Episode Summary

Welcome back to the Safety of Work podcast. On today’s episode, we discuss how you perform ethnographic interviews.

Episode Notes

We have had a couple of requests for this topic, so even though we couldn’t find a completely suitable paper, we decided to forge ahead anyway.


  • Explaining Ethnography.
  • Why safety can be politically motivated.
  • Starting your conversations with a personal connection.
  • Why the setting of your conversation matters.
  • How to keep your subjects talking.
  • Setting boundaries.
  • How to react when the interviewee is wrong.


“…Reflect on all these one-on-one conversations that they had everyday in their workplace and how they could utilize these one-on-one engagements to get better insights and better information that they can use to improve the safety of work in their own organization.”

“The second main principle is to get the interviewee talking and to keep them talking.”

“I can’t think of another skill that is more useful, Drew, in your role as a safety professional than knowing how to ask good questions.”


Geldard, D., Geldard, K., & Foo, R. Y. (2017).  Basic Personal Counselling: A Training Manual for Counsellors  Cengage AU.

Symon, G., & Cassell, C. (Eds.). (2012). Qualitative Organizational Research: Core Methods and Current Challenges Sage.