Our research and evaluation work contributes to the developing the evidence base needed to inform national WHS policy, programs and practice.
Research leads to better work health and safety
We collate data and undertake research about Australia’s WHS performance including:
- numbers and rates of workplace deaths, injuries and illnesses and their trends
- causes of injuries and fatalities
- workers’ exposure to workplace hazards and risks
- management of hazards and risks including the provision, use and effectiveness of control measures
- workplace culture and WHS behaviours
- attitudes towards WHS
- the effectiveness of the Australian regulatory framework.
National activities will support the following outcomes:
- 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.
Examples of research activities
The Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022 has identified research and evaluation as a priority action area that will contribute to the delivery of the Strategy's outcome and vision.
The Research and Evaluation Program focuses on four areas:
- hazard surveillance and risk management
- occupational disease
- attitudes to work health and safety
- evaluation of interventions.
Research and evaluation activities concentrate on measuring performance using established datasets as well as developing new indicators and undertaking data collections. Activities are set out in the annual Evidence work plan, which is approved by Safe Work Australia Members.
We work collaboratively with Commonwealth, state and territory governments and other organisations such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Cancer Council, the Cancer Institute New South Wales, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, and the National Coronial Information System to produce a wide range of national reports.
We also carry out or work with others on research and evaluation projects to collect new data to highlight issues of concern and to measure the performance of policies and government initiatives such harmonising WHS legislation.