Waste recycling project survey summary 2016-2017


The aim of this program was to undertake workplace visits to increase awareness of the SafeWork NSW role, increase community engagement and improve regulatory compliance.

The focus was on waste recycling facilities in the Metro South area only.

SafeWork NSW inspectors from the Metro South team delivered a staged approach to compliance in accordance with the National Compliance and Enforcement Policy by:

  • Conducting a health and safety verification on key focus areas
  • Providing advice and education to business on key industry risks/issues
  • Providing advice on SafeWork NSW priority areas

Approximately 36 visits were undertaken by SafeWork NSW inspectors from the Metro South team during August and October 2016.

Purpose of the survey

SafeWork NSW engaged an external contractor Jetty Research in December 2016 to undertake a post intervention telephone survey for SafeWork to obtain knowledge and insight after the SafeWork targeted project visits.


To obtain post-intervention business intelligence about the ability and capacity to effectively manage the risk associated with:

  • Traffic Management and High Risk Work licence check
  • Falls from heights
  • Falling objects
  • Asbestos management
  • Inclement weather
  • Plant
  • Recover at work
  • GHS
  • Products or services needed from SafeWork NSW to achieve compliance


The respondents were 24 participants via in-depth telephone interviews.

From the 24 telephone surveys that were conducted:

  • 70 per cent had previous contact with SafeWork NSW
  • 61 per cent received a notice as a result of the visit
  • 61 per cent were from the recycling industry
  • 48 per cent were Managers
  • 48 per cent represented businesses with one to 19 employees

Survey results

The respondents identified the major hazards as:

  • Moving vehicles or plant
  • Traffic management
  • Safety of machinery
  • Asbestos electrical and manual handling
  • Dangerous goods and dust

As a result of the visit by SafeWork NSW:

  • 70 per cent of respondents made changes including engineering controls introduced or revised, changes to the physical environment, maintenance or replacement of equipment
  • 70 per cent of respondents are more capable of identifying and controlling risks
  • 57 per cent of respondents now have an awareness of the risks associated with their business

Respondents were aware of and had accessed the SafeWork website (83 per cent), fact sheets and publications (74 per cent), information packs (65 per cent), information centre (26 per cent) and webinars (13 per cent).

91 per cent of respondents said that in the future would be likely to use fact sheets and publications, safety rebate and email newsletter (84 per cent), video safety alerts and industry specific information packs (65 per cent), mentor program (52 per cent), industry association presentations (48 per cent) and industry specific webinars (30 per cent).

Overall, it appears that the intervention and engagement activities were appropriate and met the intent of increasing awareness of SafeWork and improving regulatory compliance in the waste industry.

  • 95 per cent of respondents agreed that the SafeWork officer appeared competent
  • 95 per cent of respondents agreed that the service provided by SafeWork met their needs
  • 91 per cent of respondents agreed that the interaction was valuable and worthwhile

Further information

A copy of the full report is available by contacting gipa@safework.nsw.gov.au.

While this work has been undertaken according to valid and rigorous methodology, SafeWork NSW acknowledges that any such research is only the perceptions and actions of a sample of the broader population, so the findings must be taken in context with knowledge of our customers and influences on the way we do our work.
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