Evaluating WHS policy interventions is vital to designing and improving them, however this research is not widely carried out here or overseas.
Our 2013 literature review into the effectiveness of WHS interventions by regulators found they do trigger mechanisms within businesses that affect WHS behaviours and regulation compliance.
The review identified several key mechanisms including awareness of requirements, business understanding of what compliance looks like, concern for reputation as well as risk awareness.
We also evaluated the impact of the model laws to help identify and improve policy and regulatory issues.
Harmonisation of work health and safety
In 2008 the Council of Australian Governments signed the Intergovernmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational Reform in Occupational Health and Safety. Shortly after we began a program to evaluate the impact of the model laws to help identify and improve policy and regulatory issues.
Four main data sources were used:
- documents including Acts, regulations, codes of practice, policies, procedures, guidance materials
- administrative data generated through the normal operations of the work health and safety jurisdictions
- existing surveys and data sets such as workers’ compensation and coroner’s data
- new surveys on perceptions of work health and safety activities and costs.