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Action Areas

The Australian Strategy has seven national Action Areas:

  • Healthy and safe by design
  • Supply chains and networks
  • Health and safety capabilities
  • Leadership and culture
  • Research and evaluation
  • Government, and
  • Responsive and effective regulatory framework.

These national Action Areas were chosen because:

  • Prevention activities should be directed to where there is the greatest potential for reducing harm.
  • Hazards and risks are most effectively controlled at the source.
  • Prevention effort should focus on eliminating or minimising exposure to serious hazards and risks and progressively improving controls. If elimination is not practical then risks need to be minimised according to the hierarchy of control.
  • Where a hazard exists but the level of risk is not certain, the risk should be assumed to be high and managed accordingly until the actual level of risk is known.
  • Creating healthy and safe work requires that jobs and tasks be designed to accommodate the abilities, diversity and vulnerabilities of workers, including those returning to work following injury or illness.
  • Continued improvement in work health and safety requires ongoing collaboration and cooperation between all parties.
  • Workers have the right to be genuinely consulted in all matters relating to their work health and safety.
  • Organisation leaders influence work health and safety through their management, education and procurement practices.
  • Work health and safety improvements are best achieved when health and safety is supported by the organisation’s culture and embedded in its procedures and processes.
  • The community and its leaders can influence attitudes and cultural norms.
  • All parties with a role in work health and safety require appropriate knowledge and skills.
  • Work health and safety policy and practice should be informed by evidence.
  • Governments can strongly influence work health and safety.
  • The regulatory framework needs to be flexible, responsive and adaptive to the changing nature of work and work circumstances.

Action Areas and Strategic Outcomes to be achieved by 2022

Healthy and safe by design

Hazards are eliminated or minimised by design

  • Structures, plant and substances are designed to eliminate or minimise hazards and risks before they are introduced into the workplace.
  • Work, work processes and systems of work are designed and managed to eliminate or minimise hazards and risks.

Supply chains and networks

Improved work health and safety through supply chains and networks

  • Supply chain and network participants understand their cumulative impact and actively improve the health and safety of the supply chain.
  • Commercial relationships within supply chains and networks are used to improve work health and safety.
  • Industry leaders champion work health and safety in supply chains and networks.

Health and safety capabilities

Improved work health and safety capabilities

  • Everyone in a workplace has the work health and safety capabilities they require.
  • Those providing work health and safety education, training and advice have the appropriate capabilities.
  • Inspectors and other staff of work health and safety regulators have the work health and safety capabilities to effectively perform their role.
  • Work health and safety skills development is integrated effectively into relevant education and training programs.

Leadership and culture

Leaders in communities and organisations promote a positive culture for health and safety

  • Communities and their leaders drive improved work health and safety.
  • Organisational leaders foster a culture of consultation and collaboration which actively improves work health and safety.
  • Health and safety is given priority in all work processes and decisions.

Research and evaluation

Evidence–informed policy, programs and practice

  • Research and evaluation are targeted to provide the evidence to prioritise and progress areas of national interest.
  • Australia has an effective research and evaluation infrastructure and capacity.
  • Evidence is translated to assist practical application.
  • The results of research and evaluation are disseminated and implemented.


Governments improve work health and safety

  • Work health and safety is actively considered in the development, implementation and evaluation of government policy.
  • Governments use their investment and purchasing power to improve work health and safety.
  • Governments exemplify good work health and safety.

Responsive and effective regulatory framework

The regulatory framework improves effectiveness by responding and adapting to changing circumstances

  • Legislation, policies and regulatory practice are reviewed and monitored to ensure they are responsive and effective.
  • Relationships between regulators and all who have a stake in work health and safety are effective, constructive, transparent and accountable.

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