Leadership and commitment

Health and safety starts at the top.

As an employer, you must demonstrate that you take health and safety seriously. Strong leadership and a firm commitment to continuously improve, backed by action, are the foundations of a strong safety culture.

Staff notice what you do. When you show a commitment to safety and make positive changes they know you are genuine.

Dimitri Hari

Operations Manager, Pyrmont Seafoods, NSW

Demonstrating leadership

You can demonstrate your health and safety leadership by:

  • being honest and open about health and safety issues
  • having an annual plan and a longer-term vision
  • making sure your senior management achieves their goals
  • continually raising the profile of health and safety
  • making health and safety a topic of everyday conversation
  • setting clear expectations and encouraging accountability
  • investigating near misses
  • training and investing in health and safety.

Pursuing these areas will help drive health and safety improvement.

You can’t just be the CEO that signs off on it and says ‘Yes’. You’ve got to prove that you’re actively involved in it. And you need to ensure that it becomes a part of the business. It’s a part of your staff development. Part of your staff retention program and staff attraction program.

Steve Mackenzie

CEO, Lido Group, Sydney


Consultation with workers is mandatory under WHS legislation in NSW.

Consulting workers will also assist in managing change, enhancing cooperation and increasing productivity. It can identify opportunities, assist decision making and make sure any new ideas work effectively in practice.

Consultation may mean:

  • the establishment of committees or nomination of representatives
  • regular staff meetings
  • regular performance and training reviews
  • regular communications such as workplace newsletters
  • encouraging worker feedback on management plans and/or decisions.

We have prepared detailed information about consultation on our Legal obligations page. [Link: Legal obligations>employer>duty to consult]

Your safety promise

If you want to achieve real health and safety results in your business or workplace, make a public commitment.

Make a safety promise that shows your workers, your customers and your community you care about keeping the people in your workplace safe.

The safety promise involves three steps:

  1. Talk to your workers about what a safer workplace might look like.
  2. From these discussions, develop your safety promise and record it online. It will be visible to your workers, your customers and to the wider community.
  3. Turn your words into actions.

Mentor program

Our mentor program pairs experienced business people with small businesses. They share their safety experience and expertise with you over three or six months.

The program is free. It requires nothing but your commitment.

Spending a little bit of time with another business to see how they do things is a far greater benefit than trying to come up with the solution yourself.

Simon Rowe

Program Manager, OceanWatch Australia Ltd

You can download a brochure or complete our online form.

Small business rebate program

We offer rebates to help small businesses in NSW improve their safety.

A rebate of up to $500 is paid when you buy and install eligible safety items to address a safety issue in their workplace.

To be eligible, you must have attended one of our safety workshops, webinars, programs or events, or had an advisory visit from a SafeWork NSW officer. All these events and visits are free

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