Research at WorkSafe

WorkSafe's Research Division is responsible for research design and development, research project management and monitoring, a level of research governance including ethics, and the dissemination and translation of research.


What we do

WorkSafe's Research Division delivers high-quality research activities to provide an evidence base to inform WorkSafe's products and services for prevention and recovery.

The Research Division invests in research which strategically aligns with the business priorities, has impact, is consistent with ethical standards and is a catalyst for change.

How we do it

In order to improve workplace health and safety outcomes for workers, employers and the Victorian community, WorkSafe's research continuously generates guidance and evidence-based insights that are translatable into prevention-led and client focused action.

In order to meet our research objectives, there are guiding principles for prioritisation that steer all research decisions. Each potential research project is assessed on these principles using a governance framework to ensure that all activity contributes to meeting our objectives and ultimately realising our vision.

Research Program Areas

Below are the indicative Research Program Areas from the 2020-2021 Research Business Plan.


  • Evaluation of OHS regulations and exposure to hazards.
  • Enforcement research: Notices issuance, inspectorate service, community perceptions of enforcement approach.
  • Evaluate the reforms of regulatory practice against Victorian best practice regulatory principles.
  • Systems thinking in prevention.
  • Cultural diversity research.
  • Preventing occupational violence, sexual harassment and gendered violence.
  • Addressing issues of systemic racism, sexism and discrimination and their manifestation as incidents of workplace bullying.
  • Injury prevention.
  • Farm safety research.
  • Community research to evaluate public education campaigns, community experience and engagement with WorkSafe.


  • Mixed methods evaluation of new support services, treatment pathways and case management models to support injured worker recovery.
  • Clinical research, decision-making approaches, clinical evidence reviews.
  • Injured worker, employer representative survey and inspectorate survey.

Recovery and prevention

  • Australia-New Zealand Research Collaboration (ANZRC) and national projects.
  • COVID-19 research program.

Information and resources

WorkSafe's Ethical Research Guidance Framework and Assessment

The purpose of the Ethical Research Guidance Framework and Assessment is to assist with risk evaluation and ethical consideration of human research activities at WSV. This process aims to ensure ethical practice in human research is being sufficiently and consistently imbedded in order to fulfil both legal and ethical requirements.

The Ethical Research Assessment provides a template to be utilised by WSV staff or external research providers before conducting human research, (unless exempt due to obtaining human research ethics committee/HREC approval). For research projects engaging an external provider, this assessment process must be completed before research can begin and before full funding for the proposal is released.

The Ethical Research Guidance Framework must be read and understood prior to completing the assessment. It can be referred to for clarification and further insight into ethics at WorkSafe.

Completed assessments are reviewed by the WSV Research Division against the National Health and Medical Research Council's 'National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research'. Sign-off on assessments are granted by the WSV Director of Research. Sign-offs will also indicate if there is a need for further review by a HREC.

If you require any assistance with completing your assessment or if you have any queries regarding this form, please email the Research Division - [email protected].

Guidance Framework and Assessment documents

WorkSafe's External Research Data Access

WorkSafe's External Research Data Access Group (ERDAG) is responsible for the management of external research data requests including data sourced from WorkSafe Victoria's (WSV) Compensation Research Database (CRD).

The CRD is a database which contains a substantial volume of historical claims and administrative data, including de-identified data about each injury compensation claim received by WorkSafe since it was established in 1985.

The CRD and data access function was previously managed by the Institute of Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR), and is now managed between WSV's Research Division and Intelligence Management Function (IMF), which form the ERDAG. This change of management is a part of the new research model and reflects the expanded functions of WSV.

The continual use of available WSV data allows WSV to uncover significant insights to promote health and safety at work for all Victorians, and further support external research into workplace injuries. Access to WSV data for external research purposes provides a unique platform for linking data to other datasets, thus enabling large-scale epidemiological descriptive studies to expand research possibilities. Further, the use of the de-identified data by external research investigators provides an additional foundation for comparative studies with other jurisdictions, helping to expand compensation health research activity both nationally and internationally.

Applying for external research data access

Access to available WSV Data is offered to external research investigators upon approved application.

To apply, the Lead Investigator should first review the CRD Access Policy document which will help to determine if the CRD is appropriate for the research. If the data required can be provided through the CRD, the WSV Research Division will then provide the Lead Investigator with the appropriate Application Form, Access Policy, Research Agreement, Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest Deed Poll, and relevant details regarding the review process.

To make an application, the Lead Investigator must review all documents and provide the Research Division with a completed Application Form along with proof of ethics approval.

More information

For further information about Research at WorkSafe, please email [email protected].