She joins us at Acting Up to highlight the academic relevance of our methods. Her studies have taken her through an Applied Psychology degree at Heriot-Watt University and now a Masters in Human Resource Management with The University of Edinburgh, Business School. June 2015 Interview, conducted by Clare Cockburn.

AU:  Emmanuelle, what pulled you and your studies in our direction? 

ES: I am interested in system safety, the cause and effect of disasters and the part of human error in health and safety.
I feel as if there is a real fit between what I am studying and the message behind Acting Up.  The work here really connects with me.
I couldn’t believe that there could be a job that combines HR and psychology, because that was exactly what I was looking for.  I am fascinated by the catalogue of errors that can lead to a disaster and I want to examine the relevance of the work at Acting Up on Health and Safety.
AU: You sat in on our recent diageo sessions. can you feedback how your saw acting up help to support the workforce?
ES: Yes, we used Gail’s shoes as our Live Stimulus.  I watched as the shock factor blew away the audience who had been prepared for another grey day of health and safety awareness boredom.  The immediate impact was silence, shock, amazement, then a dawning realization of hard hitting relevance and evidence.
AU: Wow! Strong stuff... In what way did it affect them?
ES: Emma takes you into a slice of Gail’s life – and piece by piece the audience unravels what has happened.  I watched with interest the range of emotions that rippled around the audience.
With the workshops after the story, the groups get to reflect on their own behavior and it becomes obvious if they are a distant member or an active member. 
I like it when people open up and say what they really think.  They can say what they feel without fear.  The sessions allow for a degree of comfort and people had a lot to say.
Because the material is so gritty, I felt that Emma was creating an atmosphere of honesty amongst the participants.  It is really out of the box of the norm.  Acting Up gives the workforce a voice, and creates a better, healthier working environment.  This then creates better workforce -management relations.
AU: As a psychology student with an interest in driving safety, how do you see au as a relevant, must have health and safety resource for the corporate sector?
ES: If you are trying to create a safety culture, you need to create a safe place to share thoughts and feelings.  If you want a committed, engaged workforce then transcending the barrier between workforce and management is so important and this is worth investing in.

"Engaged employees were five times less likely than non engaged employees to have a safety incident" (Molson Coors in Mello, 2015)

Mello, J., A., 2014. Strategic Human Resource Management. 4th Ed. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.