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Appendix F: work health and safety

ASIO’s workplace safety culture is key to ensuring the health and safety of ASIO’s most important asset, its people.

ASIO operates in a range of work environments, and work health and safety considerations are integrated into the planning and delivery of ASIO’s activities. Our safety risk management strategies reinforce legislative compliance and a culture of continual improvement.

Our focus is on identifying and monitoring key risk factors, implementing mitigation strategies, and promoting safe behaviour by our workforce.

Health and wellbeing program

We are committed to encouraging positive physical and psychological health outcomes across our workforce.

The corporate health and wellbeing program assists through education and participation. It encourages staff to:

  • be motivated to make positive health, lifestyle and fitness decisions;
  • develop an awareness of relevant health and wellbeing issues, including psychological resilience;
  • develop their knowledge of workplace safety through training;
  • engage with available support services, including ASIO’s Employee Assistance Program and Manager Assist service; and
  • participate in the in-house influenza vaccination program.

Safety risk management

During 2019–20, ASIO responded to a range of health and safety challenges— in particular, the threat of bushfires, poor outdoor air quality due to smoke, and the ongoing complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic. In each case, the Organisation was proactive in considering safety risks and engaged the workforce to make appropriate and effective decisions.

Building on a suite of existing programs, ASIO is developing and implementing prevention initiatives which will reinforce psychological resilience in the workforce.


In accordance with legislated notification obligations, ASIO reported three incidents to Comcare in 2019–20. No incident investigations were undertaken by Comcare, and no notices were issued to ASIO under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Table 5 Total number of injuries by type Total number of injuries by type Other and unspecified injuries Sprains and strains Open wound Superficial injury Contusion Disease Burns Fractures Poisoning/toxic effect of substance Symptoms related to traumatic event No injury sustained Foreign body on external eye
Ethics and conduct

ASIO expects the highest standards of behaviour, and actively responds to allegations of bullying, harassment and other forms of inappropriate behaviour. ASIO’s expectations are set out in policies on ethics and conduct as well as in ASIO’s defined Values, Code of Conduct and Leadership Charter.

ASIO uses several systems and processes for identifying, managing and responding to allegations of inappropriate behaviour and misconduct, including early intervention, dispute resolution, coaching and conflict management, and management of complaints and misconduct investigations.

In 2019–20, all employees undertook mandatory training clarifying employee conduct expectations.

This training included:

  • ASIO’s Values and Code of Conduct requirements;
  • mechanisms available to make a public interest disclosure;
  • managing workplace discrimination, harassment and bullying; and
  • work health and safety obligations.

In addition, training was provided on conduct and behaviour through ASIO’s induction and management training programs.

Harassment and Discrimination Advisor Network

ASIO’s network of Harassment and Discrimination Advisors (HaDA) is an Organisational resource designed to provide employees with information and impartial support in relation to discrimination, harassment, bullying and other forms of inappropriate behaviour. The HaDAs also provide referral advice and clarification of policies and complaint procedures.