Site Information and assistance

Picture of mechanic on laptopBusinesses, employers and workers need to quickly and easily find work health and safety information. If information is hard to find, workplace health and safety may be at risk.

To ensure clear and appropriate information is provided when and where it is needed, governments and regulators need to know where people look for information.

In 1995, 1998, 2001, 2009 and 2012 Safe Work Australia (and its predecessors) included questions in some of its surveys to collect data on sources of work health and safety (WHS) information.

The findings are that WHS information sources differ by the size of the business, by the role of the person in the workplace and are changing over time. For example, employer and industry associations were the most popular source of WHS information for medium and large size businesses, second to the media for small businesses. The media has consistently been a popular source of information for managers/supervisors, employers and workers and in recent years training courses have become a more valued source.

Table 1 and Table 2 show the survey results from 1995-2012:

  • Chief Executive Officers said they were getting their WHS information mainly from the regulators and industry associations
  • large businesses gathered their information from employer and industry associations, government Acts and Regulations, WHS inspectorates and training courses
  • medium size businesses received their information from employer and industry associations, industry pamphlets and newsletters and experience/ doing the job itself
  • small business were more likely to get their WHS information from the media, industry pamphlets and newsletters and the internet
  • supervisors said they were getting their information from the media, training courses and meetings at work, and
  • workers get their WHS information mostly from their workplace (training courses, meetings at work and their managers/supervisors) and the media.

The next survey in the series is scheduled for 2014. This will continue tracking where Australian workers get their WHS information.

Table 1: Main sources of WHS information 1995 - 2012
  1995 1998 2001   2009#   2012
  Workers % Workers % CEOs % Supervisors % Workers % Employers % Workers %
Training courses 48 42 4 32 41 14 39
Newspapers, magazines 54 67 2 34 25 37 29**
Television 61 69          
Radio 33 35          
Meetings at work       24 28 14 26
Industry pamphlets or newsletters 49 57 9 22 18 37 12
Supervisors or managers 59 44   13 21 9 24
WHS representatives     9 16 15 11 11
Posters/ signs/ notices at work 54 55 2 12 17 11 13
Informal channels 58* 45* 8* 11 16 17*** 7
Employer or industry associations 30 48 36 14 11 28 8
WHS regulators 43 34 41 11 7 11 9
Email at work       6 5 17 12
Internet     8 7 2 33  
Experience/ doing the job itself       5 4 27 15

# Includes: Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing, Construction, Manufacturing, Transport & Storage and Health & Community Services only
* Workmates only
** Includes the internet
*** Workmates, family, friends, suppliers

 

Table 2: Main sources of WHS information by size of business, 2012
Source Small % Medium % Large %
Training courses 14 11 33
Media 40 16 10
Meetings at work 13 27 28
Government Acts/ Regulations/ Publications 14 22 43
Industry pamphlets or newsletters 38 34 20
Supervisors or managers 7 25 19
Health and Safety Representatives 10 20 24
Posters/ signs/ notices at work 12 2 1
Informal channels* 18 6 6
Employer or industry associations 25 52 48
Government Health and Safety Inspectorates 9 23 33
Email at work 17 21 7
Internet 35 16 19
Experience/ doing the job itself 26 33 17
* Includes: workmates, family, friends, suppliers

This site is undergoing constant refinement. If you have noticed something that needs attention or have ideas for the site please let us know.

Last modified on Wednesday 8 March 2017 [1731|21411]