PPTX - Safe Work Australia

National Strategy General Stakeholder
Workshop in Wagga Wagga, NSW
Friday, 1 July 2011
Hosted by
John Watson, General Manager,
Occupational Health
and Safety Division,
WorkCover Authority NSW
Wagga Wagga
Rick Hodgson
Page and Content
4. History of National Strategy
5. Safe Work Australia and the National Strategy
6. National Work Health and Safety Strategy Consultation and Development
7. Welcome
8. Workshop Introduction
9. Workshop participants profile
10. Session Scopes
11. Session 1: Group discussion on work health and safety in the next ten years
14. Session 2: Social/Economic/Emerging Issues in the workforce, business and technology
20. Session 3: Enhancing the capacity of workplaces to respond to disease, injury and psychological injury causing hazards
26. Session 4: Work Health & Safety Systems in safe design, skills and training, safety leadership & organisational culture
32. Closing Remarks
33. Evaluation Comments
Disclaimer: 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 the 1990s providing Australia with a nationally coordinated “roadmap” for improving workplace
health and safety. The NIF signalled 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 to improve prevention, share knowledge,
foster partnerships and collaborations, and compare performance among the key OHS stakeholders in
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 to WRMC.
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
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 Mark Goodsell Australian Industry Group; Mr Brian Bradley Western Australia; Ms Michele
Patterson South Australia; Ms Michelle Baxter Commonwealth; Mr Rex Hoy Chief Executive
Officer; Mr Peter Tighe Australian 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 Michael Borowick (ACTU)
Absent: Mr Greg Tweedly Victoria; Mr Barry Leahy Queensland; Ms Liesl Centenera ACT; Mr
Roy Ormerod Tasmania; and Ms Laurene Hull 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 priority areas,
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
Welcome to participants
Mr John Watson, General Manager of NSW WorkCover, welcomes participants to the Wagga
Wagga workshop.
Workshop Introduction
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 Hoy invited 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 to
[email protected]
Wagga Wagga Workshop Participants’ Profile
01 July 2011
Employer Association
Public Policy
Work Health and Safety professionals
Session Scopes
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 Technology
Hazards – Enhancing the capacity of workplaces to respond to:
The Workforce: Changing worker demographics such as ageing, young workers, casualisation, contract work, shift work, and individual
needs such as literacy, disability, mental health
Business: How business is changing to meet emerging challenges and to remain viable and competitive, such as outsourcing,
subcontracting, casualisation, etc
Technology: 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 systems
Disease-Causing Hazards - includes noise, hazardous substances, chemicals and asbestos
Injury-Causing Hazards - includes work practices, manual tasks, slips trips and falls
Psychological 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 Culture
Safe 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 processes
Skills & 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 ten years?
Reduced injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
Work health and safety is accessible for all workers: all workers are
aware and appreciate the issues.
Improved work health and safety culture, including improved
employee accountability and employer awareness.
The effect of generational change on safety is understood.
More robust technologies replace procedures and improve design,
while being more conscious of the risks in using new technologies,
chemicals and materials.
Work health and safety and environmental fields work together to
manage hazards.
Businesses implement affordable work health and safety measures.
The public sector has the budget and uses the evidence to drive work
health and safety measures.
Compliance paperwork is simplified and affordable.
More time for work health and safety; education starts early.
Better processes ensure equipment procured meets safety
requirements, especially from overseas.
A safety culture—the way we do things—that works. “Zero harm”
policies are more than just words, they are translated into action, and
they do not lead to under reporting issues.
The accepted way of doing things doesn’t just focus on work health
and safety but also on wellbeing.
Session One: What will success look like in 10 years?
Professionals in the design areas e.g. architects and planners, incorporate and appreciate work health
and safety from the start of the design process and safety is designed into all processes, eliminating
hazards before they reach the workplace.
The safety of others who come into the workplace gets the same focus as employees, it is not a forced
relationship, it just happens.
Session One: How do we get there?
Set targets and track progress toward them.
Cooperate with overseas suppliers so they understand what our workplace safety requirements are.
Initiate national and international supply chain controls to ensure the whole supply chain has accountability.
Improve research on risks.
Provide incentives or tools for industry to drive improvements internally, eg. funding and reward systems for
improve claim performance especially small employers, agriculture and high-risk groups.
Ensure that the availability of rewards and incentives does not lead to the concealing of incidents
Focus on improving safety culture: provide education in schools and in the vocational education and training
sector - especially to suit the changing needs of different generations.
Raise awareness of what safety leaders are doing and what works.
Provide basic/accessible/useable information and training material and tools through a national education
framework or similar.
PCBUs provide resources as part of their commitment to work health and safety.
Educate safety professionals/consultants to provide credible advice.
Ensure regulators have advisory focus to support compliance from small, medium and large businesses.
Harmonise national work health and safety legislation and workers’ compensation.
Improve inter-agency relationships and resource and information sharing.
Build a better collaborative framework for continual consultation and collaboration between industries and
Session Two: Emerging Issues in the Workforce
What will success look like in 10 years time?
More flexible employment options are
provided for the ageing workforce: parttime, flexible hours, or flexible roles.
Transition to retirement is well
managed, especially the transfer of
knowledge and skill to younger workers.
The language barriers and training
needs of a more multicultural workforce
with short-term visa workers are
Health and wellbeing of workers
receives more consideration.
More emphasis on new employee work
health and safety induction as well as
ongoing training and change
Session Two: Emerging Issues in the Workforce
How do we get there?
Improve communication and consultation,
ensure availability of an interpreter or
language training if language issues.
Provide plain English instructions that are
easier to translate.
Support gender-specific issues.
Consider the needs of all areas (urban and
rural) as well as demographics.
Conduct more specific inductions, training,
instigate buddy systems, follow-up training,
recognise cultural and specific
requirements, evaluate effectiveness of
training, implement pre-start meetings and
toolbox talks.
Ensure records kept are relevant and
contribute to continuous improvement.
Promote training and education in youth
and VET programs, including training on
core elements of work health and safety.
Session Two: Emerging Issues in Business
What will success look like in 10 years time?
Business models and work health and safety
performance are driven by business and the
market rather than by the regulator.
Business understands risks of a casual workforce.
Australia understands the business case for safety
at the local, state and national level based on
rigorous data, not just claims data but data on
The focus of key performance indicators has
changed from lag to lead indicators.
A national system of pre-qualification for
contractors is in place and continuously updated,
like the construction white card, allowing worker
qualifications to be recognised across Australia.
Subcontractors do not enter sites before doing an
induction; proof of this induction is checked.
Skills shortages are addressed, including literacy
and language barriers of immigrant workers for
work health and safety training, as well as the
availability of trainers.
Business advisory officers provide advice and
mentoring rather than penalising – businesses can
go to the regulator without fear.
Industry associations are more engaged in work health
and safety; they provide information and assistance to
help businesses meet their work health and safety
Procedures are streamlined, simple and with less
Session Two: Emerging Issues in Business
How do we get there?
Ensure that, as a minimum standard, labour hire
companies comply with AS/NZS 4801 OHS
Management Systems accreditation or an
appropriate international standard.
Educate children on work health and safety
practices early so that it becomes ingrained, similar
to the current approach on educating children about
bullying at school.
Train teachers in work health and safety.
Provide more skilled trainers for rural areas.
Harness new technology to lessen the need for
skilled trainers.
Appreciate that in recognition of the competitive
edge that safe working practices provide, work
health and safety standards in the Asia Pacific
region and beyond are rising and now often higher
than Australian workplaces.
Leverage improving international standards to put
pressure on Australian businesses to improve their
work health and safety performance to remain
Implement training passports, such as in the
oil industry, to provide a vehicle to assess
continuous, competency-based training, and
to know when to update skills.
Maintain a healthy wariness and check to
ensure skills testing is effective.
Session Two: Emerging Issues in Technology
What will success look like in 10 years time?
Safe technology replaces unsafe technology.
Stricter controls/standards apply to the design,
manufacture, or release of emerging technology
and work health and safety risks are assessed
before they enter workplaces.
Online information is available on new
technology that is credible, evidence-based and
There is better adherence to standards.
We understand technology better and have a
greater awareness of its impacts, when it is safe
or unsafe, and when it can be used to improve
work health and safety in the workplace.
Technology is used to automate or design out
high risk work, including the risks of sedentary
and sedentary lifestyles.
Equipment in workplaces is updated to help
manage work health and safety risks.
Technology ensures that workers and
employers are aware of work health and safety
issues as soon as they arise.
Technology designers incorporate safety prevention
principles before releasing new models into the
Standards are up-to-date with changes in technology
and work health and safety risks.
Session Two: Emerging Issues in Technology
How do we get there?
Provide better and quicker research
information, education and advice about
Develop international and national standards
and codes of practice to underpin the safety
of technology before it gets to workplaces.
Ensure that legislation is adaptable and can
change quickly to remain relevant.
Automate or provide technological
replacements for people in high risk areas of
Design initiatives for new technology at work
and design out risks before they get to
Get traction and make changes happen by
focussing on getting higher degrees of
effectiveness from existing approaches. The
discussion on technology needs to move
beyond physical injuries to also include
psychological injuries.
Session Three: Responding to Disease-Causing
Hazards – What will success look like in 10 years time?
There is widespread recognition that rural diseasecausing hazards include those of a zoonotic nature
(pathogens that are transmissible from animals to
humans), and that they change depending on
environmental variations and climatic conditions.
Risk control is less reactive, more proactive, and
there are better processes for identifying and
controlling risks that do not merely rely on the use of
personal protective equipment.
More information and education on both physical
and medical agricultural hazards is available.
Agencies and networks provide rapid
communication on emerging hazards across
Surveillance of exposure to radiation emitting
equipment is improved.
Hazardous substances and chemicals are effectively
Session Three: Responding to Disease-Causing
Hazards – How do we get there?
Enhance the capacity of workplaces to respond by:
providing consistent chemical labelling that complies with the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of chemical
labelling, and providing effective communication on the GHS
providing education about the life cycle of hazardous substances
improving research and data collections, to provide information to workers that is understandable and usable
researching and identifying effective substitution of hazardous substances that work
encouraging higher levels of stewardship by manufacturers to use safer substances
identifying the true cost of diseases and distinguishing between work-related and non-work-related diseases
providing more accurate and current statistics on exposure and exposure outcomes, and
providing more funding for surveillance.
Session Three: Responding to Injury-Causing Hazards
What will success look like in 10 years time?
High incident and high consequence hazards like
manual handling, electrical, falls from heights, noise,
radiation, allergies, driving, machinery injuries and
ergonomics are identified and addressed.
Improved big picture risk identification.
Risk controls are appropriate to the risk.
More time is spent on implementation than
Information is shared between designers and end
users to reduce risks and incidents and ensure
continual improvement.
Repetitive tasks are mechanised.
Session Three: Responding to Injury-Causing Hazards
How do we get there?
Enhance the capacity of workplaces to respond by:
• educating workplaces to improve safety cultures
and to ensure top down total commitment
among everyone, with an emphasis on well
• providing evidence-based timely data and
statistics to assist in the setting and measuring
of targets
• facilitating more sharing of information between
industry groups
• implementing a national strategy that
recognises the achievements of the past ten
years, accepts that there are no “magic bullets”,
and provides a nationally agreed
implementation plan to help us get better at
what we already do, and
• developing strong infrastructure around
innovation in work health and safety.
Session Three: Responding to Psychological InjuryCausing Hazards ̶ What will success look like in 10 years?
Reduced psychological injuries.
Better understanding of mental health.
Improved reporting systems, including the
provision of ‘sensitive’ alternatives.
Improved diagnosis and classification of
psychological injury.
Improved managerial skills in recognising and
dealing with issues early and appropriately, in
managing workloads, fatigue, interpersonal
relationships, and in providing performance
Improved return to work procedures with a holistic
approach that encompasses family and workplace
Session Three: Responding to Psychological InjuryCausing Hazards – How do we get there?
Enhance the capacity of workplaces to respond by:
recognising mental illness and removing stigma
raising community and colleague awareness
through research, communication and education
getting regulators and medical providers more
training and supporting managers to improve
their ‘people’ skills
identifying ‘most-at-risk’ jobs/industries
early detection of injuries and early intervention
instigating a risk management framework to
identify the people most at risk and the most
hazardous tasks
finding a simple definition of what is deemed a
psychological injury, one that people can relate
better identifying causes of micro-trauma
inherited from past work or outside work that
can accumulate and develop into mental illness
dealing with people who are bullies, particularly those in
management positions, and
being aware of the potential consequences of
government policy decisions.
Session Four: Safe Design & Work Systems
What will success look like in 10 years time?
Plant and equipment that is coming to Australia from
offshore is safe.
Trade agreements ensure that work health and safety
standards are included.
Hazard identification is completed before items are
commissioned, e.g. employers have a responsibility to
ensure items that are purchased are safe before they
are used.
Architects take their duty of care seriously and consult
with stakeholders on the work health and safety
implications of their designs throughout the building
Work health and safety is considered at all stages of
the supply chain.
Retro-fitting is not needed as architects and designers
consult with end users on work health and safety
which is embedded into the design’s functionality.
Risk assessments occur on change of work systems
to ensure due diligence and not just tweaking.
Work health and safety is taken seriously.
Anthropometric measurements are up-to-date and
reflect the changing sizes of Australians – both
large and small.
Australian standards or equivalent are updated
based on timely anthropometric data.
Session Four: Safe Design & Work Systems
How do we get there?
Consult with trade departments and ministries to
ensure Australian standards are met.
Break down global barriers so that Australian imports
are safe.
Instigate a “stop” point in the supply chain at the level
of importation where the product is checked and
rejected if it is not safe.
Instigate a system, similar to the heart foundation tick,
to highlight good design of safety.
Make construction design management regulations
apply to architects as well as builders.
Embed more info/research/education and consultation
into design practice, to ensure that designers
recognise their duties.
Ensure that work health and safety is a key item that is
included at every stage of the design process.
Provide work health and safety training for architects.
Ensure that local governments demand that buildings
comply not only with environment regulation but also
with health and safety regulation.
Session Four: Skills & Training
What will success look like in 10 years time?
Competency-based training, learning and reinforcing
skills learnt ensures that there is more than tick and
Training is effective and relevant.
Training is open to all who need it, and training plans
include succession planning and other training
requirement into the future.
Employer/PCBUs commit resources for training.
Training courses provide value for money, and the
skills needed in the industry.
Feedback systems and course reviews assess the
effectiveness of training.
Effective trainers/consultants are competent in
delivery training and deliver up-to-date information.
Training is targeted to the recipient and is riskbased.
A system is in place that provides evidence of having
done training that is effective, and recognised
Session Four: Skills & Training - How do we get there?
Develop robust training infrastructure either at company or
industry level.
Develop industry supported and approved curriculums.
Research audiences before delivery to ensure training is
Provide records of training that are accurate and support the
needs of the person and the organisation.
Source training from the most effective sources, recognising
that there are methods other than class work to address
competencies that are also more cost effective.
Support regulators – especially in high risk areas, like
asbestos training.
Consider financial support or grants to meet legitimate
training needs, as well as compliance support to ensure
training is effective.
Recognise that training increases the value of employees to
the organisation and for themselves, while assessing the
effectiveness of training and the cost of ineffective training.
Instil work health and safety into the school curriculum, right
from kindergarten, through high school, under-graduate
courses, and vocational education training.
Provide good training that recognises the higher costs and
skills shortage in rural areas.
Session Four: Safety Leadership and Organisational
Culture – What will success look like in 10 years time?
Workplace culture is defined and leaders drive it to gain commitment at all levels of the organisation.
Leaders provide resources, people, systems and finances to support work health and safety.
Organisational systems are integrated: quality, manufacturing, safety, environment and health.
Leadership combines the systems and integrates risk management into them.
Measurements are consistent and relevant
and a safe business is recognised as good
Equally it is recognised that being unsafe
costs money, and there is better
understanding of the costs and impact of
poor work health and safety, how much it
costs upfront, in terms of premiums, and in
terms of productivity.
Good safety management is an indicator of
good investment, and information on the
stock market highlights well performing
companies in terms of work health and
safety and injury management.
Session Four: Safety Leadership & Organisational
Culture ̶ How do we get there?
Develop a reporting culture: (i) to get people to move
from just walking past hazards toward reporting
hazards, and (ii) sharing that information and using
the reports to stop other people getting injured.
Do not link reported safety outcomes to performance
and pay – it can lead to under-reporting.
Identify reasonable lead indicators .
Identify a lead indicator that is associated with doing
safety training, combined with a lag indicator that
measures if the training is effective.
Develop metrics for work health and safety
performance and risk management that can be
and are used by CEOs.
Avoid commodifying work health and safety, e.g.
buying safety management systems online.
Share information and lessons learned from
leading organisations.
Educate and share knowledge within industries
and across industries, e.g. share manual handling
techniques from hospitals with manufacturing
Closing Reflections from the Chief Executive Officer
Rex Hoy thanked John Watson, General Manager, Occupational Health and Safety Division, WorkCover Authority NSW, for opening the
workshop; the facilitator Rick Hodgson, and all the workshop participants for their attendance and contribution. He outlined how the Wagga
Wagga workshop fits into the overall development of the new National Work Health and Safety Strategy. Rex commented on the need for a
rigorous evaluation plan for the new National Strategy that will provide good tools to measure the strategy’s progress and outcomes. He
also highlighted that the new strategy should acknowledge the roles various stakeholders will be throughout the life of the strategy.
Rex noted that this was the first National Strategy workshop held in a rural centre. He noted that while the discussions highlighted similar
matters to other workshops about where we want to be in 10 years time, there were differences on how to actually get there. Some of the
themes in common with the other workshops were cultural issues, leadership, wellbeing and education in schools and the workforce. More
specifically rural in outlook was the need to focus on the work health and safety needs of regional workers on 457 visas, the multicultural
issues that need to be addressed among CALD workers (cultural and linguistic diversity), and rural skill shortages.
Rex appreciated the useful discussions about the link between safety, environment and health, the need for more competency-based
training, and the importance of better chemical labeling. He also highlighted the quality of the discussions on hazards, particularly on the
need for a better process to identify and manage risk as well as the comments around the substitution of hazardous substances with safer
alternatives. There were interesting discussion on defining psychological issues, on getting a better understanding of exposure outcomes,
and on identifying the true costs of diseases. He emphasised that these were all areas where we should ask how much is work-related and
how much is really part of public health. He noted that one of the big challenges for Safe Work Australia is getting more up-to-date data.
Safe Work Australia obtains data through various sources and it is a real challenge to release up-to-date data. He agreed with the
comments on the need for work health and safety information in annual reporting.
Rex particularly mentioned several discussions that he hadn’t heard before at other workshops. One was on the question of whether we
should be looking to replace workers in high risk work with automation. Another was about understanding the degree of effectiveness of
what we do to improve work health and safety as well as the need to challenge the way we think so that we design out risks. It was also the
first time he’d heard discussion about the need for AS/NZS 4801 accreditation as well as industry-supported curriculum.
Rex went on to comment that the matters that had been chosen for exploration were just some of the many that are under active
consideration by Safe Work Australia members as they develop the new National Strategy. He 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 may be sent to [email protected]
Evaluation Outcomes
Overall, the feedback from the National Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 workshop which was held in Wagga Wagga on
1 July was very positive. Both quantitative and qualitative results were collected from 18 evaluation sheets, recording a 100%
satisfaction both for the opportunity to contribute and the facilitator. The length of the workshop and the format of the day both
reported a 94% approval rate as did the location and the room set-up. In addition there was 100% satisfaction with the refreshments
More than half of the attendees commented on how they had enjoyed interacting with diverse groups, and how they had appreciated
the opportunity to contribute. In particular the fact that Safe Work Australia had asked them to participate and sought their thoughts
on what success in work health and safety will look like in 10 years time and how we will get there was appreciated.
An excellent cross section of both rural and urban stakeholders offered useful probing input. The emerging language issues as rural
Australia uses more migrants was raised as a matter that requires significant thought and input over the next 10 years (the local
meat processing plant employs 800 people, made up of 30 different nationalities, a great deal of whom are migrants on 457 visas)
necessitating in this case a person of the same nationality to induct staff, as well as the plant making the investment of teaching
their staff English. Highlighting rural based zoonotic diseases as part of the occupational disease session was also a useful
exercise, with current high incidences of Q Fever, leptospirosis and Ross river virus (the latter two of which are particularly
problematic due to the mice and mosquito plagues following the drought breaking rain).
There was a particular call to have more representation from unions and that having industry groups getting together may be
beneficial. One attendee found the sessions quite repetitive and another found the workshop too long. A particularly useful
suggestion centred around the potential for the new Strategy to be used as a vehicle to work towards every control measure being
at engineering level or above, and also that Australia needs to avoid being complacent as developing nations in the Asia Pacific
region and beyond as are rapidly improving their safe working practices as they realise the competitive edge that can give them.
All of the input has been noted, and is being integrated into future workshops and into planning the new Work Health and Safety
Strategy to make improvements.
Text in italics indicates direct quotes from responders

similar documents