Role and functions
Safe Work Australia is a statutory agency established under the Safe Work Australia Act 2008 (Cth), and a non-corporate entity under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (Cth) (PGPA Act).
We have 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. Our functions, as set out in section 6 of the Safe Work Australia Act, include:
- developing, evaluating and revising national WHS and workers’ compensation policies and strategies
- monitoring and improving the model WHS legislative framework and developing supportive WHS materials
- improving consistency in national workers’ compensation arrangements
- collecting, analysing and publishing national data
- conducting and publishing research
- developing national education, communication strategies and initiatives
- working collaboratively with the Commonwealth, states and territories, and other national and international bodies, and
- advising WHS ministers on national WHS and workers’ compensation policy matters.
We perform these functions in accordance with our corporate plan and operational plan. These plans are agreed annually by WHS ministers and published on the Safe Work Australia website.
Safe Work Australia does not regulate WHS laws or workers’ compensation arrangements. The Commonwealth, states and territories have responsibility for regulating and enforcing WHS laws and administering workers’ compensation schemes in their respective jurisdictions.
Safe Work Australia is a tripartite body representing the interests of the Commonwealth, states and territories, as well as those of workers and employers. 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.
Safe Work Australia has 15 Members:
- an independent Chair
- Members representing the Commonwealth and each state and territory
- Members representing the interests of workers
- Members representing the interests of employers, and
- the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Safe Work Australia.
Part 2 of this report contains more information about Safe Work Australia Members.
Our Members are supported by around 100 Australian Public Service (APS) employees. Our office is located at level 7, Nishi Building, 2 Phillip Law Street, Canberra ACT.
Part 2 of this report contains more information about our agency.
Safe Work Australia is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity under the PGPA Act. The Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Baxter, was the Accountable Authority of the entity for the period. She is appointed under the Safe Work Australia Act 2008 (Cth) and performs her functions in accordance with this Act. Staff who support Safe Work Australia are engaged under the Public Service Act 1999 (Cth).