Strategic priority 1: Prevention

Our first and main line of defence against workplace harm is prevention.


Reduce the number of lives lost at work

We will focus on the most prevalent causes of fatalities and serious injuries, and where they are most likely to occur, to drive a reduction in the number of lives lost at work. A strong compliance and enforcement program will be part of the approach. Our goal will always be zero fatalities.

In 2021-22, work to reduce fatalities will include:

  • a targeted compliance and enforcement program for the most prevalent causes of fatalities in agriculture, construction and transport
  • focussing activities such as stakeholder engagement and partnerships, media campaigns, education campaigns and guidance on the most prevalent causes of fatalities
  • developing a comprehensive map for external and internal data sources and building a qualitative and quantitative data set to identify contributing factors to workplace fatalities
  • developing risk models for workplace fatalities to effectively target the highest risk workplaces
  • working with Road Safety Victoria on the Victorian Road Safety Strategy in relation to people who use the road network for work, including the on-demand workforce.

In the event of a workplace tragedy, we will support the families of those who have died and continue to improve the service we provide.

Target the 5,000 workplaces predicted to generate the most claims in 2021-22

We have identified workplaces that have a disproportionally high prediction of future claims, which means we can direct resources to addressing risks in these workplaces before they result in harm to workers.

In 2021-22, this targeted work will include:

  • directing compliance and enforcement activity to the 5,000 workplaces predicted to generate the most claims
  • using a mix of tailored interventions to address the risks that are predicted to cause harm in the identified workplaces
  • reviewing how our Inspectorate operates and ensuring inspectors have sufficient time to implement this targeted work
  • developing a benchmarking approach where we identify organisations who are successfully preventing workplace harm and meeting their health and safety obligations, and using these examples to influence better performance from other organisations
  • improving targeting and timing of interventions through data-driven risk ranking
  • refining the predictive claims model as we learn more, to better target our approach.

Prevent large-scale industrial accidents which threaten the safety of the Victorian community

We have a responsibility to protect the Victorian community from potentially catastrophic events such as industrial accidents. Our focus will be on preventing these events through strong compliance and enforcement activity and productive working relationships with other regulators and government agencies.

In 2021-22, work to prevent large-scale industrial accidents will include:

  • continuous improvement of our predictive models
  • maintaining ongoing oversight of major hazard facilities, dangerous goods sites, mines and major construction
  • refining and ongoing implementation of the risk-based approach required for quarries, other construction and other dangerous goods sites
  • developing a strategic approach to regulating the evolving energy sector eg floating liquid natural gas
  • responding to and implementing the recommendations of the Dangerous Goods Act Review
  • maintaining productive working relationships with other regulators and government agencies
  • participating in interagency responses as required.

Support Victoria’s network of health and safety representatives

Informed and empowered  workers will help WorkSafe achieve its health and safety objectives. We recognise the network of health and safety representatives will play a valuable role.

In 2021-22, work to build a culture of safety in Victorian workplaces will include:

  • confirming what data is available to enhance the approach to identifying workplaces with and without designated work groups and health and safety representatives
  • maturing our data set to capture industry, training, activity and engagement
  • developing a program to enable effective representation, consultation and issue resolution in Victorian workplaces in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • ensuring consultation is a priority in WorkSafe’s compliance and enforcement policy, while also developing an operational policy and procedure
  • developing a coordinated approach within WorkSafe, including a central point of accountability.

Measuring our performance

As Victoria’s health and safety regulator, WorkSafe strives to prevent workplace harm and maintain the high safety standards the state is known for.

Prevention activity will be monitored and measured through the following:

* Lives lost data is correct as of 9 August 2021

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Actual 2018-19
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Actual 2019-20
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Actual 2020-21
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Target 2021-22
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Lives lost





Claims per million hours worked (CpMHW) - mental (insured)





Claims per million hours worked (CpMHW) - physical (insured)





Claims per million hours worked (CpMHW) (insured + self-insured)





Percentage of claims for significant injury





Mental Health Strategy - Implementation of Year One Action Plan