Fishing identified as a priority in National Work Health and Safety Strategy

The National Occupational Health and Safety Strategy provides a framework for a broad range of national activities to improve the health and safety of workers in Australia.

Based on this framework government, unions and industry work in partnership to improve work health and safety awareness and skills and to develop nationally-consistent legislation.

It is recognised that while there are costs inherent in providing healthy and safe workplaces the costs of not doing so are even greater. It has been shown that good work health and safety improves long-term business productivity.

Reviews of the Strategy have established the need to expand the scope of involvement in implementation beyond government regulators to include collaborative partnerships with all parties with an interest in work health and safety.

With around half of all workers in Australia employed in small businesses such as fishing, it is important that national strategic activities support improvement in the capability of small businesses to successfully manage health and safety risks.

Targets to be achieved by 2022 include:

  • a reduction in the number of worker fatalities due to injury of at least 20%;
  • a reduction in the incidence rate of claims resulting in one or more weeks off work of at least 30%; and,
  • a reduction in the incidence rate of claims for musculoskeletal disorders resulting in one or more weeks off work of at least 30 per cent.

Work health and safety policy, programs and practice need to be informed by robust evidence. Continuing to improve national data is essential to developing the evidence base.

Evidence helps the ongoing identification of national priorities and measurement of our progress towards achieving the vision and the outcomes. Incident reporting from industry for injuries as well as near misses allows the evidence base to be built and trends focussed upon by industry and authorities.

The following broad industry groups have been identified as national priorities for prevention activities – agriculture (including fishing), road transport, manufacturing, construction, accommodation, food services, public administration, health care and social assistance.

You can view the strategy here.