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Safety capability survey

The Safety capability survey is a leading indicator tool that provides an overview of the potential of an organisation to maintain work health and safety (WHS) when faced with uncertainty, risks, and other modern work environment challenges.

Capable workplaces manage and respond to these challenges in ways that promote safe and productive work, prevent injuries and illnesses, and support sustainable recovery and return to work (RTW).

The survey asks participants questions on how WHS and recovery and RTW is perceived and managed in their workplace, with survey results providing indicative areas of safety capability strength and areas where safety capability could be improved. Improvement areas allow organisations to prioritise their energy and resources to areas where it’s needed most.

When your organisation completes the survey, your results will be provided in a report. Each safety capability focus area will be scored to give you an overall picture of your current level of safety capability. Your organisation’s key strengths and improvement opportunity areas are highlighted. From here, you can use our resources to develop an action plan and communication strategy to make positive changes to safety capability at your workplace.

Preparing your workplace

Encourage staff to complete the Safety capability survey by sharing information about its purpose and benefits before the survey is issued.

Preparing your workplaces will result in a higher response rate. You should:

  • refer to the information in this section/below to learn more about gaining commitment, identifying your champions, and communicating your plan. It includes resources for building a business case for senior leaders and engaging the broader workforce.
  • identify the people who will manage the process such as the survey administrator and safety capability champions. These people should have an interest and understanding of safety capability, leadership and culture.
  • provide your workers with a clear understanding of the processes and benefits of their participation.
  • communicate with your workforce about the safety capability survey and how it can be used to improve their work health and safety (WHS). This could include:

Frequently asked questions

If you are interested in participating in the pilot phase of the survey please contact

If you are currently completing a survey in your workplace and have a question you can ask the survey organiser or nominated survey champions in your workplace (if appointed). Alternatively, you can review Safety capability, leadership and culture to find out more about safety capability.

Take the opportunity to explore the results further with your workers. Focus groups and informal conversations will provide further context and help you understand the survey results better. Organisations are also able to re-take the Safety capability survey. This may be helpful if you have concerns about the validity of results (e.g., sample size, representation across different work groups and roles).

Recovery and return to work is an indicator of an organisation’s approach to injury management and return to work. How an organisation responds to an incident demonstrates safety beliefs and values to workers. Recovery and return to work can also have implications for absenteeism, turnover, and workforce stability, which can contribute to the organisation’s ability to manage and respond to risks.

There are no direct costs associated with doing the survey. Changes you make as part of interventions may require financial investment by your organisation.

No. All participants need to complete the survey via a computer, mobile phone, or tablet with internet connectivity.

No. Data is deidentified and your organisation will not be able to identify you. Data is reported at the group-level, meaning your organisation does not have access to individual responses, only the aggregated report.

The survey takes approximately 15 – 20 minutes to complete it.

The survey is not compulsory, and you can exit at any time to withdraw your responses. Your data will not be included in the final report unless you complete the survey.

The survey is designed to improve the capability of your organisation to maintain work health and safety by promoting safe and productive work, preventing injuries and illnesses, and supporting sustainable recovery and return to work.

You can ask the survey organiser or nominated survey champions in your workplace (if appointed). Alternatively, you can review Safety capability, leadership and culture to find out more about safety capability.

Take advantage of tailored face-to-face advice provided by our Injury Prevention and Management (IPaM) advisors. IPaM advisors can assist you assess your safety management system and advise you on how to make improvements. IPaM is free for Queensland businesses. Register for IPaM to talk to an advisor.

The data is stored in Australia on secured servers.


View the Resources page for information and tips on how to improve your systems and processes to build your safety capability including prioritising organisational safety, importance of consultation, representation and participation, and understanding your legal obligations.