Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022

The Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy is a framework for the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, industry and unions, and other organisations, to work together and improve work health and safety. 

The Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022 promotes the vision of healthy, safe and productive working lives. 

The strategy identifies action areas, priority industries and conditions. 

Strategy principles 

The strategy has 2 key principles: 

  • All workers, regardless of their occupation or how they are engaged, have the right to a healthy and safe working environment. 

  • Well-designed, healthy, and safe work will allow workers in Australia to have more productive working lives. 

What the strategy will achieve 

The strategy set 3 national targets by 2022, to reduce: 

  1. the number of worker fatalities due to injury by at least 20% 

  1. the incidence rate of claims resulting in one or more weeks off work by at least 30% 

  1. the incidence rate of claims for musculoskeletal disorders resulting in one or more weeks off work by at least 30%. 

Measuring and reporting progress  

We report on the strategy’s progress through: 

  • annual reports – which show targets are already met or are close to being met 

  • statistical reports – with national WHS and workers’ compensation data and trends. 

Measuring progress towards targets: reducing the incidence of work-related death, injury and illness explains how we measure progress.  

Mid-term strategy review 

In 2017, a scheduled mid-term review found the strategy: 

  • is being used as intended 

  • is flexible to meet a range of stakeholders’ needs 

  • can accommodate changing employment and industrial arrangements.  

The review identified some key areas of focus, which informed our update to the strategy in April 2018. 

The next Australian WHS Strategy 

We are planning the next WHS strategy and looking at: 

  • the current strategy’s achievements 

  • the mid-term review outcomes 

  • stakeholder consultation.