Work health and safety roadmap 2022
A six year strategy that aims to protect workers from harm, reduce unnecessary compliance costs and secure safety standards in NSW workplaces - Revised in August 2018Scroll to next section
The Work health and safety roadmap for NSW 2022 (roadmap) is aimed at everyone to enable the continued decline in fatalities and serious injuries and illnesses in NSW. It sets out agreed priorities to keep safety simple while focusing on the important risks that will reduce harm.
NSW is consistently the nation’s leading economy. Our workplaces are the engine room of our state’s economic success.
Key to this success is the need to embed a new ‘Health and Safety Landscape’ in workplaces across NSW. That requires a cultural shift in our state – entrenching the idea that work health and safety is the responsibility of each and every one of us. This is a key challenge for our state, presented by this Work Health and Safety Roadmap.
The Roadmap demonstrates SafeWork NSW’s commitment to ‘right touch’ regulatory approaches through collaboration, innovation and expertise. It is also an example of the NSW Government’s reform agenda: protecting workers from harm whilst increasing the competitiveness and confidence of business.
With a greater focus on innovation and data analytics, SafeWork NSW will be empowered to lead the nation as a smarter and more targeted work health and safety regulator.
This Roadmap outlines a range of initiatives all aimed at making the lives of workers and business owners healthier, safer and more productive. The Government can’t do this alone – it is a responsibility of all of us.
I want to thank all those who have had input into this important process and I encourage you to come on this journey and help us meet the challenges ahead.
Hon. Victor Dominello MP
Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation
Let's talk safety
The Work Health and Safety Roadmap for NSW 2022 is a six year strategy for NSW. The Roadmap was launched in August 2016 and following a review to determine its continued relevance, it has been updated in August 2018.
Our aims are to protect against harm, reduce unnecessary compliance costs and secure safety standards. In our first 12 months, we have consulted widely with stakeholders to agree a path towards our shared vision of healthy, safe and productive lives.
Here we set out the ‘Roadmap’ that shows the way forward not only for SafeWork NSW, but for every stakeholder, employer and worker in NSW. This collaborative agreement, which keeps safety simple while focusing on the important issues, is a first for our state.
It calls out the critical elements at the heart of a Health and Safety Landscape:
- committed leadership
- good safety practices
- safe design and supply chains
- skilled workers who look out for each other.
By establishing a clear vision, action areas and targets, the Roadmap is focusing on reducing harms that cause the greatest risk to health and safety while supporting ease to do and stay in business in NSW.
Healthy, safe, and productive working lives
NSW is making good progress
Meeting national targets
In NSW we have met and exceeded the national targets:
- fatalities - a 20% decline* in worker fatalities due to injury
- serious injuries and illnesses - a 30% decline* in the incidence rate of claims**
- serious musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses - a 30% decline* in the incidence rate of claims**.
More ambitious targets have been set
By 2022 NSW aims to achieve the following results:
- fatalities - a 30% decline* in worker fatalities due to injury
- serious injuries and illnesses - a 50% decline* in the incidence rate of claims**
- serious musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses - a 50% decline* in the incidence rate of claims**.
*The reductions will be measured against baselines in the Australian WHS Strategy 2022. See page 17 of Roadmap.
**Resulting in one or more weeks off work
More to do
The impact of workplace harms is too high:
- 62 worker fatalities in NSW in 2017
- 32,998 workplace injuries and illnesses in NSW during 2016/17
Many hot spots require further improvement
Agriculture / Health care / Transport / Construction / Manufacturing / Government / Manual handling / Falls from heights / Unsafe use of quad bikes and forklifts / Working live with electricity / Traumatic injury from poorly guarded machinery / Mental stress / Exposure to hazardous chemicals and materials.
Comparing to other Australian jurisdictions
From 2011-16 NSW had the highest number of fatalities based on a five year average with the 3rd lowest fatality rate.
In 2015/16 NSW had the third highest incidence rate, however had the second largest reduction since 2011/12.
The strategy has three action areas to deliver a set of outcomes
A new WHS Landscape
Embed the Health and Safety Landscape in NSW workplaces.
Key priority areas
Prioritise sectors, harms, workers and workplaces where the most significant WHS risks exist.
Build better services
Build exemplar regulatory services.
A new WHS Landscape
NSW workplaces will be managing health and safety effectively.
Key priority areas
Workers in specified high risk sectors will be safer and healthier.
Chosen high impact harms will be eliminated or significantly reduced.
At risk workers will be supported and protected.
High risk workplaces will meet compliance standards.
Build better services
We will be customer focused to make it easier to manage health and safety.
We will be a credible, innovative and influential regulator driven by data and evidence.
3 WHS landscape
Embed the ‘health and safety landscape’ in NSW workplaces to ensure every job is designed to be safe
Health and safety landscape
Embed the ‘Health and safety landscape’ in NSW workplaces to ensure every job is designed to be safe.
Key elements of the landscape
The Health and safety landscape consists of a number of key elements, all of which combine to create good health, safety and productivity outcomes for workplaces:
- consultation and communication
- committed leadership from the top
- good safety practices
- safe physical and mental environment supported by safe supply chains
- skilled workers who look out for each other.
Leadership from the top
Workplace leaders visibly demonstrate their commitment to work health and safety.
Organisational safety capability and practices
The organisation has the capability to put in place safe systems, procedures and policies that translate to safe practices.
Consultation and communication hold all elements of the Health and Safety Landscape together
Consultation ensures that workers bring their expertise to health and safety decisions with clear and relevant communication flowing through all levels of the organisation.
A safe physical and mental environment, supported by safe supply chains.
Workers have the skills and attitudes to work safely.
Focus on key priority areas where the most significant work health and safety risks exist
High impact harms
Identified high impact harms will be eliminated or significantly reduced.
By 2022, no one should be seriously injured or killed by:
- falls from heights*
- quad bikes and forklifts
- ‘working live’ electric shocks/electrocutions
- traumatic injury from poorly guarded machinery.
*Specific categories from heights will be targeted over the course of the six years of the Roadmap..
Falling incidence rate
By 2022 the incidence rate of serious injuries and illnesses will have fallen by 50% with a focus on:
- musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses*
- serious mental health conditions
- reducing exposure to hazardous chemicals and materials by 30%.
*Claims resulting in one or more weeks off work.
At risk workers supported and protected
We are implementing evidence informed initiatives at risk groups to bring about substantial improvements in WHS.
At risk groups include:
- workers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- migrant workers
- young workers
- workers engaged through labour hire organisations.
Sector and harm plans
Engage with peak bodies, associations, community leaders, employers and workers, spanning all sectors to develop plans to reduce fatalities, and serious injuries and illnesses for at risk workers.
5 Build better services
We are committed to building exemplary regulatory services
Workplaces will find it easier to manage health and safety.
NSW will be recognised as the best state to start and grow a business.
We will be seen as a trusted and influential regulator.
We will enforce WHS laws to protect workers to ensure no competitive advantage through negligence.
Driven by insights from data
Our decisions and actions will be driven by insights and evidence from data.
We will be recognised for working with business to design innovative regulatory approaches aimed at eliminating WHS risk.
6 Getting involved
Get involved at your workplace and by using our products and services
Safety starts with you
Have a chat with those in your own workplace and your industry about what the Roadmap means to you.
Visit the Safety starts with you website where you will find:
- the new ‘Safe’ app
- simple safety, videos and posters
- safety promise.
If you are about to begin a significant project, we can help you develop a Stakeholder Action Plan to align your WHS systems to the Roadmap.
Be part of our events
Advice and support
We provide a range of free advice and support to help businesses, industry and workers maintain a safe workplace and meet their work health and safety responsibilities:
- get an inspector to come to your small business to offer advice, feedback and support on ways you can improve safety
- have a presentation or workshop on a range of safety topics
- access a small business rebate of up to $500.
Join over 300,000 people and watch our short and up to date videos that can help you with your work health and safety
Let's talk safety on our Facebook site
Follow our twitter feed for the latest work health and safety updates, or tweet to us @safework_nsw
Connect with us on LinkedIn in
7 Our progress
Check out our progress on implementation of the Roadmap.
SafeWork NSW achievements aligned to Action Area One of the Roadmap
- Promotion and delivery of major multimedia campaign ‘Safety Starts with You’
- First Consultation@Work conference held in 2017, with over 200 attendees
- Working closely with SIRA to improve injured workers return to work outcomes
- Implementing the Supply Chain project.
SafeWork NSW achievements aligned to Action Area Two of the Roadmap
- Launched and commenced implementation of the Agriculture, Manufacturing, Transport, Government and Construction Sector Plans
- Launched and implementing a number of strategies to address high impact harms including:
- Mentally Healthy Workplaces Strategy 2018-2022
- Hazardous Chemicals and Materials Exposures Baseline Reduction Strategy
- Musculoskeletal Disorder Strategy 2017-2022
- Implementing the Quad Bike Improvement Program, which includes world first research, rebates, free training.
- Get Healthy at Work project including expansion into other NSW Government agencies since the commencement of the program.
Building exemplary regulatory services
- We have established and launched the Centre for WHS, a new world class research centre. The centre utilises research and data to inform innovative harm prevention strategies. The centre also monitors emerging WHS issues and enables us to respond to these issues appropriately. The centre has published its first research blueprint that sets out the scope of its research over the next four years.
- Conducted targeted compliance programs, such as the falls from heights blitz. Inspectors conducting this blitz have visited more than 460 construction sites across NSW focusing on workers at high risk of injuries related to falls. As result of these inspections, we have issued $115,000 in fines to date.
- There were over 43,000 workplace interactions in 2017/18, including inspector visits, over 13,000 notices issued.
- In 2017/18 we commenced 100 prosecutions under WHS laws, secured 59 successful prosecutions (mainly from incidents in previous years) resulting in $4.1 million in fines, we also accepted 7 enforceable undertakings worth $4.5 million of investment towards harm reduction initiatives across NSW.
- Our customers continue to be very satisfied with the services we provide, the customer survey for 2017 shows satisfaction remains high with 87% of people agreeing that their interaction with SafeWork was worthwhile.
- There were over 4 million visits to our website in 2017/18.
- Conducted a statutory review of the NSW Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and implemented amendments to the Act
- Released and revised SafeWork NSW Prosecution Guidelines and the New Enforceable Undertakings Guidelines.
Action Area Three
So, as you see we have made significant headway in implementing our commitments made in the Roadmap. The work we have committed to under the Roadmap is well underway and will continue.