Launched in October 2012, the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 (The Australian Strategy) provides a 10 year framework to drive improvements in workplace health and safety in Australia. The basic premise behind the strategy is that every Australian who goes to work ought to be able to expect to come home safe.
Building on the previous National Occupational Health and Safety Strategy 2002-2012, the WHS Strategy promotes a collaborative approach between the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, industry and unions and other organisations. With a vision of “healthy, safe and productive working lives” the strategy provides a direction for work health and safety issues for the next decade.
The Australian Strategy sets out four outcomes and seven action areas to achieve the vision of healthy and productive working lives by 2022.
The outcomes are:
- Reduced incidence of work-related death, injury and illness
- Reduced exposure to hazards and risks
- Improved hazard controls
- Improved national work health and safety infrastructure
The seven action areas in which actions are required to support the outcomes are:
- Healthy and safe by design
- Supply chains and networks
- Health and safety capabilities
- Leadership and culture
- Research and evaluation
- Responsive and effective regulatory framework
Three targets have been set to measure the progress towards achieving the vision:
- A reduction of at least 20 per cent in the number of worker fatalities due to injury
- A reduction of at least 30 per cent in the incidence rate of claims resulting in one or more weeks off work
- A reduction of at least 30 per cent in the incidence rate of claims for musculoskeletal disorders resulting in one or more weeks off work
So what does all of this mean for Australian workers?
Ultimately a safer and more fulfilling working life as well as a responsibility to make work health and safety an important part of every working day. And for employers? Potentially more responsibilities in ensuring safer procedures and workplaces but, ultimately, happier, healthier and therefore more productive employees.
Find out more about how The Australian Strategy may impact on you by downloading some of the following resources:
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