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Appendix 2 – Operational Plan 2019–2020

Safe Work Australia was established under the Safe Work Australia Act 2008 (the Act). In accordance with the Act, this operational plan details the activities to be undertaken by Safe Work Australia and the planned expenditure for the year.

This plan is consistent with the Corporate Plan 2019-2023, and it does not deal with the allocation of resources for the performance of Safe Work Australia’s functions.

Our purpose

Safe Work Australia has an important national role to achieve significant and continual reductions in the incidence of work-related death, injury and illness and to improve outcomes for injured workers and their employers. It is an inclusive tripartite forum representing the interests of the Commonwealth, states and territories, as well as workers and employers in Australia to:

  • collaborate on national work health and safety (WHS) and workers’ compensation matters
  • lead the development of evidence-based policies and supporting strategies, and
  • promote consistency in WHS and workers’ compensation arrangements.

This collaborative model brings together and recognises varying views and interests to ensure effective national policy and strategies to improve WHS and workers’ compensation outcomes.

This plan describes the activities to be undertaken by Safe Work Australia in performing its statutory functions during 2019–2020, within the total operating budget of $21.0m.

The activities we will undertake in 2019-2020

The activities we will undertake in 2019‑2020 support the strategies outlined in the Safe Work Australia Corporate Plan 2019–2023 and reflect the priorities agreed by Safe Work Australia Members. These activities include:

  • implementing the Members’ response to the review of the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022
  • implementing the agreed recommendations arising from the independent review of the model WHS laws, including undertaking a regulation impact analysis
  • finalising the review of workplace exposure standards
  • progressing the agreed strategy to address occupational lung disease, including silicosis
  • developing a national WHS prosecutions database
  • adopting a latter revision of the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals
  • finalising and promoting a national return to work strategy
  • finalising the review of the National Assessment Instruments for high risk work licensing, and
  • implementing the relevant recommendations from the Senate Committee report, They never came home – the framework surrounding the prevention, investigation and prosecution of industrial deaths in Australia, relating to improving support for families impacted by a workplace death, and to report on achievements.

We will also continue our core work of:

  • developing accessible, effective and practical material to support the model WHS legislative framework which aids understanding and compliance, particularly for small business
  • improving outcomes for injured workers and their employers
  • collecting, analysing and disseminating high quality evidence
  • collaborating with our national and international counterparts, and
  • generating awareness through the Virtual Seminar Series and National Safe Work Month.

How we will measure our performance

The effectiveness of these activities in assisting to reduce death, injury and disease and meet the outcome of healthier, safer and more productive workplaces will be measured through systematic review and evaluation.

Performance will be measured against the Key Performance Indicators included in the 2019–2020 Safe Work Australia Budget Statements and reported in the Safe Work Australia Annual Report.