Safe Work Australia Seeks Input on 10-Year Plan

The framework document is a 2012-2022 strategy calling for a 20 percent reduction in work-related deaths and a 30 percent reduction in injuries.

Safe Work Australia released its Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 on March 26 and asked stakeholders and the public to comment on it by May 21. The document lists goals to be achieved during the decade ahead, including a 20 percent reduction in work-related deaths and a 30 percent reduction in injuries. It also lists six work-related disease/safety categories and five national industries as the priorities on which Safe Work Australia will focus its efforts until 2015 and 2017, respectively, and these are:

  • Categories: musculoskeletal disorders, mental disorders, cancers, asthma, contact dermatitis, noise-induced hearing loss
  • Industries: agriculture, transport, manufacturing, construction, health

Seven national action areas -- starting with prevention through design, a well-known strategy embraced by NIOSH among others -– also are listed as the stepping stones toward achieving the 2022 goals.

Tom Phillips, chair of Safe Work Australia, urged the public to be aware of the plan and to comment on it, "as it will influence their working lives over the coming decade."

He added, "Despite significant improvement in work health and safety in the last 10 years there is still more that can be done to keep our families free from work-related death, injury, and illness. Safe Work Australia is seeking your views to develop a practical, overarching strategy with targets that all Australian workplaces can and should aspire to achieve."

The agency said 216 Australians died from work-related injuries in 2009-10, and the estimated total annual cost of workplace injuries, illnesses, and diseases is more than $60 billion.

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