Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022
Safe Work Australia
Safe Work Australia has calculated that the total cost of workplace injury and illness to the Australian economy for the 2008–09 financial year was $60.6 billion. This represented 4.8 per cent of the Australian Gross Domestic Product. The significant economic costs of work-related injury, illness and death are borne by workers, their families, the broader community and employers.
The Australian Strategy promotes the vision of healthy, safe and productive working lives and sets four outcomes to be achieved by 2022 (2022 Outcomes).
The purpose of the Australian Strategy is to drive key national activities to achieve improvement in work health and safety. It is aimed at regulators, industry, unions, other organisations and governments that in turn influence work and workplaces across Australia. The Commonwealth, state and territory governments, industry and unions have strategies to support and improve work health and safety. The Australian Strategy has been designed to be sufficiently broad and high-level so that governments, industry, unions and other organisations can undertake activities that assist in meeting the desired outcomes.
The Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 was updated to incorporate edits agreed to by Safe Work Australia Members in response to the findings of the mid-term review of the Strategy. These updates are listed below.
1. Change references from ‘priority disorders’ to ‘priority conditions’.
2. Amend the list of priority conditions as follows (changes in bold):
- musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)
- •mental health conditions
- •cancers (including skin cancer and asbestos-related cancers)
- •occupational lung diseases
- •contact dermatitis, and
- noise-induced hearing loss.
3. Update the Leadership and culture action area to explicitly reference ‘bullying, harassment and occupational violence’ as follows (changes in bold):
Organisational cultures can be influenced by broader community values and attitudes. Community expectations can be powerful drivers of change and collectively influence the nation’s health and safety culture. When the Australian community expects and demands that work be free from harm any failure to do so generates community pressure and action. The existence of bullying, harassment and occupational violence is identified as a hazard and requires organisational and community leadership to reduce incidence and impact.