Our Associates

Our team of 11 Associates provide quality, client focused, client driven consulting services in all areas of Occupational Health and Safety. They are selected from the top technical experts in their field across Australia.

Technical services cover areas of ergonomics, manual handling, equipment and facility design evaluation, plant safety, hazardous substances, bullying and occupational violence, occupational psychology, legislation evaluation, risk management, management systems, asbestos audits, policy and procedure writing, working at heights, stress management.

Adjunct Professor David Caple

David has been an independent OHS consultant with 36 years in private consulting plus 10 years in corporate and research employment.

His technical experience includes OHS and ergonomics / Human Factors research projects in Sweden, Hong Kong, USA, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and the UK, as well as OHS management projects in Australian funded by the Australian and state governments as well as the private sector.

Activities primarily involve industry-level research and consulting as well as training, strategy development and legal briefings for a range of large and small companies. These projects involve collaborations with government, employers and trade unions.

In 2018 David was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s birthday honours. 

Phone: 0419 339 268
Email: david@caple.com.au

Technical Qualifications
  • BSc (Hons), DipEd, MSc (Erg) UK

  • Past President, International Ergonomics Association (IEA)

  • Fellow, IEA

  • Fellow, HFESA Australia

  • Fellow and Chartered Member, Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors

  • Fellow, Ergonomics Society Sweden

  • Member, Human Factors Society USA

  • Certified Ergonomist, Australia

  • Certified Professional Ergonomist, USA

  • Senior OHS Auditor, Australia

  • Adjunct Professor, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia since 2004

  • Past Senior Research Fellow, Federation University, Ballarat, Australia

  • Past President, International Ergonomics Association (IEA) 2006–2009; executive member 2006–2012
  • Conducted industry-based OHS consulting in petrochemical, meat, automotive, retail, mining, health, banking, aged care, manufacturing, hospitality, communications, prisons, airlines and public-sector industries
  • Researched Australian OHS issues for Safe Work Australia and state governments
    Evaluated OHS legislation, including cost benefit studies for state governments
    Trained OHS managers, supervisors, OHS representatives and employees in several industry sectors
  • Provided expert witness advice in court cases and with Fair Work Australia
    Developed OHS strategy plans for major employers and government departments
  • Provided technical OHS advice to European Union and US Congress hearings
    Liaison Officer on ergonomics development with the International Labour Organization, International Organisation for Standards and World Health Organization
  • Independent member of Victorian Government WorkSafe OHS Advisory committee for 15 years appointed by the Minister and judge of OHS Awards for WorkSafe Victoria.
  • Author and reviewer of peer-reviewed journals and presenter at more than 30 international conferences
  • Facilitator of public consultation for the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy – 2012 to 2022 and the ACCC review on quad bike fatalities 2018
    Host of the online TV series for Safe Work Australia in 2014 and 2015 on emerging WHS issues in Australia
  • Independent investigator on OHS Leadership for Singapore Government with top 20 CEOs
  • Project leader for the Australian Government on OHS impacts of introduction and subsequent removal of the equivalent carbon price for SGGs and also on the OHS implications from the recycling of e-waste
  • Conducted industry-based OHS risk assessments on emerging issues including bullying, family violence, manual handling, workload management, stress, working at heights, occupational violence, plant design, supply chains and development of OHS management systems
  • Independent ergonomics advisor for Activity Based Work projects involving Green Star accreditation for Government and private companies across Australia and developer of workplace design standards
  • Independent review of occupational violence in school education for the ACT government
  • Independent review on workload and stress for the Chief Magistrate of Victoria for the Magistrates Court

Rick Hodgson

Rick has been an independent OHS consultant with 28 years in private consulting.

Technical experience includes ergonomic research projects in Australian funded by Safe Work Australia, WorkSafe, public utilities and the private sector. Activities primarily involve industry level consulting, management system development and evaluation, training, strategy development and planning.

Phone: 0416 256 627
Email: rick@inspire.com.au

Technical Qualifications
  • Assoc. Dip. Applied Biology RMIT
  • B. App. Sc. (Physio), Lincoln Institute
  • Grad. Dip. (Ergonomics) Latrobe University
  • Member, Human Factors & Ergonomics Society of Australia
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
  • Conducted industry based OHS consulting in meat, automotive, retail, education, chemical, manufacturing, hospitality, telecommunications, finance, airlines, transport and local, state and federal government sector industries.
  • Researched Australian OHS issues for both public and private industries at national and state levels.
  • Evaluated OHS legislation, including cost benefit studies for State Governments.
  • Trained OHS managers, supervisors, OHS reps and employees in most industry and government sectors.
  • Developed and evaluated safety management systems for international, national, state and local organisations in government, health, emergency services, oil and gas, mining, building and construction, manufacturing and food processing sectors.
  • Developed strategic policies and implemented OHS management programs for a number of industry sectors in a range of focus area.
  • Developed strategic OHS training packages including contractor management, fatigue management, management of volunteers, job safety analysis, manual handling and OHS management to diploma level.
  • Developed, implemented and evaluated injury management and injury prevention programs for a range of industry sectors, including office and manufacturing environments, emergency services, local and state government departments.
  • Undertaken workplace audits, inspections and task based assessments in most industry and government environments.

Tony Payne

Tony is a qualified Mechanical Engineer who has specialist qualifications and experience in hazard management and ergonomics.

Through his working career Tony has facilitated the introduction of OHS Management Systems and participated in OHS auditing. He has conducted numerous public liability risk assessments in the outdoor environment and undertaken a variety of ergonomics evaluations in transport, mining, fabrication and the packaging industries.

Tony now specialises in conducting risk assessments on machinery and manual tasks. Throughout his career he has been required to develop and present a wide range of training courses on his specialist areas.

Phone: 0409 987 167
Email: riskybiz@netspace.net.au 

Technical Qualifications
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) 1978 –Melbourne University
  • Graduate Diploma of Occupational Hazard Management 1982 – Ballarat College of Advanced Education (Ballarat University)
  • Graduate Diploma of Ergonomics 1987 – Lincoln Institute (Latrobe University)
    Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia – Certified Professional Ergonomist
  • Safety Institute of Australia, CPMSIA, RSP (Aust)
    Cert IV – Workplace Training and Assessment,
  • Consultancy on plant safety, manual handling risk assessment
  • Development, implementation of OHS Improvement programs.
  • Ergonomics studies
  • Hazard assessment programs
  • Noise and general OHS evaluations in abattoirs
  • Manual handling reviews in petrochemical, vegetable, manufacturing industries
  • Delivery of Construction Induction safety training, Job Safety Planning, Leadership in Safety courses
  • HFESA representative on the Australian Standards Committee for AS4024 Safety of Machinery

Andrew Meerman

Andrew is an outcome focused OHS professional, with 28 years+ experience developing and implementing whole of business health and safety strategies, programs and systems.

Demonstrated ability to engage stakeholders and establish a unifying purpose to achieve business health and safety objectives.

Andrew has broad business management skills and experience base underpinned by deep technical knowledge, collaborative working style combined with disciplined project management skills.

Phone: 0415 637 245
Email: ameerman@tpg.com.au

Technical Qualifications

Formal qualifications in Engineering, Occupational Hygiene and Ergonomics provide a broad foundation of technical knowledge in the occupational health & safety/risk management fields.


  • Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering [First Class Honours], Melbourne University 1980
  • Masters of Engineering Science [Human Factors], Melbourne University 1982
  • Graduate Diploma of Occupational Hygiene, Deakin University 1987
  • Graduate Diploma of Ergonomics, Latrobe University 1985
  • Extensive occupational health and safety consulting experience with broad range of private industry and public sector organisations, establishing long-term partnership relationships. The opportunity to work with many organisations in a consulting capacity has provided valuable insight and learning with regard to effective performance improvement strategies that consider organisational factors such as culture, leadership and business context/drivers.
  • Design, development and implementation of health and safety management systems for organisations including: Linfox, Yarra Valley Water, Honeywell, WorkCover Victoria, Industry Superannuation Property Trust, Victorian Education Department, various councils. Critical success factors for achievement of business objectives related to the establishment of effective accountability frameworks, clear/pragmatic implementation plans, aligned leadership behaviours, employee engagement and communication.
  • Broad experience in the implementation, maintenance and review of OHS management systems to meet self-insurance requirements in various jurisdictions. Appointed by Comcare to undertake Licensee audits of self-insured organisations under the Commonwealth scheme as part of the license renewal process. Worked closely with the following organisations to attain or maintain self-insurance status: Linfox, Coles Group/Wesfarmers, Melbourne University, Telstra, Australia Post, UNSW.
  • Development and facilitation of OHS strategic plans for organisations including AGL, AMSA, ISPT, Linfox, Just Group.
  • The engagement of stakeholders in establishing common understanding of the current OHS position/performance of the organisation and improvement priorities was a critical element of the strategic planning process.
  • Established strategic relationships with regulators and led/coordinated major consultancy projects for key regulators including Comcare [Self Insurance Licensee Audit Program]; Workcover Victoria [Development of Contractor Safety Management Guidelines]; Workcover NSW [Audit Program of 10 Major Government Departments]
  • Project director and manager of whole business OHS audit and compliance programs to meet self-insurance, governance and business requirements.
  • Strategic analysis of audit data provided executive management with appropriate performance information including high-level improvement strategies and operational personnel with baseline data on strengths, weaknesses and improvement requirements. Organisations included: Telstra, Coles/Wesfarmers, AGL, ANZ, Ramsay Health, WorkCover NSW, Australia Post and Leighton.
  • Extensive risk management experience considering broad range of hazard categories and industry settings. This capability has been developed using recognised methodologies, strong technical understanding of risk issues and collaboration with stakeholders to establish practical risk control strategies.
  • Development and implementation of safety leadership programs for a range of organisations incorporating board/executive management workshop forums, identification of appropriate leadership behaviours & supporting actions, establishment of relevant leadership KPI’s. Organisations include: Rocla, AGL, Comcare, Optus, Just Group
  • Proven and energetic leader/manager with a track record in developing and growing a national risk management consulting group of 220 employees and revenues of $30M per annum. Highly experienced in leading management/project teams to drive improvement and deliver results in a professional services environment.
  • High-level commercial and business management skills gained from experience in executive management positions provides valuable insight and credibility in working with internal and external stakeholders in achieving corporate objectives.

    Fiona Begg

    Fiona is an independent OHS consultant with 19 years in private consulting plus 10 years’ experience with WorkSafe Victoria. Fiona has also held a permanent part time role with Melbourne Health as Senior OHS Consultant for the last 19 years.

    Technical experience includes a range of ergonomic & OHS projects funded by the Australian and State Governments as well as the private sector. Activities involve industry level research and consulting as well as OHS assessment, training and strategy development and for a range of large and small companies.

    Fiona has been involved in drafting several publications on behalf of WorkSafe Victoria. She has also assisted the Victorian Auditor Generals’ Office to undertake an audit of OHS risk in Victorian public hospitals.

    Phone: 0438 599 079
    Email: fiona.begg@bigpond.com 

    Technical Qualifications
    • Bachelor Applied Science (Occupational Therapy)
    • Graduate Diploma in Ergonomics
    • Occupational Health Practice Certificate
    • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Certificate
      Accredited Occupational Therapist, Australian Association of OTs
    • Certified Professional Ergonomist, Human Factors & Ergonomics Society of Australia

    Fiona has a particular interest in 

    Ergonomics: Injury prevention, manual handling, overuse injuries, workplace design, office safety.

    Health & Community Sector: OHS management systems; Manual Handling and No Lift programs.

    Workplace Design: Occupational health and safety and workplace design


    • Conducted industry based OHS consulting in health and aged care, community and disability sectors
    • Researched OHS issues for WorkSafe Victoria and ASCC
      Trained OHS managers, supervisors, OHS reps, and employees in a range of industry sectors
    • Provided technical OH&S and ergonomics advice to a variety of government and private sector organisations
    • Developed guidance material for WorkSafe Victoria.

    Mike Atherton

    Experience includes ergonomics training projects for a number of State Government and Private organisations. These projects have involved the research, planning and implementation of various Health and Safety training programs such as risk management, health promotion and manual handling.

    Technical Qualifications
    • B. App. Sci. (Human Movement), Ballarat University
    • Grad. Dip. (Ergonomics), La Trobe University
    • Train the Trainer, Sheppard Consulting Group
    • Certified Professional Ergonomist, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia
    • Organised and conducted a Health training program to the drivers, dispatch workers, administration and line managers. This program contained topics such as Health and Fitness, Ergonomics, Hazard Identification, Manual Handling and broad issues of WHS.

    • Developed and delivered a fitness assessment program for the mechanics of the Vehicle Maintenance Department. This included health and fitness training and the importance of warm-up exercises to
      demonstrate the value of personal responsibility in physical fitness and injury prevention.

    • Organised and conducted a health education program for the Parks and Gardens Department for the Melbourne City Council. This involved working with other specialist consultants to successfully implement the program. I conducted topics on cardiovascular fitness and exercise testing and

    • Conduct WHS audits and inspections of work locations including remote sites around Australia

    • Trained WHS managers, supervisors, OHS reps and employees in The Health Care Industry, Banking and Finance, Energy, and Large Government Administration sectors.

    • Developed Occupational Health and Safety Procedure information, guidance and references for a range of large private and public organisations.

    • Implemented the Risk Management Process of Identification, Assessment and Control of Safety Hazards for a number of organisations.

    • Developed Manual Handling Training tools and documents for a range of organisations.

    • Conducted Ergonomic Evaluations of Vehicle design to assist in the selection of vehicles for a number of private and government organisations.

    • Assisted in the design and modification of large office workplaces. This involved designing for ergonomic principles such as lighting and noise as well as workstations, chairs and discussion areas.

    • Worked with Architects in designing reception counters, student lecture theatres and study areas.

    • Designed and installed a library book returns bay for a large Melbourne University to minimise the manual handling injuries resulting from highly repetitive processing of library books.

    •  Currently conducts approximately 250 workplace assessments per year, and have worked with over 180 organisations to minimise exposure to workplace hazards. Some of these organisations include:

      Arnotts, Arup, Australian Psychological Society, Australand, Australian Ballet, Avexa, Aviva, Biota, Bovis Lend Lease, Business Council of Australia, CFMEU, Citipower, CSIRO, CSL Limited, Delfin, Dept of Defence.

    Sharon Herbstreit

    Sharon has worked for David Caple & Associates Pty Ltd for over 23 years as the office manager, and executive assistant to David Caple.

    Sharon schedules training programs, organises travel, accommodation and appointments for David Caple and the team of Associates. She ensures the smooth running of DCA and types first class reports for the team.

    Executive Assistant
    Email: sharon@caple.com.au