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Our focus

WHSQ Inspectors

In partnership with our stakeholders Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) strive to achieve the lowest rate of work-related and electrical fatality, injury and disease of any state or territory in Australia. WHSQ focuses on an evidence based approach which uses data to drive resource allocation and activities. We deliver data, evidence and tools to industry to empower them to improve health and safety.

We collaborate with business and industry on:

  • what compliance looks like for them - so that they can successfully implement their own safety activities. For low risk industries, for example, there will be fewer key things they need to focus on to be compliant while high risk industries will need to do more in order to comply
  • how to answer the perennial ‘what’s in it for me and my business’, through programs that demonstrate concrete evidence about return on investment
  • how to build a mature safety culture so safety behaviour can be influenced by positive safety systems, leadership, attitudes and motivations
  • pushing data and evidence to industry to empower business with knowledge and information to take action.

In line with this new approach the safety regulator has developed a number of collaborative initiatives that take a facilitating and enabling approach to improving safety outcomes.

Collaborative initiatives and approach

See below to learn more about how we deliver initiatives for businesses on safer workplaces for all Queenslanders:

Regional service delivery

The work health and safety regulator is transforming its service delivery approach to improve the safety, productivity and competitiveness of Queensland businesses through greater collaboration with businesses, industry associations, WorkCover Queensland and other safety regulators.

This approach transforms the traditional regulator focus on hazard spotting and enforcement through audits, notices and prosecution to a regulator that is an ‘enabler’ or ‘facilitator’ seeking to gain duty holder cooperation and facilitating a process of joint problem solving and capacity building.

This renewed approach applies an escalation response to balance the need for collaboration and partnerships with coercive powers and sanctions. Service delivery efforts are first concentrated on encouraging and assisting compliance, and where these efforts have failed, escalated to direct compliance through coercive powers and sanctions.

Business engagement

Business engagement encourages and assists compliance by drawing on the positive motivators to incite voluntary compliance and provides duty holders with relevant information, guidance, education and advice to help them improve their work health and safety and electrical safety practices.

Business engagement tools include:


The compliance area directs compliance through coercive constructive means in the aftermath of a particular workplace incident or dangerous electrical event. Inspector visits to workplaces focus on remedying specific circumstances to prevent the reoccurrence of a particular incident or existence of a hazard or risk.

Compliance tools consist of:


Tools used in the investigations area relate to the:

  • provision of information, education and advice
  • comprehensive investigations of serious work health and safety and electrical safety incidents and fatalities
  • prosecution
  • enforceable undertakings
  • review and implementation of relevant recommendations from coronial inquests
  • promotion of investigation and prosecution outcomes in the media.

These services can be delivered solely by the regions, executed through mobile and flexible teams, undertaken by other units within the Office of Industrial Relations or administered through a combination of these approaches. The delivery mechanism is decided as part of the planning process for an initiative or campaign and approved by senior management.

Designated regional compliance, business engagement and investigations teams have been established to support these service delivery priorities.

Industry action plans

Seven Industry Action Plans (IAPs) have been developed, identifying activities to improve work health and safety and return to work outcomes in the seven industry subsectors that contribute to a significant amount of the reported and accepted claims and workplace fatalities in Queensland. These include meat processing, metals manufacturing, road freight transport, horticulture, working with livestock, civil construction, and construction trades. The key goal areas of the IAPs are:

  • healthy and safe by design
  • supply chains and networks
  • health and safety capabilities
  • leadership and culture
  • worker health and wellbeing.

The IAPs have been developed through stakeholder consultation and are a valuable tool for engaging with industry about issues and priorities.

Targeted and sustained industry engagement through the IAPs has contributed to a 15.4 per cent reduction in the incidence of serious work-related injuries in Queensland. The reduction is more prevalent in each priority industry sector with a 30.5 per cent reduction in the construction sector, 25.9 per cent in the manufacturing sector, 16.6 per cent in the agriculture sector and 15.9 per cent in the transport sector.




Mental health



Work health and wellbeing

Priority disorder action plans

Seven priority disorder action plans, under the Priority Disorder Strategy have been identified to align with the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022. These are:

The principles of the action plans are:

  • hazard areas are eliminated or minimised by design
  • improved work health and safety through supply chains and networks
  • improved work health and safety capabilities
  • leaders in communities and organisations promote a positive culture for health and safety
  • evidence-informed policy, programs and practice
  • government improves work health and safety
  • the regulatory framework improves effectiveness by responding and adapting to changing circumstance.
Last updated
30 January 2019

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