National Strategy General StakeholderWorkshop in Canberra, ACT
Page and Content4. History of National Strategy5. Safe Work Australia and the National Strategy6. National Work Health and Safety Strategy Consultation and Development7. Welcome8. Workshop Introduction9. Workshop participants profile10. Session Scopes11. Session 1: Group discussion on work health and safety in the next ten years14. Session 2: Social/Economic/Emerging Issues in the workforce, business and technology20. Session 3: Enhancing the capacity of workplaces to respond to disease, injury and psychological injury causing hazards26. Session 4: Work Health & Safety Systems in safe design, skills and leadership, safety leadership & organisational culture32. Closing Remarks33. Evaluation CommentsDisclaimer: The views of participants expressed in this document are not necessarily the views of Safe Work Australia.
History of National Strategy
The 10 year National Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Improvement Framework (NIF) was in place in the1990sproviding Australia with a nationally coordinated “roadmap” for improving workplace health and safety. TheNIFsignalled the commitment to OHS improvement in Australia by the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council (WRMC), the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC) and NOHSC members. It set out toimprove prevention, share knowledge,foster partnerships and collaborations, andcompare performance among thekey OHS stakeholders in Australia.The National OHS Strategy (National Strategy) was endorsed in May 2002 with the vision of Australian workplaces free from death, injury and disease. This was a tripartite initiative of NOHSC and unanimously endorsed by Federal, State and Territory Ministers. The 10 year timeframe was chosen to span political terms and provide the time to develop evidence based policies and programs. The Workplace Relations Ministers’ noted the successes of the National Road Strategy and its associated targets, and believed the inclusion of targets in a new document would help sharpen the national focus and efforts to improve Australia’s OHS performance.The National Strategy set out the basis for nationally strategic interventions that were intended to foster sustainably safe and healthy work environments, and to reduce significantly the numbers of people hurt or killed at work. Five national priorities and nine areas that required national action were agreed. These collectively aimed to bring about short and long-term improvements in OHS, as well as longer-term cultural change. Reports on progress to achieve the objectives of the National Strategy were provided annually toWRMC.NOHSC provided the original leadership and took carriage of the National Strategy until it was replaced by the Australian Safety and Compensation Council in 2005.
Safe Work Australia and the National Strategy
In 2009 Safe Work Australia – an independent Australian Government statutory body – was established. It has primary responsibility for improving work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements across Australia.Safe Work Australia represents a genuine partnership between governments, unions and industry working together towards the goal of reducing death, injury and disease in workplaces.The current and future National Strategy are key documents to guide the work of Safe Work Australia and others to achieve this goal. The current historic commitment to work health and safety is illustrated by the joint funding by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments of Safe Work Australia, facilitated through an intergovernmental agreement signed in July 2008.
Safe Work Australia members:Back left to right:Mr MarkGoodsellAustralian Industry Group; Mr Brian Bradley Western Australia; Ms Michele Patterson South Australia; Ms Michelle Baxter Commonwealth; Mr Rex Hoy Chief Executive Officer; Mr PeterTigheAustralian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)Front left to right:Ms Anne Bellamy Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Mr John Watson New South Wales; Mr Tom Phillips AM Chair; Mr MichaelBorowick(ACTU)Absent: Mr GregTweedlyVictoria; Mr Barry Leahy Queensland; MsLieslCenteneraACT; Mr RoyOrmerodTasmania; and MsLaureneHull Northern Territory.
National Work Health and Safety Strategy Consultation and Development
Safe Work Australia is now developing a new National Work Health and Safety Strategy to supersede the previous Strategy that expires in June 2012.To inform the development process, workshops are being held in all capital cities and a number of regional centres. These will seek ideas and comments from invited participants including employers, employees, regulators, work health and safety professionals, academics and interested community members.Safe Work Australia will also continue to consult with key stakeholders through a range of other mechanisms including ongoing bilateral consultations and by commissioning topic papers from experts on selected issues. These consultations will allow Safe Work Australia Members to decide on priorityareas, targets and the Strategy’s duration.
Once a draft National Work Health and Safety Strategy has been agreed by Safe Work Australia Members this will be released for public comment early in 2012. The comments will be analysed and used to further inform the development of the new Strategy.
Welcome to participants
MsLieslCentenera,Director, Office of Industrial Relations, ACT Chief Minister’s Department, welcomes participants to the Canberra workshop.
Mr Rex Hoy, the Chief Executive Officer of Safe Work Australia gave an introduction to the workshop. He noted that the National OHS Strategy 2002-2012 provides a basis for developing sustainable, safe and healthy work environments and for reducing the number of people hurt or killed at work.He noted that the current Strategy set very clear and ambitious goals for work heath and safety, and was a key initiative to improve Australia's work health and safety performance from 2002–12.He thanked participants for attending and indicated that the workshops are an important part of the extensive stakeholder consultation process for the development of the New National Strategy. Mr Hoyinvited participants to stay engaged and review the development progress reports on the new Strategy on the Safe Work Australia website as they are released.Mr Hoy provided data on the progress and limitations of the current Strategy and lessons learnt.He also noted the public comment period for the new Strategy early next year and welcomed participants’ comments at that time.
Mr Hoy’s presentation slides are available on the Safe Work Australia website.Participant comments on the workshops and new National Strategy themes can be sent [email protected]
Canberra Workshop Participants’ Profile
To assist participants, all tables displayed scopes outlining what was meant by the key discussion topics. These are noted below:Social/Economic/Emerging Issues in the Workforce, Business and TechnologyThe Workforce: Changing worker demographics such as ageing, young workers, casualisation, contract work, shift work, and individual needs such as literacy, disability, mental healthBusiness: How business is changing to meet emerging challenges and to remain viable and competitive, such as outsourcing, subcontracting, casualisation, etcTechnology: Innovations in the workplace that have already or may have a future impact on Work Health and Safety , such as nanotechnology, green technology, innovations in genetics, electronics and IT systemsHazards–Enhancing the capacity of workplaces to respond to:Disease-Causing Hazards - includes noise, hazardous substances, chemicals and asbestosInjury-Causing Hazards - includes work practices, manual tasks, slips trips and fallsPsychological Injury-Causing Hazards - includes the design, management and organisation of work and work systems to achieve resilient productive and safe psychological working environments.Work Health and Safety Systems – Challenges and Solutions in Safe Design and Work Systems,Skills and Training, and in Safety Leadership and Organisational SystemsSafe Design and Organisational Systems: the systems and principles that facilitate the elimination of hazards at the design or modification stage of products, buildings, structures and work processesSkills & Training: the skills and training that employers and workers need to deliver safe workplaces.Safety Leadership and Organisation Culture: Safety leadership generates organisational cultures that view safety and productivity of equal importance, validated by the attitudes, beliefs, perceptions and values of the workforce
Session One: What will success look like in 10 years?
Work health and safety is integrated and mainstreamed into organisational and business cultures, including the community.Hazards are designed out with a shift from ‘safe user’ to ‘safe design’ ofwork – people and equipment.Safe design addresses full life cycle including disposal and recycling.Reduction in occupational diseases: respiratory, cancers.Reduction in numbers of illnesses, injuries and accidents – but zero deaths is unrealistic.Pre-employment training/awareness in secondary and tertiary schooling.Greater understanding of unforeseen consequences of combined hazards e.g. increased hearing loss due to exposure to noise and solvents.Work health and safety is effectively managed through the supply chain.Safety of contractors included in lag indicators and still achieve a reduction in injuries.Management systems help reduce injury through informed introduction of new technology.Standardisation of legislation (including workers’ compensation).Personal responsibility for safety is seen as a core value – an essential criterion.
Professionalisationand knowledge base has improved particularly in response to the new legislation.Transport is addressed as an emerging issue with the car recognised as a workplace when used for work.Vehicle design improvements reduce deaths and injuries.The Strategy maintains the objective of reducing death, injury and disease.Australia is seen as a leading nation and ranks highly against the best in the world.There is truth and transparency in data, andwork health and safetytransgressions are not hidden behind data recording or manipulation.
Session One: What will success look like in 10 years?
A single national strategy takes the place of state versions, reinforcing the national vision.Rovingwork health and safetyrepresentatives help very small businesses.Technology ensuresimproved access to information andcontinuous health and safety improvement.Knowledge and best practice is shared and consolidated.SMEswho have less knowledge, information and resources are mentored.There is increased ownership ofwork health and safety.Regulators are funded to educate employers and workers.Basic training is mandatory for the whole workforce, and when staff leave new workers are already trained to basic work health and safety standards.Information is accessible and transparent.Definitions are consistent.Work health and safety is a value-added process; not an add-on process.Responsibility is taken to educate migrants on 457 visas onwork health and safetypre-employment.The capacity to respond towork health and safetyissues is improved, especially to emerging issues.
Session One: How will we get there?
Focus on health prevention particularly as it relates to chronic diseases and mental health.Learn from international models, and act now to reduce exposures and mitigate occupational diseases in the long term, including addressing the consequences of longer shift hours on exposure.Change behavior and breed a safe work(not workplace)culture thatflows onto sole/remote workersthrough positive reinforcement,appropriate education,training and information.Train leaders onwork health and safetyin leadership, educate workers, managers, regulatorson hazard management.Develop a baseline of research for tracking or monitoring and use large datasets to generate models.Develop continuously improvingmature systems andculturesthat go beyondcompliance, and that are based oneducation rather than coercion.Encourage senior managers to focus less on ‘insuring against’ when things go wrong, and more on staff engagement.Develop a Strategy that transcends political terms (10 years), reviewmid-point,updatebased on data andresearch.Conduct and share results of root cause analysis, andcontinuously improve universal safety signage.Reduce risk through ergonomics and safe design, rather than simply applying operational measures.Disseminate information, develop career pathways, and improve professionalism through a national institute for work health and safety professionals. Institute to: disseminate research, best practice, and successes toPCBUsand workers, foster a closer relationship between government policy officers and experts in the field, and harnesses expertise through the critical mass achieved through harmonisation.Breed individual safe and healthy cultures by maintainingwork/life interface,physical and mental health,and teamwork.Find out what we don’t know by researching and developing the capacity to respond to emerging issues.Harmonise implementation, guidance, enforcement, and inspectorial approaches (including pay).Provide practical incentives (incl. funding) for allPCBUsincludingSMEs.Introduce strategies for fatigue management.Increase awareness of the work health and safety changes needed to accommodate an ageing and culturally diverse workforce that increasingly uses casual labor.Establish industry based safety forums, andmonitor and evaluate all interventions, including training.
Session Two: Emerging Issues in the WorkforceWhat will success look like in 10 years time?
Employers take responsibility for workers as they shift between work and education.Ageing workers and those with disabilities have increased rates of work participation.There is successful risk management of the ageing workforce, including executives and front line managers.There is increased work ability, andimproved job transition.We are responsive to changing demographics (including training needs).Multicultural workforces are integrated in terms of language and literacy in English.There is an improved understanding of psychological risks.The ‘health’ is back in work health and safety, and workplaces are designed to optimise health.The mental health issues of young workers are considered and managed.WORK SAFE, HOME SAFE, COMMUNITY SAFE– safety is integrated into everything, everywhere, and both the workforce and the community are highly health-conscious.
There has been a paradigm shift from “using” the workforce to “renewing, energising and sustaining” the workforce in the context of an ageing population.There is improved licensing, higher standards and improved communication.Training and induction are standardised.Work health and safety is integrated into child care centres, schools, vocational training and universities.
Session Two: Emerging Issues in the WorkforceHow will we get there?
Develop fit-for-duty standards that span career lifetimes.Improve understanding of the psychology of risk perception.Systematically optimise health by translating and operationalising societal values into the duty of care.Address overwork, including extra hours worked, second jobs, and the bloated national leave bank.Improve apprenticeships, including developing incentives to join and finish them, improving wages, and increasing employer investment and mentoring.Take demographic issues into account, e.g. competency gaps for high skill jobs compared with 20 years ago (high churn, Gen Y).Use social marketing to target, channel, or differentiate work health and safety messages and campaigns for the no longer homogenous workforce.Highlight “Employers of Choice” including those with union endorsement.Address gaps in competencies so that skills are matched to workplace needs, and jobs are available for unskilled workers.Address the vertical disintegration of work, including the prevalence of outsourcing and casual employment.Create a sense of commitment to teams or to organisations through positive measures for safety e.g. Be as rewarded for good safety as for being ‘on budget/on time’ in business.Address the cut-off of superannuation and workers’ compensation at age 65 years to allow continued workforce participation.
Target key issues or groups formentoring and retraining, andmanage the hollowing out of the workforce, ie the ageing workforce, casual labour, shift workers (24/7), workers with mentalillness, workers transitioning from school to work, and workers who have been on extended leave re-entering the workforce.
Session Two: Emerging Issues in BusinessWhat will success look like in 10 years time?
The Strategy captures all types of businesses.There are better data and indicators (lag and lead).Business does not rely on regulation or standards, but rather on risk management, due diligence, and culture.Leadership at all levels drives a positive work health and safety culture.Productivity improvements drive better work health and safety practices.An improved legal system reduces ‘paper-compliance’.Regulators foster safety rather than using use a big stick; they facilitate prevention and are seen as friends rather than as enemies, and business sees regulatory intervention as a positive opportunity.Prosecutions are applied prudently to optimise positive outcomes and intimately increase prevention.Workers’ compensation systems are harmonised.A ‘bottom up’ supply chain mentality is in place that includes work health and safety in conditions of contract for outsourcing and managing sub-contractors.Education in work health and safety is started early, with a focus on pre-employment and trade courses.Work health and safety is instilled into children in primary school in the same way that awareness programs on recycling are.
Work health and safety is blended with other community issues.The cost of poor work health and safety is considered, rather that the cost of doing risk assessment.Both large and small businesses have the same level of work health and safety awareness, with business considering the consequences to staff of their decisions.
Session Two: Emerging Issues in BusinessHow will we get there?
Include work health and safety in business school education.Recognise that outsourcing is not always cost effective.Improve accountability and include financial drivers.Emphasise the importance of the relationship between business and the regulator to allay business concerns around needing to ‘protect’ itself from legislation.Find strategies to reduce the impact of the relatively higher costs forSMEsthan for larger businesses.Celebrate mentors in the workplace as good role models.Instigate pre-employment training from secondary school, blend work health and safety with other community issues so that workers entering the workforce learn to engage with risk.Make a common system accessible so that contractors can leverage bigger companies and access specialised expertise, and mitigate workers’ compensation pressures and costs.Seek better integration between business, community and the not for profit sector.Teach people how to engage in risk management.Meet the challenges posed by demographics, particularly when cultures are challenged and key performance indicators are affected as baby boomers exit the workplace.Celebrate businesses that do well.
Ensure that risk assessments take into account the cost of poor work health and safety practices (cost-benefit analysis).Provide better more effective data on injuries; data that is more consistent and that leads to the development of lag and lead indicators that can drive safer business practices and support proactive approaches.Manage the industry-balance changes;ieless manufacturing, more healthcare, more service based.Take into account changes such ascasualisation, career path changes, ageing workforce.
Session Two: Emerging Issues in TechnologyWhat will success look like in 10 years time?
Genetic screening is used ethically rather than to screen out people before they start work.New technologies are used to benefit the workforce.New technologies do not reintroduce old hazards, for example energy efficient lamps containing mercury.There is increased information on hazards associated with imported products coming from overseas.Regulators respond effectively to any hazards found in overseas products as imports continue to overtake exports.Accurate and sufficient information is provided when new technologies are introduced, especially when there isn’t a choice e.g. genetic and nanomaterials.The unforseen consequences of introducing multiple new technologies at once are dealt with quickly and effectively e.g. hearing.
Session Two: Emerging Issues in TechnologyHow will we get there?
Increase awareness of the hazards of imported products.Use research to minimise harm, particularly as the potential risks of nanotechnology unfold.Promote safety benefits of using new technologies e.g. black boxes in transport.Improve access to information through centralisation and dissemination.Increase understanding of the impact on the workforce when introducing new technology, and improve knowledge and information on synergistic interactions (e.g. hearing and solvents).
Learn from experience of other countries e.g. wind turbine safety in Russia.Use technology to do modelling on the impact of hazards on the human body.Manage change in organisations during the introduction of new technology.Improve the level of access to information in organisations and the way it is managed/disseminated.Use risk management plans to ensure controls are not misused or abused.
Session Three: Responding to Disease-causing hazardsWhat will success look like in 10 years time?
Work health and safety education is seen as an issue for the entire community, not just for the workplace.Despite the increasingly blurred boundaries between lifestyle, workplace and environment, management responses to disease causing hazards are clear and effective.The true cost associated with long-latency disease and compensation is realised, and compensation costs are shared equitably (not just the last company in a long line).Exposure standards are well-recognised, monitored and enforced e.g. lead.There is effective regulation of chemicals in workplaces.The primary focus to manage disease causing hazards is on safe design to eliminate or reduce risk; not on lower level controls like personal protective equipment.
Session Three: Responding to Disease-causingHazards - How will we get there?
Enhance the capacity of workplaces to respond by:identifying the contribution of other causative factors that are not work-relatedobtaining good data on diseasegaining a better understanding of hidden hazards such as radio frequency to reduce diseasesmeasuring the impact of asbestos in the home as well as the workplacedetermining how to manage work hazards versus lifestyle and environmental issues e.g. iPod at high volume at home combined with high-noise workcollecting data that identifies contribution by non work-related factors eg asbestos, iPods etc, anddeveloping a strategy for insurance as reinsurers don’t cover for risks they don’t understand or can’t quantify e.g. nanotechnology.
Session Three: Injury-causing hazardsWhat will success look like?
Buildings, equipment and processes are all designed with safety in mind.Workplaces are designed for safety.Safe design is a purchasing priority.Clients and purchasers factor in the cost of safe design, and understand the value of safety.There is age-related fitness for work.Manual tasks are minimised through the use of new technology.
Session Three: Responding to Injury-causing hazardsHow will we get there?
Enhance the capacity of workplaces to respond by:designing equipment with human factors in mind, and to engineer out riskseducating engineers, architects and designers about safe design, focusing on an industry approachaddressing the needs of 24/7 workers, fatigue, age issues, developing methods for assessing age-related fitness for work, being aware of the physiology of the workforcemanaging the new hazards created through technologies that enable remote workplaces, working from home and after hoursincreasing personal responsibility, sharing knowledge and expertise,educating staffto apply a consistent risk management approach to plant operationreducing the burden of compliance, including codes of practice and long written requirements/policies (to prevent shortcuts)ensuring there isruthlesslysimple documentation, using the KISS principle, or SAM (Spot/Assess/Manage risks)working with employees to develop systems and safe work procedures that are practicalensuring that work health and safety professionals know what success looks like from a workplace’s perspective, are competent and improve their quality of advice and technical capabilitycontinuing to reinforce that vehicles can be workplacesincluding road safety in risk management strategies, and placing greater responsibility onPCBUsfor work related road accidents and fatalitiesmanaging driving competency, particularly providing refreshersdeveloping consistency of design with BCA and other innovationschanging behaviour by teaching risk awareness, not just at work but also in the home and community. Children see hearing protection being used while Dad is mowing the lawn etc.increasing accountability and awareness about safety issues, and ensuringhigh risk licence competency is currentnot taking anything for granted, including simple issues like footwear which can still be key injury factorfocusing on manual handling tasks, including overuse, lifting, carrying, and encouraging body awareness, andincreasing awareness of reporting requirements, and encouraging more reporting.
Session Three: Responding to Psychological injury-causing hazards - What will success look like in 10 years?
Ageing workers are fit-for-duty in terms of psychological as well as physical wellbeing.Jobs are designed to fit workers.Work and work systems are managed and organised to engender resilient and productive staff, and to provide psychologically safe working environments.Home is seen as a source of recovery to alleviate work stress and fatigue.Decisions on cost-cutting are made with recognition of the potential impact on psychological health e.g. government productivity dividends and private sector cost-cutting.Employers introduce good work design that caters for work loads, shift work, pre-existing conditions, and personal responsibilities.Effective leaders know themselves and their workforce, respect their workers and have realistic work expectations.There is improved understanding of the needs of specialised risk groups and the nature of changing hazards e.g. impact on the psychological health of agricultural workers due to climate change.
Everyone feels responsible to work safely from when they start a job.Psychological injuries are given the same weight as physical injuries are in all workplaces.Managers are skilled at implementing prevention and early intervention strategies.
Session Three: Responding to Psychologicalinjury-causing hazards - How will we get there?
communicating work-based psychological injury prevention initiativesselecting the right people for the right task, and not confining selection criteria to qualificationsincreasing support and assistance for managersidentifying specialised risk groups, such as agriculture, young or isolated workers (either socially or remote), anddeveloping strategies to prevent injury in jobs involving long-term exposures to psychological hazards.
Enhance the capacity of workplaces to respond by:demonstrating leadership at all levelsconducting job and risk analysis to identify inappropriate workloads, workplaces, or work designassessing the cost of not changingputting prevention strategies in place for work that may result in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (e.g. emergency services) including selecting suitable workersmeeting the challenges of the changing government approaches, with less personal assistance, tighter budgets, and higher expectations, and fewer resources.accepting joint responsibility to start work in a fit conditionmanaging the design of work and organisations, including consideration of personal space (blackberries/PCs), resources, budgets, work expectations, and building resiliencedeveloping managers’ skills to assess the risk of work design, to recognise early signs of potential injury, and to intervene appropriatelyexpanding the capacity of Employee Assistance Programs, including up-skilling of professionals involved e.g. medical and psychologists, and increasing support and assistance for managers and those with potential for injury
Session Four: Safe Design & Work SystemsWhat will success look like in 10 years time?
Functionality is the main focus for designers responsible for safe design.Designers actively consult with all relevant stakeholders.There is improved designer ownership.Application of safe design policy (the carrot) negates the need for excessive regulation (the stick).
Session Four: Safe design & Work SystemsHow will we get there?
Put design reviews on the bigger agenda.Ensure consistent legislation in place for design (not only harmonised work health and safety law).Improve training of engineers.Encourage companies to share intellectual property where safety is an issue.Recognise that design covers construction, plant, road systems, work processes etc, and not just plant and buildings.Manage timeframes so that full consultation can take place with all stakeholders while acknowledging the need for rapid production.Learn the lessons provided by the space industry and major incidents and design for safety.
Session Four: Skills and TrainingWhat will success look like in 10 years time?
Competency-based training is delivered by employers and government.Work health and safety and risk management skills are integrated into the life cycle of education, including primary, secondary and tertiary, as well as Masters of Business Administration courses.Safety is a life skill that isn’t undone by a poor workplace culture.Globally recognised and agreed minimum competency requirements in work health and safety are in place for all managers and workers.Managers have the skills to effectively train and guide workers.Leadership and consultation is taught through on-the-job mentoring and training.Core competencies are developed for the position or the job and are assessed for effectiveness.Training needs analyses are regularly conducted and training initiatives are reviewed.
Session Four: Skills &Training - How will we get there?
Review all training for effectiveness and appropriateness, and develop improvement strategies.Develop industry-specific training that includes consultation and leadership.Sell the benefits of safety to cross cultural and generational boundaries.
Recognise the cultural differences of transient or migrant workforce, and set a minimum globally accepted standard of appropriate skills and training needed.Identify triggers for post-incident root cause analysis.
Session Four: Safety Leadership and OrganisationalCulture - What will success look like in 10 years time?
Safety Leadership and organisational culture is defined andsafety is integrated into all day-to-day aspects of organisations.Safety and productivity are seen in practice as equally important.The National Strategy positively influences safety leadership, and safety is not merely seen as an add-on.Institutions and structuresare in place, such asa national institute for work health and safety to unite the best educators, set standards,integrate safety curriculum through all phases of education, andfacilitate building a national safety culture.Safety culture is an ongoing process, always changing and improving.Ethical investment is made in organisations that implement safe design and safety best practice, allowing capital to work for safety while we sleep.
Session Four: Safety Leadership & Organisational Culture - How do we get there?
Develop the capacity to lead at all levels by starting at the top to engendersafety accountability, thenrequiring the same from middle managers.Harness the harmonisation process to drive a change in attitudes that goes beyond mandatory requirements.Integrate safety leadership into management training.Ensure that government is serious about safety and sets good examples, e.g. in workload and pace.Introduce specialised training.Ensure that managers see safety and productivity as linked.Promote awareness that improving safety improves productivity, and that a happy, safe, secure and flexible workforce lead to improved productivity.Ensure that managers recognise that when happy, flexible, safe and secure workers raise issues they are being supportive of productivity and not threatening it.Ensure that managers are trained to deal with or avoid role conflicts and goal conflicts.Accept that the development of a positive culture involves ongoing change, and in itself a developing culture needs to constantly be the subject of review and reinvention.
Understand the differing needs of older workers and how other demographic factors can impact on culture.Incorporate active feedback loops.Teach kids about risk assessment.Define behaviors that relate to values, are practical and meaningful, and are based on actions.Promote goodsafety records as a positive to potential employees.Remove jargon.Develop a new skill set for safety professionals that includes cultural architecture and provides consultants with safety credibility.Develop consistent names for the regulators.Develop procurement strategies that leverage the power of government contracting.Build adaptability by understanding workforce demographics and reviewing them regularly.Reverse the trend of the loss of work health and safety education opportunities in universities.Evaluate culture through the use of recognised tools; move beyond cost/benefit analysis and assess organisational limitations and parameters.
Closing Reflections from the Chief Executive Officer
Rex Hoy thankedLieslCentenera,Director, ACT Office of Industrial Relationsfor opening the workshop;the facilitatorDavidCaple, and allthe workshop participants for their attendance and contribution. He commented that there were many common strategic themes (the educative process, age, disability and mental health) that have been raised in the workshops so far.Rex furthernoted there had beenmany particularly good discussion over the day among theCanberra participants, includingcultural change, pre-employment education, leadership, the ageing or changing workforce, skills implications, the impact of non-work related factors, road and vehicle safety, and the role of management in psychological injuries.Rex noted that severaloriginal observations had been as well, including the need to address over-work and work stress, the need for increased availability and sharing of root cause analysis, and the impact on the workforce of new technologies with the potential reintroduction of old hazards. He was also encouraged to see workshop participants mention the need to focus on targeted skills and competencies and to identify roles for Work Health and Safety professionals in that context.Rex went on to outline the stages underway to develop the new National Work Health and Safety Strategy, while observing that the weakness in the current Strategy was the lack of implementation focus, the failure to identify responsibilities for the various stakeholders, and the lack of an evaluation plan. He assured participants that this time the Strategy would be evidence-based, and that the Safe Work Australia Members will lead it and oversee implementation.Rex commented that six months from December we expect to have a major focus on implementation and planning. He commented that while many of the suggestions arising from this workshop such as those involving schools cannot be implemented by Safe Work Australia we will attempt to coordinate these improvements at the national level. The new Strategy will also acknowledge the different roles and capacities that can influence safety.Rex raised the challenge of how to measure success and explained that Safe Work Australia is in the process of developing a rigorous evaluation plan.Rex reminded participants of the public comment phase of the Strategy development process early next year; and suggested that some smaller focus groups may be convened to further develop the Strategy. He advised participants that they will receive a report of today’s workshop outcomes and thanked them for their attendance, their generosity with their time and their contributions.Rex closed the workshop by welcoming participants’ ongoing engagement with the development of the new Strategy and said that if they would like to provide further comments and ideas these would be welcome [email protected]
Overall, the feedback from the National Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 workshop which was held in Canberra on 23 June was very positive. Both quantitative and qualitative results were collected from 30 evaluation sheets, which reported 87% approval with the length of the workshop, and 100% satisfaction both for the opportunity to contribute and the format of the day. There was a 90% and 97% satisfaction respectively with the location/venue and the facilitators, while the room set up and food both rated 100% levels of satisfaction.Whilst a number of attendees would have likedslightly longer discussion time on each topic, most participants reported that the workshop waswell planned, well timed and organised. While there was a call toinclude a younger demographic i.e. Gen Y,most participants still found it was agreat opportunity to bring like-minded expertise together in the same room with the same goalandto contribute in an open and friendly environment.Further, thegood opportunity to network, share ideas and actively contribute to the next strategywas appreciated as well as the occasion to provide feedback and input at this critical stage of developing the new Work Health and Safety Strategy. Some would have liked abigger roomas it was alittle crampedbut as the overall approval with the room set-up was 100%, this was noted, while accepting that it did not create too much inconvenience.Many helpful suggestions were made on how to improve the quality of discussion, ranging from suggesting a greater emphasis onwhat information you are after from discussions, would benefit from another meeting just involving senior OHS professionals,andperhaps a need for more facilitated discussion to focus on the ‘how to’ elements of the new strategy.All of this input has been noted, and is being integrated into future workshops to make improvements.Whilst most people were satisfied with the pace of the workshop, some requested more time for each topic to discuss and debate proposals. However, others found it hard to stay focussed for the whole length, and as there was 87% satisfaction with the length of the workshop overall, this was appreciated as a positive measure of participant enthusiasm and desire for genuine input and collaboration.Text in italics indicates direct quotes from respondents