This review is the first broad review of the ACT’s work health and safety compliance and enforcement arrangements since the adoption of the national model work health and safety legislation in the ACT in 2011. We have identified emerging strengths in WorkSafe ACT’s approach to strategic planning and have identified opportunities for improvement to clarify roles and responsibilities; and to better use data and information to inform the approach to compliance and enforcement.

The scope of this review is confined to examining the work health and safety compliance and enforcement arrangements. It is not a policy and legislative review. That said, our findings and recommendations include changes to the governance for work health and safety arrangements which will require legislative change.

The findings and recommendations are presented in this report in seven sections:

  • Section1 sets out the review framework and our approach to the review. It describes our research and consultations and describes the analytical framework that shapes the review and this report.

  • Section 2 briefly outlines the changing work health and safety context in the ACT to provide a backdrop for the consideration of the arrangements we are considering in the review, and specially to scope the size of the jurisdiction and the types of businesses, and therefore the nature of workplace hazards in the ACT.

  • Section 3 describes the history of WorkSafe ACT.

  • Section 4 describes WorkSafe ACT’s Compliance Framework.

  • Section 5 continues the consideration of the appropriateness and effectiveness of WorkSafe ACT’s approach with assessment of its risk-based approach and current activities; including the use of data and the sharing of information in Access Canberra which is a specific focus of the review.

  • Section 6 describes the complex governance structure and makes recommendations for a sustainable future governance structure using the OECD best practice model as an assessment framework.

  • Section 7 assesses the current organisational structure and proposes a preferred organisational structure to improve WorkSafe ACT’s effectiveness.

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