NSCA Foundation

SafeWork NSW launches high-risk workplaces strategy

Tuesday, 31 March, 2020

SafeWork NSW launches high-risk workplaces strategy

The NSW Government has launched a High-Risk Workplaces Strategy, targeting construction sites, hazardous chemical facilities and sites with mobile plant equipment. The strategy uses current and historical data to identify risk trends within industries, allowing SafeWork NSW to run targeted programs allowing intervention to reduce fatalities and serious injuries at work.

“Using state-of-the-art data science, SafeWork NSW can better identify businesses most at risk of having a workplace incident, and then work with those businesses to remove or reduce the risk before someone gets seriously injured or killed,” Kevin Anderson, Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, said. The strategy uses a predictive model that generates a risk score for each business.

When applied against data from 2018, the model has an 80% success rate in predicting whether or not a business will have an incident. The strategy strives to ensure that high-risk workplaces in NSW meet minimum compliance standards. This will be achieved through adopting an active compliance and enforcement-based approach, to ensure that the community and workers are protected from harm.

“We’ve seen the devastation workplace deaths and serious injury can have on the community, which is why SafeWork NSW continues to find new and innovative ways of addressing unsafe work practices, so that everyone makes it home at the end of their shift,” Anderson said. The strategy has adopted a risk-based approach to identifying high-risk workplaces, where the nature of the work could pose serious health and safety risks.

The strategy identifies high-risk workplaces by analysing fatal and serious incident notifications, using data to identify businesses with repeated and systemic violations, and undertaking predictive modelling to identify businesses with a significant risk potential. The strategy will also consider businesses’ workers compensation claims performance, field intelligence and other information sources when identifying high-risk workplaces.

SafeWork NSW’s compliance, prevention and regulatory function is guided by the Work Health and Safety Roadmap for NSW 2022. The six-year strategy commits NSW to a 30% reduction in work-related fatalities and a 50% reduction in the incidence of serious injuries and illnesses by 2022.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/auremar

NSCA Foundation is a member based, non-profit organisation working together with members to improve workplace health and safety throughout Australia. For more information and membership details click here
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