The role of Safe Work Australia - Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2023-2033

This accords with the functions set out in the Safe Work Australia Act 2008 and the objectives outlined in the model WHS laws to provide for a balanced and nationally consistent framework to secure the health and safety of workers and workplaces.


Strategy Action Role of Safe Work Australia

Information and awareness

  • Delivering national education and awareness campaigns
  • Developing guidance materials and model WHS codes of practice


  • Collaborating with national and international bodies to: 
    • participate in the global WHS community of practice to bring innovative WHS thinking to Australia
    • consult with broader WHS system stakeholders to inform tailored and effective guidance materials for PCBUs and workers

Data and intelligence gathering

  • Collecting analysing, and publishing data and research relevant to WHS
  • Playing a leadership role in examining data approaches that will broaden understanding of WHS challenges in Australia

Health and safety leadership

  • Developing national strategies and frameworks
  • Reporting on progress of the Australian WHS Strategy 2023-2033

Compliance and enforcement 

  • Developing and evaluating model WHS laws
  • Facilitating consistent approaches through the National Compliance and Enforcement Policy (noting that Safe Work Australia is a policy body and not a WHS regulator)


Reporting on the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2023-2033

Safe Work Australia will periodically report on progress against the targets of the Strategy. However, an approach based solely on target measures is insufficient to monitor the landscape of WHS challenges and to support the achievement of the goals and targets laid out in the Strategy.  A landscape monitoring approach that facilitates continuous improvement of WHS will consider a range of metrics. This approach is at the forefront of identifying what works to deliver system change and responding to potential areas of increased risk. 

Using a combination of lead, lag and activity-based metrics is the most effective way to determine whether initiatives are achieving their intended outcomes or impact. The approach will be reviewed over the course of the Strategy to ensure metrics capture new and emerging issues and can identify links between activities and outcomes. This approach will also assist to build the business case for additional data collection where national data sources are currently lacking to ensure that emerging issues are being captured and allow the Strategy to evolve and remain relevant.