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Work Health and Safety Board and committees

The Work Health and Safety Board and its committees are established under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to enable industry consultation about work health and safety.

Work Health and Safety Board

We're the peak advisory body to the Queensland Government on work health and safety matters. Our primary function is to give advice and make recommendations to the Minister about policies, strategies, allocation of resources and legislative arrangements for work health and safety.

To support us in doing this, we consult with employers, workers and their representative organisations, as well as the work health and safety community to get industry feedback. You can contact us by emailing oirboardsandcommittees@oir.qld.gov.au

We meet at least four times a year and information relating to our most recent meetings can be accessed here:

At the Work Health and Safety Board (Board) meeting held on 16 November 2022, the Board focussed on processes to identify key emerging work health and safety (WHS) areas for 2023 and the best mechanisms to support effective advice and recommendations on these issues being provided to the Minister for Industrial Relations and to the work health and safety regulator.

Psychological health, effective regulatory capability and performance, and work consultation, representation and participation (including Health and Safety Representatives) have been identified as priority areas for the Board’s focus in 2023.

The Board identified that its six Industry Sector Standing Committees, for Construction, Health and Community Services, Manufacturing, Retail and Wholesale, Rural, and Transport and Storage, will need to be actively engaged to monitor the legislative changes expected to occur as a result of the Boland Review of the Model laws (conducted in 2018 with agreed government response in 2021) and the current five-year review of the Queensland’s Work Health and Safety Act 2011, to which the Board recently made a submission.

The Honourable Grace Grace MP, Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing, attended part of the meeting to receive a briefing directly from the Board about the key issues. The Deputy Director-General of the Office of Industrial Relations (OIR), Ms Kym Bancroft, also attended part of the meeting. The Board discussed its ongoing strategy and how its representation from worker, employer and expert organisations can support and inform OIR as the WHS regulator on improved WHS outcomes.

The next full meeting of the Board is scheduled for 28 February 2023. The two Board focus groups on Regulator Capability and Performance, and Psychological Health and Safety are planning to hold meetings in December and February.


The WHS Board is the peak advisory body to the Queensland Government on work health and safety matters. Its primary function is to give advice and make recommendations to the Minister about policies, strategies, allocation of resources and legislative arrangements for work health and safety. The Board membership is as follows:

Chair – Mr Jorgen Gullestrup

Worker representatives

  • Mr Mark Raguse, AWU
  • Mr Royce Kupsch, CFMEU
  • Ms Samantha Boardman (observer) QCU & AMWU
  • Ms Kate Veach, QCU & QNMU

Employer representatives

  • Ms Annette Alexander, AiGroup
  • Dr Georgina Davis, WRIQ
  • Mr Gary Mahon, QTA
  • Ms Kathy Taylor
  • Mr Craig Dearling (observer) MBQ

Expert representatives

  • Professor Richard Johnstone Ms Naomi Kemp, AIHS
  • Mr Bruce Watson, WorkCover Queensland

Authorised by Jorgen Gullestrup, Work Health and Safety Board Chair. Please direct any queries to OIRBoardsAndCommittees@oir.qld.gov.au.

At the Queensland Work Health and Safety Board (the Board) meeting held on 14 September 2022, the Board discussed the codesign of work health and safety strategies with the Office of Industrial Relations including identifying priorities for regulatory focus and support for Health and Safety Representatives.

The Board discussed the establishment of key focus areas for priority action and will progress these through special meetings of Board members, and the establishment of working parties as needed. The initial areas decided on are:

  1. regulator capability and performance
  2. psychological health and safety, and
  3. worker consultative arrangements (including Health and Safety Representatives)

The Board agreed the first two should be established in 2022 and the third should begin in early 2023.

The Board agreed to make a submission to the Work Health and Safety Act review Work Health and Safety Act 2011 review. The submission focussed on key points of the review’s terms of reference relating to Health and Safety Representatives, worker representation, reviews and stays of enforcement notices, and also raised a number of other points regarding the WHS Act’s overall effectiveness and performance.

The next meeting of the WHS Board will be held on 16 November.

We also promote work health and safety to industry and the community to encourage a healthy and safe culture at places of work.

Read our five-year strategic plan (PDF, 1.24 MB) for improving work health and safety in Queensland. It details key focus areas and initiatives for healthy, safe and productive work for all Queenslanders.

Our Chairperson and members are skilled and experienced in the management of work health and safety. Appointed by the Minister, they equally represent workers and employers. Read about our current Work Health and Safety Board members.

We're supported by the following six industry sector standing committees.

Industry sector standing committees

We include:

  • Construction Industry Sector Standing Committee
  • Health and Community Services Industry Sector Standing Committee
  • Manufacturing Industry Sector Standing Committee
  • Retail and Wholesale Industry Sector Standing Committee (incorporating hospitality, recreation and other services)
  • Rural Industry Sector Standing Committee
  • Transport and Storage Industry Sector Standing Committee.

Our primary function is to give industry-specific advice and make recommendations to the Work Health and Safety Board about work health and safety in our respective industry sectors. Our key focus is supporting the implementation of the Board’s five-year strategic plan (PDF, 1.24 MB) and developing responses to work health and safety issues faced by our industry sectors.

We use our industry networks to consult on industry-specific work health and safety issues and to promote and distribute work health and safety information.

Our Chairperson and members are skilled and experienced in the management of work health and safety. Appointed by the Minister, they equally represent workers and employers.

Consultative committee for work-related fatalities and serious incidents

Our purpose is to provide:

  • advice and recommendations to the Minister about the information and support needs of people impacted by work-related deaths, serious incidents and illness
  • a forum where Queenslanders impacted by work-related deaths, serious incidents and illness can connect and share information.

The Consultative committee for work-related fatalities and serious incidents (affected persons committee) is established under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and its members are appointed by the Minister for Industrial Relations. All members have either suffered the loss of a loved one or have been seriously injured through a work-related incident. The committee meets quarterly.

If you have suffered as a result of a work-related fatality or serious illness or injury, we want to hear from you. Please direct message a request to join a closed support group via our Support for families of workplace fatalities, illness and injuries Facebook page.

You can also contact us by emailing OHSConsultativeCommittee@oir.qld.gov.au or calling us on 0417 910 130.

Read about our current Consultative committee for work-related fatalities and serious incidents committee members.