am currently part of the WorkSafe Victoria Graduate Program, I will also have the opportunity to work with various other parts of the organisation.

What's your background?

I grew up in the small country town of Buninyong, Victoria. Immediately after high school I moved to Geelong to undertake a double degree at Deakin University. Prior to beginning university I had always had an interest in systems engineering, which is why I decided to pursue an electrical major. Whilst exploring my career options, I also learnt that the role of an engineer is very much intertwined with managerial tasks, hence why I chose the double degree.

I have always found the safety aspect of electrical engineering intriguing, and as a result WorkSafe Victoria appealed to me as a potential employer. Initially I chose a management major as an extra to engineering; however the further I went into my degree the more I enjoyed this part of my studies. I now enjoy the managerial tasks as much as the engineering activities, and have ambitions to one day be in a managerial or leadership position.

Outside my tertiary education I have always had an interest in sports. In the past I have been a member of both football and cricket teams. I have also been able to work for the Geelong Football Club. Despite being completely different industries to mine, these experiences have given me many skills which I have been able to translate into my current role at WorkSafe Victoria. They have assisted in me developing resilience, people skills, as well as leadership credentials.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

To some extent, yes. Although there is an element of technical knowledge required, the role of an engineer also involves strong critical thinking skills, communication, collaboration and the ability to develop stakeholder relationships. With a strong work ethic, I’m sure the technical skills will eventually develop.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The aspect of my current role which I find most satisfying is the implementation of risk control measures across various workplaces. I am fortunate in my role as a WorkSafe Victoria engineer to observe the changes we make to workplaces, and know that what we do is helping Victorian workers get home safely. Our actions can often have flow on effects throughout a particular industry to. Having the ability to develop this strong safety culture throughout an industry is another element of the role which is very rewarding. Working at big events such as the Grand Prix is also rather cool!

What are the limitations of your job?

Engineers at WorkSafe Victoria bear a rather large responsibility when providing expert advice. In the event a business or organisation disputes the information we have provided, an engineer can often be asked to justify their reasoning in court.

The workload of an engineer itself fluctuates much like any other profession. Majority of the work we do is response based hence there may be periods where the workload is quite strenuous, and other times it is manageable. We are often asked to attend a variety of workplaces throughout Melbourne and suburbs, which can result in lengthy time periods outside the office.

Pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Step outside your comfort zone – I know this is easier said than done! I have pushed myself to do this a number of times and as a result I am a much better person for it. It’s amazing what you can discover about yourself when you try something new
  • Engage with stakeholders – Begin developing your professional network as early as possible. They are an invaluable resource, and can assist greatly in future opportunities and your personal and professional development
  • Keep on persevering – I probably can’t emphasise this enough. Things quite often don’t go to plan, however try not to see this as an obstacle, rather a speed bump. A strong work ethic is a necessity