OHS Blog

People Update – November 2023

Since my last update, the People space has been a hive of activity. We have welcomed new starters across both Action OHS Consulting and Safety Champion in line with our growth strategy, welcomed back [with great delight] one of our team members who had been on extended leave, and found time to establish programs and deliver on initiatives that underpin our core values and people strategy. 

It hasn’t been all work work work… we’ve supported events that have facilitated social engagements, celebrated some birthday milestones, heard all about the sun-filled 3, 6 and 12 week overseas travels adventures embarked on through Europe and South America, and seen several of our remote teams collaborate onsite together. 



Wellness Program 

Complementing our healthy office snacks initiative was the launch of our “Wellness Reimbursement Program”.

(Yes, we know [very well] that “wellness programs” are more than snacks and yoga. That said, one insight we’re seeing at our “snack corners” is more of those water cooler conversations – that were happening per-hybrid work. So we’re viewing it as a win-win).

With a large number of our team based in Melbourne, we know first-hand that winter hibernation…






Our wellness reimbursement initiative was designed to motivate and encourage our teams to band together to support each other in taking a positive step towards a physical or wellbeing goal via a $$$ reimbursement. We’re delighted to see gym memberships, new shoes [including red ones that took on the Melbourne half-marathon], rock climbing memberships and massages procured, all supporting our value of life-work balance. 




RU Ok? Day 

As part of our Wellness Program, we celebrated RU OK? Day with a wellness webinar. To bring things to life, we “sponsored” in-person catch-ups at our “local” coffee van in Cremorne, and coordinated several virtual coffee catch-ups to include our out-of-Melbourne team. Better Together is one of our core values, it was great to see staff connecting with each other outside their “typical-day” during September. 



We’re excited to introduce Renee Dawson to the Action OHS Consulting team in Brisbane, Queensland. Renee’s arrival marks a celebratory step in our Australian strategic growth plans, becoming the first consultant in this vibrant city. With an extensive background in health and safety, Renee brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our team. I encourage you to reach out and connect with Renee Dawson via LinkedIn. 


Our Pathways 

We are [absolutely] thrilled to launch our inaugural Graduate Program, and pleased to announce that our first graduate will be starting with us during November as part of our Career Pathways Program. This structured program provides graduates with exposure to both our consultant and software businesses, whilst supporting them to deliver on a capstone project that they can be proud of. Over the duration of the program, the graduate will get first hand experience working with our clients and customers by supporting: auditing and system development projects, delivering training via Action OHS Consulting and supporting customer onboarding with Safety Champion. They will be mentored by one of our Principal OHS Consultants and supported by our Customer Success Manager. 

Whilst we’re on Career Pathways, we are currently in market with a Melbourne-based Marketing and Communications Manager role that will be working across both Action OHS Consulting and Safety Champion Software. If you know someone who is excited by the start-up mindset, with a desire to lead, shape and “roll up their sleeves” to implement *their* Marketing and Communications strategy, please encourage them to apply today (or tomorrow) here: Marketing and Communications Manager. 

Our growth strategy continues to support expansion of our consulting services in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. If you’re a Safety Consultant or Manager across all levels looking for change with a focus on meaningful and purposeful work, contact me directly for more information. I’d love to see if we can create the right opportunity for us both. 

Better Together 

Our Social Club recently organised a ten-pin bowling night. Yes, the competitive spirit was there – with high-10’s aplenty!

We followed this with a new starter catch-up in Hanoi, more team members catching up in Manilla and a “special-birthday” celebration the week following.

Nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing our teams together and achieve deep work. So it was fantastic to see our Customer Success team come together in our Melbourne office recently [travelling from Adelaide, Gundagai, Boort and Melbourne] for a two-day intensive planning and collaboration session. Across the two-days, some “strategically-placed” end-of-session customer products made the photo library – nice! 



Our People 

6-months back we said we wanted to provide some transparency of the People Metrics we monitor. Find these below: 

  • People Engagement: Consistently rated 8.6/10 following weekly pulse checks with our most important asset, our people 
  • Employees: 44 in total 
  • Gender: 55% males vs. 45% females 
  • Flexible Work Arrangements: Nearly 1/3 of our employees work part-time 
  • Flexibility: 100% of our people work flexibly! 


I know it’s sometimes hard to find granular information like this. So, if you would like to explore any other metrics, learn more about what we are doing, or share what you are doing [we’re only getting started]; I’d be interested in discussing further. The best way to contact me would be via LinkedIn or megan.drysdale@actionohs.com.au.


Megan Drysdale

Head of People

Connect with me via LinkedIn



Looking for our previous People Program updates? 👇


Client Spotlight – November 2023


Logo of Malec transport who are a valued Action OHS Client

Malec Terminal Logistics. The Action OHS Consulting team have been assisting Malec Terminal Logistics who are national one-stop transport & logistics company, with multi state operations and partner with some of Australia’s leading importers and retailers. The Team have supported the operations teams at their Queensland, Victorian and South Australian sites to revise traffic management plans and chemical storage. Along with review and update of key procedures and training.



CMP Consulting. Action OHS Consulting has been working with the CMP Consulting Group, who are an Australian owned and operated consulting engineering organisation with a specific focus on the water industry. CMP partner with public and private sector clients to provide engineering solutions for a broad range of water related infrastructure. Action OHS have been supporting CMP to undertake a significant review and update of their Integrated Management system (IMS) with a particular focus on the management of site works and subcontractors undertaking high risk work.



Itech Minerals. Action OHS Consulting has been supporting iTech Minerals (ITM), a mining exploration company based in South Australia and listed on the ASX: ITM. iTech Minerals are involved in several exploration projects focussed on sources of Graphite, Kaolin and Rare Earth Elements (REE) to feed the growing renewable energy and battery market. Our Action OHS Consultant team have been supporting ITM with the review, updating and build out of health and safety documentation. Currently, Action OHS Consulting are supporting ITM to implement Safety Champion software which will make management and delivery of health and safety outcomes easier and more effective.
It has been great to see the commitment from the Managing Director at iTech Minerals to create and improve health, safety and wellbeing for employees, contractors, members and the local community. We are looking forward to providing the team ongoing support in their safety journey.



Schott Minifab. Action OHS Consulting has also been supporting Schott Minifab, who partner with clients to create and manufacture ground-breaking diagnostic and life science products that are changing the world. Action OHS have partnered with FCW Lawyers to facilitate a second round of Leadership OHS Due Diligence training for a group of senior leaders within the business. These co-facilitated sessions aim to address both legal obligations, but also build leaders capability in the safety space.

New health and safety codes and legislation – November 2023

A summary of the latest WHS news and updates from across Australia

1Sources: OHS Alert; National, State and Territory Regulatory websites.


National Safe Work Month

October 2023 marked National Safe Work Month, led by Safe Work Australia and promoted by regulators across Australia. Held every October, National Safe Work Month seeks to promote and raise awareness of the importance of work health and safety and prevention of work-related fatalities, injuries and illnesses.

A number of resources were available and published throughout the month, centred on the following four themes:

  • Week 1: Working together to manage risks at work
  • Week 2: Working together to protect workers’ mental health
  • Week 3: Working together to support all workers
  • Week 4: Working together to ensure a safe and healthy workplace

Learn more here – National Safe Work Month 2023 | Safe Work Australia .



Codes and legislation

Safe Work Australia

Amendments to the model WHS laws

The national model WHS laws have been amended to significantly increase the maximum available fines and jail times, and to clarify the operation of the category-1 offence in a way that is likely to give regulators and prosecutors more confidence to pursue company officers for recklessness or gross negligence. The amendments do not automatically apply in a jurisdiction. For the model WHS Act and model WHS Regulations to have effect in a jurisdiction they must be enacted in that jurisdiction. Learn more here: Amendments to the model WHS laws | Safe Work Australia


Information-gathering powers added to Safe Work Australia Act 2008

The Commonwealth Safe Work Australia Act 2008 has been updated to incorporate Safe Work Australia’s new powers to obtain information from WHS regulators and other persons. The powers allow SWA’s CEO to apply to a person for information that is relevant to the performance of SWA’s functions of collecting data and undertaking research that informs the development and evaluation of WHS and workers’ comp policies and strategies, if the CEO reasonably believes the person has such information.


Working from home WHS Guidance

Safe Work Australia published new resources on managing WHS risks when workers are doing computer-based work from home.  The resources include information sheets for PCBUs and workers, a checklist to help identify common hazards which may be present when working from home, and a workstation set up infographic. Download the resources for practical information on meeting your WHS duties when working from home here –  Working from home – Resources | Safe Work Australia


Consultation Checklist

Safe Work Australia has published an updated WHS consultation checklist to comprehensively reflect WHS duties and better support duty holders’ understanding of the requirements. If you’re a PCBU, you must consult with workers (and any health and safety representatives) and other duty holders to manage WHS risks. This checklist is intended to help you to ensure you have arrangements in place that support effective consultation. The checklist is available: Consultation checklist | Safe Work Australia and included in the Model Code of Practice: Work health and safety consultation, cooperation and coordination.


Asbestos registers at the workplace – new guide now published

Where buildings, structures or plant equipment at your workplace built or installed before 2004, or if in Queensland before 1990. The person with management or control of the workplace, for example the owner,  must ensure an asbestos register is prepared, maintained and readily accessible to other persons at your workplace. The guide seeks to assist you:

  • understand what an asbestos register is and if your workplace needs one;
  • develop and maintain a comprehensive asbestos register that identifies asbestos at your workplace; and
  • understand who are considered “competent persons” in relation to identifying asbestos and collecting information for asbestos registers.

A copy of the guide is available here: Asbestos registers at the workplace.


Safe Work Australia – New Interactive Data Website

Safe Work Australia released a new interactive data website allowing users to explore national WHS and workers’ compensation data in an intuitive and user-friendly way. The new website provides a wide array of WHS data through dashboards, data collections and reports not previously available to the public. Website users can now explore and create their own charts and tables to explore insights into WHS data by industry, occupation, year, and mechanism of injury. Explore Safe Work Australia Data at Our Data. Your Stories. | dataswa (safeworkaustralia.gov.au).



New South Wales

New WHS Laws bring tougher penalties in NSW

The NSW Government has introduced WHS amendments:

  • tripling the maximum penalties for category-1 breaches,
  • clarifying that officers can be prosecuted for recklessness,
  • introducing “prohibited asbestos notices” with hefty non-compliance fines,
  • giving police certain enforcement powers under WHS laws.

Learn more: New laws bring tougher penalties, longer imprisonment and better protections for dust diseases | SafeWork NSW


SafeWork NSW Respect at Work Strategy: preventing sexual harassment

SafeWork NSW has launched its first four-year Strategy (2023-2027) to support NSW businesses in preventing workplace sexual harassment and other gender-based harmful workplace behaviours. Through the Strategy, SafeWork NSW will educate NSW businesses on their duties to prevent and respond to workplace sexual harassment before it occurs and take appropriate enforcement action to protect NSW workers. Learn more via: SafeWork NSW releases strategy to help prevent sexual harassment at work | SafeWork NSW


SafeWork NSW new SeasonalSAFE tool

NSW Government is rolling out a new easy-to-use online, interactive SeasonalSAFE planning tool. The SeasonalSAFE Plan seeks to helps businesses prepare and manage the risks summer weather can pose to their workers and patrons. All businesses are urged to complete a SeasonalSAFE Plan. Including businesses in Sydney’s CBD where bushfire related dangers can often be neglected. While the flames themselves may not be a threat to these businesses, smoke from these fires can often travel thousands of kilometres, polluting the lungs of those in the city. The SeasonalSAFE Plan form can be accessed on the SeasonalSAFE page.




New national dangerous goods Code taking effect in Vic.

The latest version of the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail, Edition 7.8, will come into force in Victoria on 1 October 2023, under changes made to the State’s dangerous goods legislation. Through transitional arrangements, duty holders can elect to continue complying with the previous version until 1 April 2024. The National Transport Commission, which administers the Code, intended that it be used from 1 April 2023, and mandatory from April next year, but acknowledged that some states would apply different commencement dates. Lear more via: Australian Dangerous Goods Code | National Transport Commission (ntc.gov.au) .


Tougher spotter and guarding rules made for EWPs

WorkSafe Victoria has alerted duty holders to recent changes to its “Industry Standard for the safe use of elevating work platforms” (EWPs), which includes additional guidance on emergency procedures and the requirements for a safety observer during operation. Elevating Work Platforms industry standard – Key changes | WorkSafe Victoria


Lithium-ion battery fires

WorkSafe Victoria have issued a reminder about the risks of using, storing and charging equipment that has lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are found in many products. These products may be used, stored or charged in a workplace or an area under the management and control of an organisation. When overheated, lithium-ion batteries of all sizes can catch fire. The fire is often hard to put out and the smoke from the fire can be toxic. There was a tragic fatality recently where a person was quickly overcome by the fumes of a lithium battery fire.

There are a number of recommended ways to control risks associate with lithium-ion batteries overheating and catching fire. Access the latest WorkSafe Victoria safety alert via Lithium-ion battery fires | WorkSafe Victoria to learn more, including your legal duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.


Consider if there are old batteries that can be disposed to reduce the risk of fires in your workplace and remember batteries should never be placed in general waste.


See link for safe battery recycling  https://recyclingnearyou.com.au/batteries/



South Australia

Engineered stone regulations now in effect

Strict new regulations on the processing of engineered stone products came into effect from 1 September 2023 in a bid to reduce the risk of dust diseases and bring SA in line with other Regulators. All workers involved in cutting, grinding, trimming, sanding, or drilling engineered stone products must be provided with respiratory protective equipment, and use a dust control system such as a water suppressant or exhaust ventilation.

Under the regulations, it is an offence for an employer or contractor to direct or allow a worker to process engineered stone without specific control measures in place to minimise the risk of silica dust inhalation.

The regulations carry penalties of up to $6,000 for an individual or $30,000 for a body corporate, in addition to existing criminal offences under the WHS Act which provide for up to 5 years imprisonment and fines of up to $3 million for reckless conduct which exposes a person to the risk of death or serious injury or illness.

SafeWork SA will enforce the new regulations, which will bring SA in line with recent changes by Safe Work Australia to the model work health and safety laws. Learn more here: Engineered stone regulations kick in | SafeWork SA


New regulations to manage risks of psychological harm

New regulations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 will help provide better guidance to workers and employers on how to manage the risk of psychological injuries and illnesses in the workplace.

Psychological illnesses have a significant effect on workers’ health, as well as business productivity. There has been a growing recognition of the need for the WHS framework to better deal with risks of psychological harm.

The new regulations reflect the outcomes of an independent review of Australia’s model WHS laws in 2018, which recommended more specific guidance how to identify and manage psychosocial risks.

Psychosocial hazards are hazards that may cause psychological harm. Examples range from excessive workload demands, to exposure to traumatic events and material, to issues such as bullying, harassment and sexual discrimination in the workplace.

The new regulations will come into effect in December 2023. When the regulations come into effect they will be supported by a Code of Practice on Managing psychosocial hazards at work which will provide practical guidance on how to manage risks to psychological health, developed in consultation with workers and businesses. Learn more here: New regulations to manage risks of psychological harm | SafeWork SA




Amusement Devices Code of Practice 2023

Amusement Devices Code of Practice 2023 commences 1 February 2024. The 92-page Code includes practical guidance on how to manage health and safety risks associated with amusement devices at a workplace.

In late 2018, the State Government drafted new WHS Regulations for amusement devices and flagged developing the Code to support the new provisions. The new provisions were prompted by the October 2016 deaths of four patrons on a ride at the Dreamworld theme park.

The Code has been developed in Queensland and is not a national model code of practice. However, guidance material about amusement devices developed by Safe Work Australia has been adapted and included in the Code.

The Code complements requirements in the WHS Act and WHS Regulation regarding plant and amusement devices at workplaces. The Code also replaces the WHSQ publication Amusement device major inspections interim guidance. To learn more visit:




Australian Capital Territory

WHS Consultation, Cooperation and Coordination Code of Practice amendments

The ACT Government has reviewed  its WHS Code of Practice, Work Health and Safety Consultation, Cooperation and Coordination, to align with recent amendments made to the national model version of the Code. Commencing 23 October 2023, the revised amendment includes a more comprehensive consultation checklist; and clarifies that the duty to consult workers on WHS risks “can occur in different ways depending on what suits the workplace” and the workers, and be conducted through health and safety representatives, health and safety committees, team meetings, toolbox talks, staff meetings, or discussions with individuals or small groups. A copy of the revised code is available: Work Health and Safety (Work Health and Safety Consultation, Cooperation and Coordination Code of Practice) Approval 2023 | Notifiable instruments


WHS Sex Work Code of Practice

ACT has developed the WHS Code of Practice, Sex Work, which “provides practical guidance to PCBUs and sex workers on how to manage health and safety risks associated with sexual services in their workplace”.

Unique to the Capital Territory, the Code will take effect on 4 February 2024 and replace the “Sexual Services Industry” safety Code, which was made under the ACT’s old Work Safety Act 2008 and retained after the ACT transitioned to the harmonised WHS regime at the start of 2012.

The new Code “aims to foster a culture of safe work practices and promote the welfare and occupational safety of sex workers in the Territory”. “It is recognised that sex workers can be exposed to hazards in the workplace that other workers may not be exposed to, so this Code aims to provide practical guidance on how to control these identified hazards and promote a safe environment for both sex workers and clients.” it says. Access a copy of the approved code: Work Health and Safety (Sex Work Code of Practice) Approval 2023 | Notifiable instruments


NEW Codes of Practice coming into effect in November

The ACT Government has notified two new Codes of Practice:

  • Managing the Risks of Airborne Crystalline Silica (Silica Dust) in the Workplace Code of Practice; and
  • Managing Psychosocial Hazards at Work Code of Practice.

The Code of Practice for managing the risks of silica dust commences on 15 November 2023 and supports the WHS regulations introduced in 2022. It aims to provide better protection to ACT workers who modify engineered stone and other materials containing silica.

The Code of Practice for managing psychosocial hazards commences on 27 November 2023 and supports the new regulations for psychosocial hazards introduced in the WHS Amendment Regulation 2023. This Code aims to provide more information to duty holders about what psychosocial hazards are, how to prevent harm and what control measures can be used in workplaces. Click here to learn more: NEW Codes of Practice coming into effect in November – WorkSafe ACT


Reminder: Workplace Sexual Assault is now a notifiable incident

Under the ACT Work Health and Safety Act 2011, workplace sexual assault is a notifiable incident. This means that as soon as becoming aware of an incident of suspected or actual sexual assault that occurs in their workplace, PCBUs have a duty to notify WorkSafe ACT.

If the notifiable incident is a result of more than one business or undertaking, then all businesses must notify WorkSafe ACT.

Everyone has a right to a safe and healthy workplace and PCBUs are required to fulfil all of their obligations relating to notifiable incidents. Visit WorkSafeACT website to learn more: Reminder: Workplace Sexual Assault is now a notifiable incident – WorkSafe ACT



Northern Territory

New and varied Codes of Practice published

A new Code of Practice has been approved in the Northern Territory under the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011.

The Tower Cranes Code of Practice provides practical guidance on managing the risks of working with tower cranes. In addition, the following 11 Codes of Practice have been varied to reflect technical updates made at the national level and improve duty holders’ understanding of their WHS duties:

Visit NT WorkSafe to learn more: https://worksafe.nt.gov.au/forms-and-resources/news-and-events/news/2023/new-and-varied-codes-of-practice-published.


Installation requirements for RCD’s after 1 May 2023

The Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council (ERAC) has issued an advisory note regarding the use of ‘Type AC’ Residual Current Devices (RCD’s). ‘Type AC’ RCDs must not be installed in the following circumstances:

  • New electrical installations as required by AS/NZS 3000
  • New final sub-circuits
  • Alterations or additions to an existing final sub-circuit that requires an RCD to now be installed.
  • Existing equipment containing RCDs that are connected by fixed or “hard” wiring and energised for the first time at a new location; including
    • building and construction sites;
    • demolition sites;
    • shows, carnivals and similar events; and
    • transportable structures.

For more information, Download the ERAC Advisory note – Type AC RCD or visit NT WorkSafe at: https://worksafe.nt.gov.au/forms-and-resources/news-and-events/technical-updates/2023/installation-requirements-for-rcds-after-1-may-2023



Western Australia 

Regulation amendments come into effect

The Work Health and Safety Regulations Amendment Regulation (no.2) 2023 came into effect on 10 August 2023 and provide for minor corrections and technical refinements. Amendments include: removing the requirement to have a high-risk work licence for earthmoving machinery used as a crane where the machinery has a safe rated working load of three tonnes or less; and creating a new licensing regime for larger earthmoving machinery used as a crane.

Amendments to Work Health and Safety (Mining) Regulations were also made. Visit Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety to learn more at:





For the latest update from WorkSafe Tasmania, check out their edition.

Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2023

An amendment to the Tasmanian WHS Act is currently sitting with parliament. The proposed changes bring the Tasmanian Act in line with other Regulators by introducing Gross Negligence, adjustments to consultation arrangements, powers or Inspectors and clarification of privilege against self-incrimination. Learn more by visiting:




September 2023 – Latest changes to WHS laws

Changes to Commonwealth Work Health and Safety Act 2011, passed in March 2023

came into effect on 21 September 2023. They include: prohibiting insurance against WHS penalties; adding negligence as a fault element to the category-1 reckless conduct offence; allowing HSRs to choose their own Comcare-approved training courses; enhancing Comcare’s powers around acquiring and sharing information; and extending the deadline for a person to make a request for Comcare to bring a category 1 or 2 prosecution from 12 to 18 months.

This follows changes to the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 in April 2023 which prescribe how employers must identify and manage hazards and risks to workers’ psychological health and safety.

Learn more here: WHS laws are changing | Comcare



Standards Australia

We work with workplaces to improve facilities and traffic management and found this change and opportunity for public comment interesting.

A proposal to increase the size of parking bays across Australia could accommodate the trend of larger vehicles on Australian roads.  The revision to standard AS/NZS 2890.1:2004 – Parking Facilities – Part 1: Off-street car parking, recommends an increase in the length of off-street car parking spaces from 5.4 m to 5.6 m.

Standards Australia advised: “The last revision to the standard happened 18 years ago. The experts that we work with to put that in place looked at the average car that we drove back in 2004. We have changed our national fleet significantly over the last quarter. Back in 2004 when we last reviewed the standard, about 13% of our national vehicle fleet was an SUV. It’s now about 40%. As our cars have changed, we also need to consider our car parks.”

State and local authorities may have their own requirements in town and area planning regulations and Development Control Plans. However, courts normally consider Australian Standards as prevailing documents. The proposed changes to the standard AS/NZS 2890.1:2004 – Parking Facilities – Part 1: Off-street car parking are open for public comment until November 9, 2023, at https://comment.standards.org.au/. The revised standard is expected to be finalised in approximately six months.

Visit: Revised standard recommends larger parking bays across the country – Standards Australia


Standards Australia continues to focus on community safety during warmer months 

September marked National Fire Protection Month. A timely reminder for Australians to be aware of fire prevention and safety measures.

In recognition of Standards Australia work to shape fire safety practices, the following new standards have been introduced to supplement and hence improve existing home fire safety standards.

Source: Standards Australia continues to focus on community safety during warmer months  – Standards Australia

Injured at work, a personal journey…

As a much younger person, I hurt my back at work. I did not think much of it at the time, and I did not report it. Over the following weeks and months, the pain and discomfort increased, back spasms started to become a regular occurrence and I was forced to stop doing the things I loved – exercise, rock climbing, running and basketball.


It turned out I had a ruptured a disc in my lumbar spine and for the next 18 months I dealt with chronic pain, frustration, and mental health issues, mostly stemming from not being able to do the things I loved.


In the lead up to the birth of my first daughter, I had moments where I was genuinely fearful, that I would not be able to hold her.


Cutting a long, long story short – I went through extensive rehab, Pilates, core strengthening, osteo, physio, chiro, the occasional witch doctor, and all manner of other therapists. Not to mention the dollars I spent, to eventually get back to a point where life felt normal again. I have been fitter and stronger than that, ever since.


Not long after my recovery, however, I had one of the worst days of my professional career. I was working on a construction project when I got a call that a worker, Will (not real name), had fallen into a trench. After chatting with colleagues, we decided that I would go to the hospital to meet the injured worker and his family and provide whatever support I could. I will never forget sitting with Will and his family; Him in a neck brace and in severe pain; the family in shock and obviously distressed. And me, completely at a loss for what to say or do. Will would never come back to work or regain the full use of his limbs after sustaining serious nerve damage. The impact on him and his family was profound. The impact on me and first responders to his accident, was also long-lasting.



What did I learn? Why do I mention these stories?

Because I could have been Will! You could be Will! Any of us could be Will!

My injury was not because of a fall. And although I work in construction, I do not work in trenches. But the potential impacts on my life could certainly have been similar. I got just a small taste of what it is like to suffer a debilitating injury in the workplace. But I am fortunate enough, and extraordinarily grateful, to now be fit, happy and healthy. I did get to hold my baby daughter. And wrestle, play and jump on the trampoline with her. I also ride bikes, swim in the ocean and will hopefully have many more adventures with my family in future.

It is likely that Will will not have that ever again. Or at least not unhindered or unencumbered by his injury.

I am sure many of our readers will have comparable stories and firsthand experiences along these lines. For my Safety Professional network, it is why we do what we do. We have seen the “bad” side of workplace injuries and will do whatever we can to prevent similar occurrences.

For the non-safety folk out there, there are few lessons we can take from these stories.



1. Do the simple things – like hazard identification and reporting – well.

While vastly different circumstances, both Will’s and my incidents had clear warning signs of where things might go wrong. We missed them, and so did our team.



2. Focus on training and competency

I made a mistake when I injured myself. I made that mistake because I did not know any better at the time. As Employers, the training and competency of our people should be one of the most critical elements or our business.



3. Foster Discomfort Reporting

If you are injured at work, however minor you feel it is, report it. Firstly, it will mean you are supported through your recovery if needed by Workcover and secondly, it provides us with chance to investigate and address the cause of the injury before it hurts someone else.



4. Workplace injuries have wide-ranging consequences

Workplace injuries impact individuals physically, mentally, and economically, this is extended more broadly when you consider the impact on their colleagues and families. Offer debriefing to first responders and the family members of those who have been impacted by injuries and illnesses.



5. Complete Risk Assessments

Plan works with risk management at the forefront. Provide proper support to workers. Especially those who are injured at work.
We must all work together to prioritise safety. By doing all these things, we can create safer, more supportive workplaces. And hold onto our skilled staff, because they want to work for Employers and Colleagues who care about one-another.

We might never be able to prevent all serious incidents. But if these stories do nothing else, I hope they serve as a reminder of the impacts of workplace injuries on our colleagues, families, and friends.



I am reminded every day how lucky I am, Phil.

Secondments: Your in-house safety support

In today’s ever-evolving business landscape, ensuring a safe and secure work environment is paramount. At Action OHS Consulting, we understand that maintaining safety standards can be challenging without expert guidance. That’s why we offer a secondment service, providing your business with invaluable resources to enhance workplace safety.


Understanding secondments


Secondments are a specialised service offered that allows your company to integrate qualified occupational health and safety (OHS) consultants into your team. Whether you require short-term support or ongoing assistance, our experts are here to collaborate with you and guide you through the process.


The benefits to your business


  1. Access to expertise: By engaging our seconded safety consultants, you gain access to a wealth of knowledge and experience in workplace health and safety (WHS). Our experts stay up-to-date with the latest regulations and best practices, ensuring that your business remains compliant and at the forefront of safety standards.
  2. Tailored solutions for your unique challenges: We understand that each business faces distinct safety challenges. Through a comprehensive assessment, our consultants identify your specific needs and create customised safety solutions that align with your organisation’s goals and values.
  3. Project launch excellence: Starting a new project is an exciting venture, but it also comes with inherent risks. With our consultants on board, you can confidently navigate safety protocols, mitigating potential hazards, and ensuring a successful project launch.
  4. Seamless compliance management: Adapting to ever-changing safety regulations can be overwhelming. Our consultants take the guesswork out of compliance by providing clear guidance and proactive strategies, enabling your company to remain compliant effortlessly.
  5. Empowering your workforce: Employees are your most valuable asset, and their safety is of utmost importance. Our secondment service includes tailored safety training sessions, empowering your workforce with the knowledge and skills to maintain a safe work environment.
  6. Addressing persistent safety concerns: If your business faces recurring safety challenges, our consultants excel at investigating root causes and analysis, and implementing effective solutions. Their expertise helps reduce accidents and fosters a safer work culture.
  7. Uninterrupted safety operations: During periods of staff shortages or employee turnover, our seconded consultants step in seamlessly to maintain safety operations, ensuring continuity and safeguarding the wellbeing of your workforce.


At Action OHS Consulting, we believe that safety is a shared responsibility. Through our secondments service, we forge a powerful partnership with your business, working collaboratively to create a proactive safety culture that extends beyond compliance. With our qualified safety experts on-demand, you can be confident in the safety and well-being of your employees, allowing your business to thrive in a secure work environment.


Contact us today to explore how our secondments service can elevate your workplace safety and propel your business toward a safer and more successful future.


People Update – August 2023

The People Programs at Action OHS Consulting and Safety Champion Software continue to provide impactful benefit for our team. As we transition from ‘start up’ to ‘scale up’ we are in a unique position where we have a clear people strategy that focusses on: (1) retaining our talent, (2) attracting top performers, (3) building our learning culture; and, (4) nurturing our values. Our people initiatives underpin our values and our guiding philosophy of ‘care over compliance’.


Our Pathways

We recognise the importance of investing in talent development and fostering a culture of growth within our business. We were delighted to introduce our new Career Pathway Program, designed to help our people navigate their professional journey and cultivate their skills. This program offers career planning, mentorship opportunities, and clear progression paths to empower our people and drive their career advancement. Four of our talented team members have been promoted through the program:



  • Safety Champion Software has promoted Tom O’Hehir to Senior Sales Consultant & Business Development Lead




Our commitment to cultivating a supportive and empowering environment allows us to attract, retain, and promote top talent like Tom, Phil, Janelle and Christine. We are incredibly proud of their accomplishments and look forward to witnessing their continued success.


Effective leadership plays a pivotal role in driving our success. In response to this growing demand for managerial development, we were thrilled to launch our Manager Coaching Toolkit to our existing and new managers. This toolkit focuses on providing our leaders with the tools to effectively equip their team members to succeed in their roles, whether it be via our Feedback Loop, Stay Conversations or our ability to appreciate each other’s differences.


Bringing our People Together

We would like to extend our deepest appreciation to everyone who participated in our recent highly successful Annual Conference. It was an incredible event filled with insightful discussions, inspiring panels, exciting updates, collaborative activities, and the launch of our latest innovative People Programs. Let’s recap some of the the highlights.


We kicked off with our Keynote Speaker, James ‘Woody’ Wood from CNB Safe. James was pivotal in setting the scene for the conference, sharing his story about how one ‘choice’ changed his life forever.  Through his emotive message Woody connected our people with what they do each day and our greater ‘vision’; “We want to see a world in which no one is hurt at work ever”.


Business Updates

Our leadership team shared important updates on our company’s progress, growth, and strategic initiatives. We celebrated significant milestones, highlighted successful projects, and outlined our vision for the future. These updates served as a reminder of our collective achievements and energised us to continue raising the bar in our industry.


Clients and Customer Panels and Interviews

We had the privilege of hosting esteemed clients and industry experts as panelists and interviewees. A shout out to Jayde Nicholson (T2), Richard Prust (Arup Group), Daniel Waixel (Patterson Cheney), Robbie El-Hayek and Moe El-Asmar (WIT Protection Services), Chris Samartzis (Master Pool Builders Association), Julia Whitford (CEO of the AIHS) and Stephen Russell (Barrister) for your insights.



Your invaluable insights and experiences provided our people with a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the occupational health and safety landscape. The engaging discussions further strengthened our commitment to delivering exceptional services and solutions tailored to our clients’ needs.


Design Jam

The Design Jam session was a fun and interactive experience where our people came together to brainstorm and develop innovative ideas for enhancing our product, processes, and customer experiences. The creativity and enthusiasm displayed during this session were truly remarkable, setting the stage for exciting future developments at Safety Champion.



The Future of Safety Champion Software

During the conference, we offered an exclusive preview of the future enhancements and advancements planned for Safety Champion Software. Our people witnessed how these upcoming features will empower our customers to further streamline their safety management practices, improve efficiency, and create even safer work environments. The future of Safety Champion Software looks incredibly promising.


Launching Our New People Programs

One of my highlights of the conference was the official launch of new additions to the People Programs. These initiatives are designed to foster a supportive, inclusive, and growth-oriented environment for our people. Through our Mentoring Program, Career Pathways Program, Public Holiday Swap and Parental Leave Program; we aim to unleash the full potential of our talented team.  Keep an eye out for a spotlight on our New Parent Hamper and the proud recipients!


As we reflect on the conference, we carry forward the insights gained, the connections made, and the inspiration received. Together, we will continue driving excellence, innovation, and positive change in the occupational health and safety industry.


I’m always available to have a chat about what makes us unique, our growth strategy and People Programs – don’t hesitate to get in touch at megan.drysdale@actionohs.com.au.


Megan Drysdale

Head of People

Connect with me via LinkedIn




Looking for our previous People Program updates? 👇


Prosecutions: 2022 summary for NSW and Victoria #2

Business leaders have a legislative duty to acquire and maintain up-to-date knowledge of work health and safety matters relevant to the nature of their operations.


But without any visibility of the health and safety prosecutions that have occurred, it can be hard to grasp what could go wrong within your operations.


With a little context, you have an opportunity to reflect on current practices. This can help to ensure that reasonably practicable controls have been established, and to ensure ‘like’ or ‘now foreseeable’ incidents are less likely to occur within the workplace.


‘Reasonably practicable’ means that you should consider the likelihood and degree of harm of a hazard or risk. Whilst there may not have previously been an incident at your workplace, if a significant incident has occurred across your industry, you should be aware of it.


Each year, Action OHS Consulting collates and reviews the data available from both WorkSafe Victoria and SafeWork NSW. Used effectively, this information should support you to influence key stakeholders within your organisation, and assist your business to make informed decisions with respect to their health and safety program.


The prosecution data has been collated from:



This article provides an overview of the prosecutions from 2015 through to the 2022 calendar years.


Prosecutions: Numbers and related legislation

The 2022 calendar year saw a total of 115 prosecutions against the Victorian health and safety legislation, whilst in NSW the number of prosecutions was 59.


When compared to the previous year, there has been a 20% increase in Victoria. This is compared to a 54% increase in Victoria the CY2021 when compared to CY2020. Whilst the CY2020 reduction may be attributed to resourcing during COVID along with lockdown restrictions, this is not reflected in NSW with prosecutions reducing over the last two (2) calendar years.



Within Victoria:

  • 96 prosecutions were recorded against the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 only
  • 18 prosecutions involved both the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017
  • 1 prosecution involved the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004; Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017; Dangerous Goods Act 1985



Consistent with previous years, zero prosecutions were against the 2007 version of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations which were updated in 2017.


Within NSW up to May 2022:

  • 51 prosecutions were recorded against the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 only
  • 5 prosecution was recorded against the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 only
  • 3 prosecution involved both Work Health and Safety Act 2011 & Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017





Prosecution timeframes

The table below lists the timeframe for the prosecution’s outcomes from 2022 when measured against the date of the offence.


Table 1: Timeframe between date of offence and the prosecution outcome, for the 2022 prosecution outcomes reported by SafeWork NSW & WorkSafe Victoria. Bracketed numbers represent the increase / decrease when compared to 2021.



Health and safety fines

Year on year, the average fine and median fine in Victoria remained consistent with previous years. This is not reflective in NSW. The last calendar year saw an increase in both the average fine and median fine.

The average and median fines were greater in NSW, when compared to Victoria.



WorkSafe Victoria issued five Enforceable Undertakings in 2022 which equates to 4% of prosecutions. This aligns with the percentage of prosecutions that resulted in Enforceable Undertaking issued in 2021.



An ‘enforceable undertaking’  (EU) is a legally binding agreement between WorkSafe Victoria and the employer. The employer is obliged to carry out the specific activities outlined in the agreed undertaking. EUs will typically guide and direct the business being prosecuted to improve its health and safety program.


Health and safety fines: Maximum issued

With respect to fines, the maximum fines for Victoria was slightly above 2021. In NSW there was a large increase in the maximum fine, when compared to the previous calendar years.



The maximum fines issued to a business were associated with the following events:


Victoria: The offender manufacture and supply liquid and dry bulk road tankers and employ approximately 40 – 50 workers on the factory floor. Australian Industry Group Training Services Pty Ltd (AIGTS) employed an engineering fabrication apprentice.

An external Safety Consultant completed an audit on a new workplace environment during August 2018, whilst production had commenced the setup of the new factory was still not complete. The audit identified several opportunities for improvement.

On 24 September 2018, the apprentice attended at the workplace for work for the first time. The apprentice was 20 years of age, a trainee welder and did not have a trade qualification.

On 4 October 2018, the apprentice was asked to perform a ‘cleaning out task’ inside a tanker. The previous day an employee of the offender had left a Welder and a Wire Feeder inside the tanker. It remained there overnight. The Wire Feeder had fallen into a state of disrepair. As a result of that defect, over which the offender had management and control, Argon gas was able to flow into the tanker overnight, reducing oxygen in it. The apprentice died from asphyxiation after entering the tanker to perform the cleaning out work.

Workers at the workplace extracted the apprentice from the tanker and performed CPR. Emergency Services arrived within about five minutes after the apprentice was extracted. The apprentice died at the scene.

The offender pleaded guilty and was with conviction sentenced to pay a fine of $600,000. The Court indicated that but for its guilty plea, the offender would have been convicted and fined $800,000.


NSW: On 1 April 2019, a worker was fatally injured, and another worker sustained serious injury when a large section of scaffold collapsed on top of them at a construction project in Macquarie Park.

After a SafeWork NSW investigation, the defendant, was charged with a breach of section 31/19(2) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

On 25 November 2022, the defendant was convicted by the District Court and fined $2,000,000.


It is not just businesses being prosecuted in relation to health and safety breaches

Health and safety prosecutions are not limited to corporations. In 2022, 10% and 15% of prosecutions were issued to workers in Victoria and NSW respectively – equating to 12 and 9 prosecutions respectively



The maximum fine issued to workers in Victoria and NSW in 2021 was $70,000 and $60,000 (x2) respectively. Whilst the average fine in Victoria and NSW was $15,875 and $36,667 respectively.


Prosecutions: What is the cause and where are the gaps?

With respect to the criteria/codes that lead to the prosecution – of the 48 criteria that was referenced, with 13 criteria associated with more than 10% of the prosecutions in 2022. As defined by WorkSafe Victoria, these are outlined below.



These criteria are relatively consistent since 2015.


‘Failure to provide a safe system of work”’ continues to places a clear duty on all workplaces to understand their operations, the hazards associated with their work, and ensure that the established controls are implemented.


Other noteworthy criteria includes:

  1. The re-introduction of “Failure to provide and maintain a passive fall protection device” to the list. Whilst “Falls/Work at height offences” have been consistent, this new addition explicitly calls out the expectation the regulator is placing on organisations who conduct work at heights.
  2. Slight increase in prosecutions related to failure to conduct risk/hazard identification or risk assessment following a drop off in CY2019 to CY2021:



Health check

Action OHS Consulting, in collaboration with its sister-company Safety Champion Software, has developed a self-assessment tool: Safety Champion Impact Assessment. This tool has been designed to support businesses to understand potential points of failure, allowing them to proactively improve their health and safety program.

We plan to make this tool accessible up until 30 September 2023.




Free consulting support

As part of the WorkSafe Victoria OHS Essentials Program, businesses with operations in Victoria, may be eligible for three (3) OHS Consulting Support sessions delivered over 12 months by an Action OHS Consulting consultant. These sessions are designed to guide businesses on how to deliver on the legal OHS duties and obligations.




Free webinar support

Action OHS Consulting developed and delivered a four-part webinar series providing direction on how businesses can best manage their legal obligations associated with health and safety.

The good news is that it is free for you to download.




Key takeaways

To allow better and more informed decisions to be made, businesses must have established processes to understand how effectively their health and safety program has been implemented.

The Health and Safety Legislation adopts a self-regulated risk-based approach. This means businesses and their leaders are required to understand what could foreseeably go wrong within their operations, and then establish reasonably practicable controls to minimise the likelihood or severity of such events occurring. The intention; is to protect workers, contractors, customers and visitors from harm.

This require leaders to be real. It requires them to appreciate that safety as documented by your policy and procedure manual, may not reflect work as completed operationally.

Put simply, this leads to a requirement for workplaces to actively:


  • Ensure that your safety program is easy to access and understand, and importantly relevant to your operations. Strongly consider implementing safety software such as Safety Champion, to help ensure that scheduled tasks are completed, and that workers can easily report incidents and/or hazards. Ensuring that you have visibility and read access to this information, will assist you to proactively prevent incidents from occurring in the future.
  • List all the ways your workers could get hurt, and document what you have put in place to stop this from happening. Start by listing the “Top 5” hazards – focusing on those which could cause the most serious harm. Do this in consultation with a selection of workers who hold different roles within your business. If you identify things that you could improve and/or do better, this is not bad, in fact, it is the point of the exercise.
  • Continue to consult. Have regular structured and unstructured conversations with your team regarding the controls you have established.
  • Build competency. Ensure that you have an induction program that includes an overview of your safety program and the operational activities that the worker will undertake. Consider assigning a buddy to new and/or young workers.
  • Ensure your safety program is sustainable. Don’t rely on just one person. Spreadsheets and folders can be effective if you are organised, however, are difficult to maintain visibility when tasks are due – or more importantly, when tasks are missed. Again, this is where software programs like Safety Champion Software will support your organisation, providing visibility of your health and safety program in real-time, remind you when deadlines and key milestones approach, and provide you with access to data to make data-based decisions.
  • Consider safety as part of your procurement process. Before you buy anything, consider the safety implications. Don’t limit this to equipment, machinery, computers – extended this to services as well. Don’t make safety an afterthought.


We would be interested to hear your thoughts, questions or concerns.


If like us, you would like to interrogate data, we would be more than happy to share an unlocked copy of the data with you


We would be interested to hear your thoughts, questions or concerns.


If like us, you would like to interrogate data, we would be more than happy to share an unlocked copy of the data with you – simply Contact Us.


Author: Craig Salter.

New health and safety codes and legislation – August 2023

Safe Work Australia


The latest news and updates from Safe Work Australia:


New fact sheets: Duties under WHS laws

Safe Work Australia has published four fact sheets about key WHS principles under the model WHS Act. They are; WHS duties are not transferable, A person can have more than one duty, More than on person can concurrently have the same duty, and, Management of Risks.


Updated fact sheets: Hazardous chemicals to reflect GHS7

GHS 7 is now the only system to classify newly manufactured and imported hazardous chemicals, and prepare their labels and safety data sheets (SDS) across Australia. This change will ensure that labels and SDS use up-to-date hazard classification and communication, and align Australia with key international trading partners. To reflect the change, Safe Work Australia has updated the following model codes of practice: Model Code of Practice: Managing risks of hazardous chemicals in the workplace, Model Code of Practice: Labelling of workplace hazardous chemicals, Model Code of Practice: Preparation of a safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals and the Classifying hazardous chemicals – National guide.


New Model Code of Practice: Tower cranes

The process of running a tower crane is complex and there are often a number of duty holders who have a role in managing the risks of tower cranes in the workplace. The new model Code of Practice for tower cranes is for:

• persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs)
• PCBUs involving the management or control of fixtures, fittings or plant
• designers, manufacturers, importers and suppliers of plant, substances or structures
• installers, and
• officers.


Information sheet: Australian standards and other standards information sheet 

As a person conducting business (PCBU), you may have questions about how Standards interact with the WHS laws. The newly published Australian and other Standards information sheet answers these questions and more, to help you understand the status of Australian Standards, International Standards and other standards under the WHS laws.


Model Work Health and Safety Regulations Amendment (Engineered Stone) 2023

The model Work Health and Safety Regulations have been updated to include a prohibition on the uncontrolled processing of engineered stone.
The amendments do not automatically apply in a jurisdiction. For the model WHS Regulations to have effect in a jurisdiction they must be enacted in that jurisdiction.



OHS Codes of Practice:  https://www.worksafe.act.gov.au/laws-and-compliance/codes-of-practice




OHS Codes of Practice:  https://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/resource-library/list-of-all-codes-of-practice



OHS Legislation: https://worksafe.nt.gov.au/laws-and-compliance

OHS Codes of Practice: https://worksafe.nt.gov.au/forms-and-resources/codes-of-practice



New code: Managing respirable crystalline silica dust

This new code Managing respirable crystalline silica dust exposure in construction and manufacturing of construction elements Code of Practice 2022 commenced in Queensland on 1 May 2023. This code of practice establishes minimum, enforceable standards for duty holders in the construction industry and in manufacturing businesses.



OHS Codes of Practice: https://www.safework.sa.gov.au/resources/codes-of-practice



OHS Codes of Practice: https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/laws-and-regulations



Code of practice update: Confined spaces


The Code of Practice: Confined Spaces has been updated. This code of practice provides practical guidance on how to manage health and safety risks associated with work carried out in a confined space.


New code: Construction work

The Code of Practice: Construction work applies to all workplaces covered by the WHS Act where construction work is carried out and where construction work products and equipment are used and stored.


Update: Code of practice – How to manage and control asbestos in the workplace

The code of practice How to manage and control asbestos in the workplace provides practical guidance on how to manage risks associated with asbestos, asbestos containing material (ACM) and asbestos-contaminated dust or debris (ACD) at the workplace and thereby minimise the incidence of asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer. This code of practice should be read in conjunction with the WHS transitional arrangements.


Update: Managing the risk of falls at workplaces: Code of practice

The Code of practice: Managing the risk of falls at workplaces has been updated. It provides practical guidance for those who design, construct, import, supply or install plant or structures, on how to eliminate, or if that is not possible, minimise the risk of falls from height in workplaces.


Standards Australia

New standards document to help manage workplace psychosocial risk: AS/NZSISO 45003:2021 

Standards Australia has issued a new standards document to help manage workplace psychosocial risk.

The latest document on occupational health and safety AS/NZS ISO 45003:2021 – Occupational health and safety management – Psychological health and safety at work – Guidelines for managing psychosocial risks, focuses on psychosocial hazards and risks.

This Standard provides additional guidance to organisations already implementing AS/NZ ISO 45001 principles, helping align psychosocial risk management with their existing OH&S / WHS system. It enhances safety management approaches by offering practical guidance, examples, and potential control measures for psychosocial hazards, emphasizing their interaction with other workplace hazards.



Comcare has produced a suite of evidence-based resources on good work design, including videos and better practice guidance, to help raise awareness and build manager capability to design good work for their teams.

How work is designed impacts the way we feel and can influence our motivation, engagement and stress levels at work.  Evidence from Safe Work Australia shows that good work design can be used to prevent harm to worker health, promote health and wellbeing and support participation and productivity.

The Comcare website covers topics such as known risks to worker health and wellbeing, as well as participation and productivity, on areas including return to work, absenteeism, performance, work demands and change.


Safe Work Month: For everyone’s safety, work safely

The theme for national Safe Work Month this October is ‘For everyone’s safety, work safely’. In this blog, Principal Consultant, Christine Henaghan, shares her best practice tips for building a safe culture in the workplace.


One of the best books I have read regarding fostering safety and safe behaviour was following some leadership training. It’s titled ‘Safe by Accident?’ by Judy Agnew and Aubrey Daniels (2010), published by Performance Management Publications (PMP). The book explains the science behind behaviour-based safety and sheds light on why serious injuries and fatalities still occur at work, despite targets to reduce lost-time injuries. It provides a clear explanation of what influences safe behaviour and how to build a safe culture in workplaces.


In summary, the book emphasizes that our behaviour is reinforced or changed depending on the consequences we experience immediately after the behaviour. If the consequences are immediate, certain, and unpleasant, we are unlikely to repeat the behaviour. Similar to the pain of intentionally touching a hot stove. On the other hand, if the consequences are a mix of positive, immediate, and certain, as well as negative, future, and uncertain, the behaviour is likely to be repeated. An example of this is smoking cigarettes, which almost instantaneously releases dopamine in the brain, causing people to feel good, despite the risk of causing cancer.


As we observe Safe Work Month with the theme ‘For everyone’s safety, work safely’, let’s consider how we can foster immediate, certain, and positive consequences for safe behaviour among our workers to build a safe culture at the workplace. Here are some ideas:


  1. Be visible and acknowledge safe behaviour: While it’s essential to address unsafe behaviour, we should also focus on acknowledging and appreciating workers when they do the right thing. Just like giving a wave or a thumbs up when another driver merges before you in traffic, recognising safe behaviour can have a significant impact. According to Agnew and Daniels, specific feedback creates an immediate and certain consequence, reinforcing the behaviour. So, make it a point to approach and recognise those who follow safe procedures and training, and provide specific feedback and gratitude for their efforts. For instance, saying, “I saw/heard what you said/did (describe the behaviour), and I wanted to say, ‘Thank you’. It’s people like you who help keep yourself and others safe.”
  2. Provide rewards for safe behaviour: Consider implementing a reward system for safe behaviour, such as raffle tickets for a monthly prize or nominations for the employee of the month. Consult with your employees to understand what rewards might be valuable to them and make it happen, regardless of whether it’s a small token like a coffee or tea voucher, or a larger reward like donating to a charity of their choice or an extra paid day off.
  3. Pay for safety learning: Encourage your team members to participate in free safety webinars and seminars available on your local regulator’s website. Support their attendance during paid time and encourage them to share their learning with others in the workplace over a cup of tea or morning tea.
  4. Personalise safety: Engage with your team to identify potential sources of harm and implement better systems, processes, and controls. Encourage them to consider whether they would willingly send a family member or loved one to perform the tasks they are assigned. Recognise individual efforts in making the workplace safer during toolbox meetings or team gatherings.
  5. Include safety in every meeting agenda and to-do list: Make safety as important as accuracy, on-time delivery, and productivity by adding it as a regular agenda item in every meeting.
  6. Small Businesses: Sign up for a free confidential gap analysis: Small to medium-sized businesses (up to 60 employees) can take advantage of the free and confidential OHS Essentials program funded by Work Safe Victoria. This program provides access to an experienced safety consultant, who will visit three times for two hours each over 12 months, offering valuable guidance on workplace safety tailored to your specific needs. Register for your free visit here.


By implementing these strategies, you can promote a culture of safety in your workplace, where safe behaviour is recognised, encouraged, and rewarded. Remember, fostering safety is a collective effort that benefits everyone involved. Let’s work together to make our workplace safe for everyone.


Client spotlight – August 2023

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW), FRNSW engaged Action OHS Consulting to develop a safe wok procedure (SWP) for workers exposed to non-ionising radiation when performing routine testing/maintenance on the vehicle antenna and accessories. This SWP establishes the safe operating areas and limits for workers. It was great to see the collaborative approach and engagement that came from FRNSW during the consultation process.


Waste Recyclers of Victoria (WrOV), Our Action OHS Consulting team have been supporting Waste Recyclers of Victoria to review and update their OHS and Environmental Management Systems. With a focus on practical safety management practices and using Safety Champion software, we have been able to support WrOV to develop and implement streamlined, effective and compliance OHSE systems into day-today operations.


Textor Converting We have been working with the Textor Converting team in Braeside, to review and update their Traffic Management Plan. The goal was to improve the segregation of pedestrians from materials handling equipment and vehicles in their manufacturing, warehouse and receiving/despatch areas. The Textor team has been really proactive in forming a traffic management plan subcommittee and has made some excellent headway; establishing exclusion zones for plant; line-marking; signage; eliminated container destuffing; installed some protective fencing between pallets and machine operators; put in fenced pedestrian walkways and driver safety zones with pedestrian gates.


Sandhurst Club The Action OHS Consulting team have been supporting the review and build out of health and safety documentation for Melbourne’s premier golf and residential estate. It’s has been great to see the commitment from senior leaders at Sandhurst Club to create and improve health, safety and wellbeing for employees, contractors, members and the local community. We are looking forward to providing the team ongoing support in their safety journey.

Our refreshed brand identity

We are excited to unveil our brand refresh, which showcases an updated brand identity while staying true to our core values and commitment to our clients. Here we take a closer look at the refreshed brand identity, highlighting how it pays homage to our heritage while embracing a contemporary feel.


Evolution, Not Revolution

In our pursuit to continuously grow and adapt to an ever-changing business landscape, we recognised the importance of refreshing our brand to continue to resonate with our valued clients.  However, it was equally crucial for us to retain the essence of who we are. Our brand refresh is not a complete overhaul; instead, it is an evolution that marries our values with a fresh and modern aesthetic.


Honouring Heritage

Throughout the brand refresh process, we took great care to honour our history. We understand the trust and loyalty that our clients have placed in us over the years, and we wanted our new look to reflect that trust. By incorporating elements that have become synonymous with our brand, we’ve created a visual identity that celebrates our history while embracing the future.

Central to the brand is the focus on our clients and ensuring safety is integrated seamlessly into their place of work. This is visually represented by the individual boxes – with a box on the angle to represent safety as the missing piece to the puzzle. When all of the boxes are in place, we have one neat four-sided shape that represents cohesion and stability. We have also retained the colours blue and yellow. Blue signifies the professionalism with which we approach all clients and projects that we have the privilege to work on, and yellow, which is our nod to safety.


Same Values, Fresh Look

While we may look a little different, we want to assure everyone that our core values, mission, and commitment to our clients remain unchanged. We remain committed to fostering strong and lasting relationships and providing the same high-quality experience our clients have come to expect.


With our brand refresh, we have embarked on a new chapter in our journey — one that embraces change while honouring our heritage. We want to thank our clients, partners, and stakeholders for their continued support – you can be assured that our commitment to excellence remains as strong as ever.

How to leverage the OHS Essentials program amidst rising WorkCover premiums

As we approach the new financial year, organisations across Victoria face an important consideration: the WorkCover premium rate increase for 2023/24. The increase presents significant implications for businesses, underscoring the need for proactive occupational health and safety (OHS) measures. At Action OHS Consulting, we understand the challenges this may pose to your organisation. In this blog post, we explore the impacts of the premium rate increase and how WorkCover insurance policy holders (who meet the criteria) can benefit from WorkSafe Victoria’s free OHS Essentials program.


The WorkCover premium rate increase


WorkCover premium rates play a vital role in ensuring the financial sustainability of the workers’ compensation scheme in Victoria. While the specific rate increase for 2023/24 may vary based on individual business circumstances, it is crucial for business owners and managers to be aware of the potential impacts. The increased premium rates can place additional strain on budgets, affecting the bottom line and limiting the financial resources available for other essential business operations.


Impacts on business owners


  1. Financial Burden: The increased premium rates can directly impact a business’s financial resources, potentially leading to reduced profitability and restricted growth opportunities.
  2. Cost Management Challenges: Business owners may need to re-evaluate their budget allocations, making it essential to identify cost-saving opportunities without compromising employee safety.
  3. Compliance Pressure: Higher premiums emphasize the need for robust OHS management systems to minimise workplace incidents and injuries. Failure to meet compliance requirements can result in additional penalties and increased premiums in subsequent years.


Leveraging the OHS Essentials Program


Amidst the premium rate increase, it will be crucial for business owners and managers to take advantage of the resources and support available to them. WorkSafe Victoria’s OHS Essentials program offers a valuable opportunity to enhance workplace safety practices while minimising the impact of premium rate increases. As an approved provider of the OHS Essentials program, Action OHS Consulting is well-equipped to guide businesses through this process.

OHS Essentials is free to Victorian-based small and medium businesses (up to 60 workers). If you are eligible, one of our consultants will guide you through a process of setting in motion health and safety best practices to assist you to boost your safety performance.


The program includes:

  • 3 visits over a 12-18 month period
  • 2-hour (approx) long visits
  • Safety Action Plan created on first visit


While the WorkCover premium rate increase for 2023/24 may present challenges for business owners, it also serves as a timely reminder to prioritise occupational health and safety within the workplace. By partnering with Action OHS Consulting and leveraging the free OHS Essentials program, businesses can proactively mitigate risks, reduce incidents, and optimise their premiums.


Reach out to us to discuss how your business can benefit from the OHS Essentials program.


If your business doesn’t qualify for the OHS Essential Program, contact us for advice on how to prepare for the upcoming changes. Our consultants can work with you to provide a tailored and cost-effective solution suitable for your business.

Celebrating Health and Safety Excellence: Our Journey to the Australian Workplace Health & Safety Awards

Our team was filled with immense pride and gratitude as we were recognised in the Health and Safety Excellence (Small to Medium Enterprise) category at the Australian Workplace Health & Safety Awards 2022 Gala Dinner. Together with our project partners Tree Mason and Macedon Ranges Shire Council we were honoured for our collective effort to keep staff and contractors safe at the Storm Recovery Project Site.


This award was the result of a collaborative effort to establish and operate a project site that prioritises safety. Our team led by Phil Neville, worked diligently to guide the project team in implementing safe practices and procedures, ensuring that everyone involved remains safe throughout the duration of the project. This recognition reinforces our commitment to assisting our clients and partners to create safe and healthy working environments.


Our journey towards excellence in health and safety began at the outset of the project. We recognised the importance of creating a culture of safety that permeates through every aspect of our work. Our team worked closely with Tree Mason and Macedon Ranges Shire Council to identify potential hazards and develop comprehensive risk management plans. Regular safety training sessions were conducted to ensure that everyone involved in the project understood their roles and responsibilities in ensuring a safe work environment.


As we received the award, we were also reminded of the incredible outcomes this project has delivered to the community. It is a project that we are immensely proud to be involved in, and we are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to its success.


We would like to extend our congratulations to everyone involved in the project, including our partners, Tree Mason, Macedon Ranges Shire Council and Emergency Recovery Victoria. Their commitment to safety and excellence was instrumental in this recognition. We would also like to thank the AIHS for the honour.


As we continue our journey towards excellence in health and safety, we remain committed to creating safe and health working environments that enable our clients to thrive. We hope that our success will inspire others to prioritise safety and create cultures of excellence in their workplaces.


For more information you can read the Storm Recovery Project Case Study and you can can view the webinar from the Australian Institute of Health and Safety.

People Update – May 2023

Hi! I’m Megan Drysdale, Head of People at Action OHS Consulting and Safety Champion Software. As we continue our journey, I felt this was a well-timed opportunity for me to introduce myself and provide you, our clients and friends, with an overview of what makes us who we are.


Our newsletter and website provide such great forums for me to share why we are, who we are, along with our Employee Value Proposition (EVP). I hope that in transparently sharing our initiatives, it will promote conversation with your teams, and elevate the other side of ‘HR’ that can often be overlooked.  If you or your people wish to learn more about us or our initiatives – I am more than happy to share insights, and would welcome hearing from you.


Instead of winding back to December 2011 (the inception of Action OHS Consulting), the intention of this first update is to provide an overview of the impact that the people function has made since becoming a certified B Corporation. A link to why we became a B Corp can be found: Safety Champion Software Certified as a B Corp.

Care over Compliance

The mandate for our People Program has always been and will continue to be care over compliance. As a service-based business, we recognise that our people are our business, and the transition from start-up to scale-up will be a reflection of our people who take us on the journey. To support this, it was important for us to document our People Strategy. Not only does this provide clarity for our people and those who will join us in the future – it provides structure and a pathway forward.


Our People Strategy consists of the following quadrants:

    1. Retain our Talent
    2. Attract Top Performers
    3. Build our Learning Culture
    4. Nurture our Values


The care over compliance sentiment has been a tenant of our vision, mission, and values. Our vision, mission and values define us. They are what the business reflects on continuously.



Our People-first Initiatives

Over the past 12 months, the following People-first Initiatives have been delivered to our teams:

    • ‘We Share’ Program – this is a profit share program that all employees are part of. This program is recognition of our employees being key to our success – so it only made sense to us to have them share in any profits made. The We Share Program has an additional element, where donations are made to charities.
    • ‘We Care’ Program – this program is an initiative designed to support workers should they not be able to work due to illness or family circumstances. We don’t want workers to exhaust annual leave, which is designed to help them refresh – battling circumstances that are out of their control, and far from a holiday.
    • ‘Better Together’ Referral Program – this program acknowledges that our workforce can be our best advocates when it comes to building out our team. If they help us, we want to show our appreciation to them and a charity of their choice.
    • Rollout of HRIS that integrates with Safety Champion Software – this has allowed us to bring HR into the cloud and establish a number of online processes.
    • Rollout of our Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
    • Rollout of Employee Engagement platform – we’re chuffed to share that our engagement score sits at 8.7/10, and we thrive in areas of pride, relationships, and purpose.
    • Establishment of a social club, that allows our team to meet out of the workplace, to build comradery – and realise that lawn bowls is a skill that takes more than two hours to master!
    • Establishment of a series of Lunch ‘n’ Learns covering a range of topics from mental health, ergonomics and our BCorp journey, to conversations that create growth and Safe Work Month.
    • Coordination of our All Staff Town Halls in May and November – this provides an opportunity for our Australian-based workforce to meet, work on business problems and build relationships face-to-face as opposed to over a screen.
    • Piloting our Mentoring Program – the program has been designed to provide guidance, support and advice to our people who are seeking to develop their skills and knowledge in a particular area, regardless of their career level or expertise.
    • Rollout of our ‘Feedback Loop’ – bi-annual check ins and 1:1’s encouraging staff to reflect, recognise and celebrate their achievements, whilst looking ahead for the next six months.


The coming months will see us finalise a selection of policies: (i) parental leave, (ii) remote work, and (iii) public holiday swap; whilst initiating the build of a leadership and graduate program. The graduate program will sit across both Action OHS Consulting and Safety Champion. If you have had experience in any of these, or would like to share your thoughts, I would be more than happy for you to reach out and collaborate.


In addition to documenting structure, we have also delivered on the following:

    • International Women’s Day – where we showcased four amazing women who have been part of our journey.
    • Harmony Day – where we virtually toured Iran, Philippines, China, India, Colombia, Vietnam and Australia to learn about the foods that have meaning to our team.

Who we are

Our people metrics as at the time of this newsletter being published:

    • 41 employees
    • 59% males vs 41% females
    • 45% management roles are filled by females
    • 41% Australian-born, 59% overseas
    • 1/3 of our staff are under 30, 28% 30-40 years and nearly 40% are over 40
    • Almost 1/3 of our employees work part time
    • 100% of our people work flexibly!


Whilst always focused on finding the right candidates, as we develop products and solutions that cater to a diverse range of clients and users, we want to ensure that our workforce also represents a diverse range of perspectives and experiences. We will continue to reflect on these metrics, to allow us to be explicit in, and play a leading role on how we build our teams.


If you’re interested to learn more about any of the above, or find out about what a career at Action OHS Consulting or Safety Champion Software could look like – please feel free to reach out to me: people@actionohs.com.au.


Megan Drysdale

Head of People

Connect with me via LinkedIn

Prepare your workplace for flu season

In Australia, the influenza virus is estimated to cost businesses in excess of $100 million a year due to workforce illness alone. On average, it affects 10-20% of the population every year. Influenza, or as it’s commonly known, ‘the flu’, is a highly contagious virus that can affect the entire body. It’s easily spreadable and is contagious even before symptoms appear.


A person can be infected with influenza at any time of the year, but in Australia most flu infections typically occur between June and September, a period often referred to as ‘flu season’.


As a business owner, your employees’ health and safety should be a top priority, especially during flu season. One effective strategy to minimise the risk of flu infections in the workplace is to implement a workplace flu vaccination program.


Fortunately, many employers are already offering onsite flu vaccinations to their staff, but did you know that you can also include COVID-19 vaccinations in your program? COVID-19 and the flu are highly contagious, and getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to prevent their spread.


A workplace vaccination program has many benefits for both employers and employees, particularly when the flu and COVID-19 are still highly prevalent within the community.


The best way to prevent the spread of either infection is to get vaccinated. As with influenza vaccinations, having a COVID-19 vaccination provides an extra level of protection against being infected and also helps slow the spread of infection to others who may be more vulnerable to severe complications.


Being vaccinated is the most effective way to help the body strengthen its immunity against infection and prevent contracting the influenza virus and passing it on to others in the workplace, at home, or on the daily commute.


By offering flu vaccinations to your employees, you will:


  • Reduce absenteeism due to influenza, and associated cost to businesses, by 25-35%
  • Promote a healthy workforce
  • Demonstrate your organisation’s interest in workforce health and wellbeing
  • Increase the ‘Herd Immunity’ at work, to reduce the spread of the virus
  • Limit employee disruption and increased workloads for employees that are not infected.
  • Boosts morale


For further information or advice on how to implement a vaccination programme in your workplace please contact us