Action area one

Embedding a health and safety landscape

The Work Health and Safety Roadmap for NSW 2022’s (Roadmap 2022) first action area is to embed a health and safety landscape into every workplace in NSW. This Sector Plan aligns to the Roadmap 2022 and has specific objectives and deliverables for NSW Government workplaces for Action Area I.

Every job is designed to be safe, and has safe practices, controls and outputs
  • Learn - Learn from incidents in the workplace
  • Improve - Improve WHS systems and practices
  • Recover - Improve return to work practices
  • Respond - Respond to changes in technology and practices in the workplace and environment

Leadership from the top

Workplace leaders visibly demonstrate their commitment to work health and safety

In every NSW Government agency:

  • All senior executive level performance reviews reflect WHS and return to work outcomes
  • Each line manager’s Personal Development Plan (PDP) reflect WHS and return to work outcomes
  • Leaders at all levels demonstrate their commitment to WHS by allocating appropriate resources to manage risks
  • All leaders demonstrate their understanding of their Officer Due Diligence obligations
  • Annual reports provide WHS and Recovery at Work performance information (reporting entry level indicators to be developed in consultation with workers)

Organisational safety capability and practices

Each agency has put in place safe systems, procedures, and policies, that translate to safe practices

  • All agencies demonstrate a robust risk management approach, which includes:
    • A process where the important or significant risks are identified and actions are put in place to control these risks
    • Ensuring risks and initiatives are evidence based
    • Ensuring high risks have demonstrated higher level controls
    • Any underpinning lower level controls have accessible procedures in plain language
  • Agencies ensure that any process redesign is accompanied by a risk analysis which includes consultation with those workers affected
  • Each agency conducts a regular review of risks to ensure controls are effective
  • Each agency has an integrated approach to enabling a physical and mentally healthy work environment

Consultation and communication

Workers meaningfully and actively consulted for their expertise. Clear and relevant communication throughout each agency

  • Defined formal consultation structures and commitments are in place in each agency
  • Each agency has clear, documented, and well publicised procedures in place for safety issue resolution and reporting (underpinned by a supportive, positive and productive “just culture”)
  • Consultation arrangements, including those involving Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs), are resourced and HSRs are given adequate training and time to fulfil their duties
  • Consultation arrangements are monitored for effectiveness as part of overall governance
  • Leaders talk formally and informally to workers on safety issues

Worker capability

Workers have the skills and attitudes to work safely

  • Management commitment and resources allocated to enable every position to have the right initial and ongoing training, support and supervision to ensure it is undertaken safely
  • Every worker has WHS outcomes included in their Performance Agreement
  • WHS and return to work competency requirements are identified through risk assessment for each role, and workers are trained to ensure they are competent to carry out their tasks safely
  • Front line people leaders have the skills and capability to support their workers wellbeing

Safe environment

Safe supply chains support and enable a healthy and safe environment

  • Each agency demonstrates:
    • A robust safety audit approach for all existing workplaces; and
    • An integrated design process for roles and workplaces that includes a strong WHS framework (including worker consultation and mentally healthy workplace initiatives)
  • NSW Procurement and each agency have appropriate WHS considerations incorporated into their procurement practices for assets and services (including worker consultation)

Learn – improve – respond

Each agency has a meaningful improvement cycle for its WHS approach

  • Leaders at all levels meet and discuss safety regularly
  • Each agency demonstrates effective testing, evaluation and monitoring with consultation demonstrated by each agency to drive continuous improvement (consultation with workers is an integral part of these processes)
  • WHS is a clear focus of every leadership group (reflected in leadership meeting agendas and reports)
  • Benchmarking and comparative performance is implemented across each agency
  • Each agency has a positive culture of reporting including lead and lag indicators, supported by robust systems

Recover at work

Workers are helped back to work in a timely way that is best for them and for the agency

  • Each agency demonstrates a recover at work system that:
    • Is committed to early intervention
    • Addresses primary and/or secondary mental health risks and issues in a timely manner
    • Identifies and offers opportunities for workers to recover at work (including exploring inter-agency and inter-department opportunities)
    • Ensures each recovering worker has a tailored return to work plan (developed in consultation with the worker)
    • Supports ongoing and appropriate communication with each worker; and
    • In line with relevant guidelines and legislation
  • Recover at work processes to apply to all injured/ill workers regardless of compensable status of the injury/illness
  • Each agency’s policies support strong recover at work practices and reflect the intent of the legislation and relevant guidelines – including the “safe recovery at work” philosophy
  • Return to work performance is benchmarked across agencies and practices leading to good performance are shared
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