Work health and safety roadmap for next decade
23 Feb 2023|
By Jennifer Low, Director of Health and Safety Policy
Australia’s new 10-year Work Health and Safety (WHS) Strategy aims to ensure safe and healthy workplaces for all Australians, setting out a clear, unifying goal to reduce worker fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. The new strategy builds on the progress made over the past decade in responding to persistent WHS challenges and enhancing the regulatory framework to reduce harm. Although injury and fatality rates have declined over the last decade, progress has slowed, and Australia has more work to do in improving WHS outcomes.
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, through its involvement with Safe Work Australia, is a proud partner in creating the strategy.
The strategy aims to embed good WHS practices across all industries. To achieve this, it identifies eight targets:
- worker fatalities caused by traumatic injuries by 30 per cent
- the frequency rate of serious claims resulting in one or more weeks off work by 20 per cent
- the frequency rate of claims resulting in permanent impairment by 15 per cent
- the overall incidence of work-related injury or illness among workers to below 3.5 per cent
- the frequency rate of work-related respiratory diseases by 20 per cent
- No new cases of accelerated silicosis by 2033
And action to:
- increase the awareness of persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) about their duty to protect workers from exposure to harmful substances
- build the capability of PCBUs, regulators and workers to ensure compliance with the duty to manage psychosocial hazards at work
To achieve these targets, the strategy relies on enablers including:
- information and awareness
- health and safety leadership
- compliance and enforcement
- data and intelligence gathering
- innovation and deepening knowledge of WHS to broaden understanding
The strategy acknowledges the changes in industry and the nature of work, increasing integration and exposure to global trade, and rapid adoption of digital technology from small businesses through to multinationals.
The Australian government, industry, workers, and their representatives need to work together to create safe and healthy work. The strategy demonstrates the commitment of all parties to work co-operatively to drive continual improvements in Australia’s WHS performance.
More information about the strategy can be found here.
Read the Media Release here.