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National Strategy General Stakeholder Workshop in Wagga Wagga, NSW DateFriday, 1 July 2011Hosted byJohn Watson, General Manager, Occupational Health and.

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Presentation on theme: "National Strategy General Stakeholder Workshop in Wagga Wagga, NSW DateFriday, 1 July 2011Hosted byJohn Watson, General Manager, Occupational Health and."— Presentation transcript:

1 National Strategy General Stakeholder Workshop in Wagga Wagga, NSW DateFriday, 1 July 2011Hosted byJohn Watson, General Manager, Occupational Health and Safety Division, WorkCover Authority NSW LocationWagga FacilitatorRick Hodgson 1

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3 Contents Page and Content 4. History of National Strategy 5. Safe Work Australia and the National Strategy 6. National Work Health and Safety Strategy Consultation and Development 7. Welcome 8. Workshop Introduction 9. Workshop participants profile 10. Session Scopes 11. Session 1: Group discussion on work health and safety in the next ten years 14. Session 2: Social/Economic/Emerging Issues in the workforce, business and technology 20. Session 3: Enhancing the capacity of workplaces to respond to disease, injury and psychological injury causing hazards 26. Session 4: Work Health & Safety Systems in safe design, skills and training, safety leadership & organisational culture 32. Closing Remarks 33. Evaluation Comments Disclaimer: The views of participants expressed in this document are not necessarily the views of Safe Work Australia. 3

4 History of National Strategy 4 The 10 year National Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Improvement Framework (NIF) was in place in the 1990s providing Australia with a nationally coordinated “roadmap” for improving workplace health and safety. The NIF signalled the commitment to OHS improvement in Australia by the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council (WRMC), the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC) and NOHSC members. It set out to improve prevention, share knowledge, foster partnerships and collaborations, and compare performance among the key OHS stakeholders in Australia. The National OHS Strategy (National Strategy) was endorsed in May 2002 with the vision of Australian workplaces free from death, injury and disease. This was a tripartite initiative of NOHSC and unanimously endorsed by Federal, State and Territory Ministers. The 10 year timeframe was chosen to span political terms and provide the time to develop evidence based policies and programs. The Workplace Relations Ministers’ noted the successes of the National Road Strategy and its associated targets, and believed the inclusion of targets in a new document would help sharpen the national focus and efforts to improve Australia’s OHS performance. The National Strategy set out the basis for nationally strategic interventions that were intended to foster sustainably safe and healthy work environments, and to reduce significantly the numbers of people hurt or killed at work. Five national priorities and nine areas that required national action were agreed. These collectively aimed to bring about short and long-term improvements in OHS, as well as longer-term cultural change. Reports on progress to achieve the objectives of the National Strategy were provided annually to WRMC. NOHSC provided the original leadership and took carriage of the National Strategy until it was replaced by the Australian Safety and Compensation Council in 2005.

5 Safe Work Australia and the National Strategy 5 In 2009 Safe Work Australia – an independent Australian Government statutory body – was established. It has primary responsibility for improving work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements across Australia. Safe Work Australia represents a genuine partnership between governments, unions and industry working together towards the goal of reducing death, injury and disease in workplaces. The current and future National Strategy are key documents to guide the work of Safe Work Australia and others to achieve this goal. The current historic commitment to work health and safety is illustrated by the joint funding by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments of Safe Work Australia, facilitated through an intergovernmental agreement signed in July Safe Work Australia members: Back left to right: Mr Mark Goodsell Australian Industry Group; Mr Brian Bradley Western Australia; Ms Michele Patterson South Australia; Ms Michelle Baxter Commonwealth; Mr Rex Hoy Chief Executive Officer; Mr Peter Tighe Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Front left to right: Ms Anne Bellamy Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Mr John Watson New South Wales; Mr Tom Phillips AM Chair; Mr Michael Borowick (ACTU) Absent: Mr Greg Tweedly Victoria; Mr Barry Leahy Queensland; Ms Liesl Centenera ACT; Mr Roy Ormerod Tasmania; and Ms Laurene Hull Northern Territory.

6 National Work Health and Safety Strategy Consultation and Development 6 Safe Work Australia is now developing a new National Work Health and Safety Strategy to supersede the previous Strategy that expires in June To inform the development process, workshops are being held in all capital cities and a number of regional centres. These will seek ideas and comments from invited participants including employers, employees, regulators, work health and safety professionals, academics and interested community members. Safe Work Australia will also continue to consult with key stakeholders through a range of other mechanisms including ongoing bilateral consultations and by commissioning topic papers from experts on selected issues. These consultations will allow Safe Work Australia Members to decide on priority areas, targets and the Strategy’s duration. Once a draft National Work Health and Safety Strategy has been agreed by Safe Work Australia Members this will be released for public comment early in The comments will be analysed and used to further inform the development of the new Strategy.

7 Welcome to participants 7 Mr John Watson, General Manager of NSW WorkCover, welcomes participants to the Wagga Wagga workshop.

8 Workshop Introduction Mr Rex Hoy, the Chief Executive Officer of Safe Work Australia gave an introduction to the workshop. He noted that the National OHS Strategy provides a basis for developing sustainable, safe and healthy work environments and for reducing the number of people hurt or killed at work. He noted that the current Strategy set very clear and ambitious goals for work heath and safety, and was a key initiative to improve Australia's work health and safety performance from 2002–12. He thanked participants for attending and indicated that the workshops are an important part of the extensive stakeholder consultation process for the development of the New National Strategy. Mr Hoy invited participants to stay engaged and review the development progress reports on the new Strategy on the Safe Work Australia website as they are released. Mr Hoy provided data on the progress and limitations of the current Strategy and lessons learnt. He also noted the public comment period for the new Strategy early next year and welcomed participants’ comments at that time. 8 Mr Hoy’s presentation slides are available on the Safe Work Australia website. Participant comments on the workshops and new National Strategy themes can be sent to

9 Wagga Wagga Workshop Participants’ Profile 9 01 July 2011Number Academic/Specialist 1 Company/General 1 Employer Association 2 Public Policy 3 Regulator 3 Work Health and Safety professionals 8 Total18

10 Session Scopes 10 To assist participants, all tables displayed scopes outlining what was meant by the key discussion topics. These are noted below: Social/Economic/Emerging Issues in the Workforce, Business and Technology –The Workforce: Changing worker demographics such as ageing, young workers, casualisation, contract work, shift work, and individual needs such as literacy, disability, mental health –Business: How business is changing to meet emerging challenges and to remain viable and competitive, such as outsourcing, subcontracting, casualisation, etc –Technology: Innovations in the workplace that have already or may have a future impact on Work Health and Safety, such as nanotechnology, green technology, innovations in genetics, electronics and IT systems Hazards – Enhancing the capacity of workplaces to respond to: –Disease-Causing Hazards - includes noise, hazardous substances, chemicals and asbestos –Injury-Causing Hazards - includes work practices, manual tasks, slips trips and falls –Psychological Injury-Causing Hazards - includes the design, management and organisation of work and work systems to achieve resilient productive and safe psychological working environments. Work Health and Safety Systems – Challenges and Solutions in Safe Design and Work Systems, Skills and Training, and in Safety Leadership and Organisational Culture –Safe Design and Organisational Systems: the systems and principles that facilitate the elimination of hazards at the design or modification stage of products, buildings, structures and work processes –Skills & Training: the skills and training that employers and workers need to deliver safe workplaces. –Safety Leadership and Organisation Culture: Safety leadership generates organisational cultures that view safety and productivity of equal importance, validated by the attitudes, beliefs, perceptions and values of the workforce

11 Session One: What will success look like in ten years? 11 Reduced injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Work health and safety is accessible for all workers: all workers are aware and appreciate the issues. Improved work health and safety culture, including improved employee accountability and employer awareness. The effect of generational change on safety is understood. More robust technologies replace procedures and improve design, while being more conscious of the risks in using new technologies, chemicals and materials. Work health and safety and environmental fields work together to manage hazards. Businesses implement affordable work health and safety measures. The public sector has the budget and uses the evidence to drive work health and safety measures. Compliance paperwork is simplified and affordable. More time for work health and safety; education starts early. Better processes ensure equipment procured meets safety requirements, especially from overseas. A safety culture—the way we do things—that works. “Zero harm” policies are more than just words, they are translated into action, and they do not lead to under reporting issues. The accepted way of doing things doesn’t just focus on work health and safety but also on wellbeing.

12 Session One: What will success look like in 10 years? 12 Professionals in the design areas e.g. architects and planners, incorporate and appreciate work health and safety from the start of the design process and safety is designed into all processes, eliminating hazards before they reach the workplace. The safety of others who come into the workplace gets the same focus as employees, it is not a forced relationship, it just happens.

13 Session One: How do we get there? 13 Set targets and track progress toward them. Cooperate with overseas suppliers so they understand what our workplace safety requirements are. Initiate national and international supply chain controls to ensure the whole supply chain has accountability. Improve research on risks. Provide incentives or tools for industry to drive improvements internally, eg. funding and reward systems for improve claim performance especially small employers, agriculture and high-risk groups. Ensure that the availability of rewards and incentives does not lead to the concealing of incidents Focus on improving safety culture: provide education in schools and in the vocational education and training sector - especially to suit the changing needs of different generations. Raise awareness of what safety leaders are doing and what works. Provide basic/accessible/useable information and training material and tools through a national education framework or similar. PCBUs provide resources as part of their commitment to work health and safety. Educate safety professionals/consultants to provide credible advice. Ensure regulators have advisory focus to support compliance from small, medium and large businesses. Harmonise national work health and safety legislation and workers’ compensation. Improve inter-agency relationships and resource and information sharing. Build a better collaborative framework for continual consultation and collaboration between industries and government.

14 Session Two: Emerging Issues in the Workforce What will success look like in 10 years time? 14 More flexible employment options are provided for the ageing workforce: part- time, flexible hours, or flexible roles. Transition to retirement is well managed, especially the transfer of knowledge and skill to younger workers. The language barriers and training needs of a more multicultural workforce with short-term visa workers are addressed. Health and wellbeing of workers receives more consideration. More emphasis on new employee work health and safety induction as well as ongoing training and change management.

15 Session Two: Emerging Issues in the Workforce How do we get there? 15 Improve communication and consultation, ensure availability of an interpreter or language training if language issues. Provide plain English instructions that are easier to translate. Support gender-specific issues. Consider the needs of all areas (urban and rural) as well as demographics. Conduct more specific inductions, training, instigate buddy systems, follow-up training, recognise cultural and specific requirements, evaluate effectiveness of training, implement pre-start meetings and toolbox talks. Ensure records kept are relevant and contribute to continuous improvement. Promote training and education in youth and VET programs, including training on core elements of work health and safety.

16 Session Two: Emerging Issues in Business What will success look like in 10 years time? 16 Business models and work health and safety performance are driven by business and the market rather than by the regulator. Business understands risks of a casual workforce. Australia understands the business case for safety at the local, state and national level based on rigorous data, not just claims data but data on risks. The focus of key performance indicators has changed from lag to lead indicators. A national system of pre-qualification for contractors is in place and continuously updated, like the construction white card, allowing worker qualifications to be recognised across Australia. Subcontractors do not enter sites before doing an induction; proof of this induction is checked. Skills shortages are addressed, including literacy and language barriers of immigrant workers for work health and safety training, as well as the availability of trainers. Business advisory officers provide advice and mentoring rather than penalising – businesses can go to the regulator without fear. Industry associations are more engaged in work health and safety; they provide information and assistance to help businesses meet their work health and safety obligations. Procedures are streamlined, simple and with less paperwork.

17 Session Two: Emerging Issues in Business How do we get there? 17 Ensure that, as a minimum standard, labour hire companies comply with AS/NZS 4801 OHS Management Systems accreditation or an appropriate international standard. Educate children on work health and safety practices early so that it becomes ingrained, similar to the current approach on educating children about bullying at school. Train teachers in work health and safety. Provide more skilled trainers for rural areas. Harness new technology to lessen the need for skilled trainers. Appreciate that in recognition of the competitive edge that safe working practices provide, work health and safety standards in the Asia Pacific region and beyond are rising and now often higher than Australian workplaces. Leverage improving international standards to put pressure on Australian businesses to improve their work health and safety performance to remain competitive. Implement training passports, such as in the oil industry, to provide a vehicle to assess continuous, competency-based training, and to know when to update skills. Maintain a healthy wariness and check to ensure skills testing is effective.

18 Session Two: Emerging Issues in Technology What will success look like in 10 years time? 18 Safe technology replaces unsafe technology. Stricter controls/standards apply to the design, manufacture, or release of emerging technology and work health and safety risks are assessed before they enter workplaces. Online information is available on new technology that is credible, evidence-based and usable. There is better adherence to standards. We understand technology better and have a greater awareness of its impacts, when it is safe or unsafe, and when it can be used to improve work health and safety in the workplace. Technology is used to automate or design out high risk work, including the risks of sedentary work and sedentary lifestyles. Equipment in workplaces is updated to help manage work health and safety risks. Technology ensures that workers and employers are aware of work health and safety issues as soon as they arise. Technology designers incorporate safety prevention principles before releasing new models into the workplace. Standards are up-to-date with changes in technology and work health and safety risks.

19 Session Two: Emerging Issues in Technology How do we get there? 19 Provide better and quicker research information, education and advice about technology. Develop international and national standards and codes of practice to underpin the safety of technology before it gets to workplaces. Ensure that legislation is adaptable and can change quickly to remain relevant. Automate or provide technological replacements for people in high risk areas of work. Design initiatives for new technology at work and design out risks before they get to workplaces. Get traction and make changes happen by focussing on getting higher degrees of effectiveness from existing approaches. The discussion on technology needs to move beyond physical injuries to also include psychological injuries.

20 Session Three: Responding to Disease-Causing Hazards – What will success look like in 10 years time? 20 There is widespread recognition that rural disease- causing hazards include those of a zoonotic nature (pathogens that are transmissible from animals to humans), and that they change depending on environmental variations and climatic conditions. Risk control is less reactive, more proactive, and there are better processes for identifying and controlling risks that do not merely rely on the use of personal protective equipment. More information and education on both physical and medical agricultural hazards is available. Agencies and networks provide rapid communication on emerging hazards across industries. Surveillance of exposure to radiation emitting equipment is improved. Hazardous substances and chemicals are effectively managed.

21 Session Three: Responding to Disease-Causing Hazards – How do we get there? 21 Enhance the capacity of workplaces to respond by: providing consistent chemical labelling that complies with the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of chemical labelling, and providing effective communication on the GHS providing education about the life cycle of hazardous substances improving research and data collections, to provide information to workers that is understandable and usable researching and identifying effective substitution of hazardous substances that work encouraging higher levels of stewardship by manufacturers to use safer substances identifying the true cost of diseases and distinguishing between work-related and non-work-related diseases providing more accurate and current statistics on exposure and exposure outcomes, and providing more funding for surveillance.

22 Session Three: Responding to Injury-Causing Hazards What will success look like in 10 years time? 22 More time is spent on implementation than documentation. Information is shared between designers and end users to reduce risks and incidents and ensure continual improvement. Repetitive tasks are mechanised. High incident and high consequence hazards like manual handling, electrical, falls from heights, noise, radiation, allergies, driving, machinery injuries and ergonomics are identified and addressed. Improved big picture risk identification. Risk controls are appropriate to the risk.

23 Session Three: Responding to Injury-Causing Hazards How do we get there? 23 Enhance the capacity of workplaces to respond by: educating workplaces to improve safety cultures and to ensure top down total commitment among everyone, with an emphasis on well being providing evidence-based timely data and statistics to assist in the setting and measuring of targets facilitating more sharing of information between industry groups implementing a national strategy that recognises the achievements of the past ten years, accepts that there are no “magic bullets”, and provides a nationally agreed implementation plan to help us get better at what we already do, and developing strong infrastructure around innovation in work health and safety.

24 Session Three: Responding to Psychological Injury- Causing Hazards ̶ What will success look like in 10 years? 24 Reduced psychological injuries. Better understanding of mental health. Improved reporting systems, including the provision of ‘sensitive’ alternatives. Improved diagnosis and classification of psychological injury. Improved managerial skills in recognising and dealing with issues early and appropriately, in managing workloads, fatigue, interpersonal relationships, and in providing performance feedback. Improved return to work procedures with a holistic approach that encompasses family and workplace impacts.

25 Session Three: Responding to Psychological Injury- Causing Hazards – How do we get there? 25 Enhance the capacity of workplaces to respond by: recognising mental illness and removing stigma raising community and colleague awareness through research, communication and education getting regulators and medical providers more involved training and supporting managers to improve their ‘people’ skills identifying ‘most-at-risk’ jobs/industries early detection of injuries and early intervention ‘flags’ instigating a risk management framework to identify the people most at risk and the most hazardous tasks finding a simple definition of what is deemed a psychological injury, one that people can relate to better identifying causes of micro-trauma inherited from past work or outside work that can accumulate and develop into mental illness dealing with people who are bullies, particularly those in management positions, and being aware of the potential consequences of government policy decisions.

26 Session Four: Safe Design & Work Systems What will success look like in 10 years time? 26 Plant and equipment that is coming to Australia from offshore is safe. Trade agreements ensure that work health and safety standards are included. Hazard identification is completed before items are commissioned, e.g. employers have a responsibility to ensure items that are purchased are safe before they are used. Architects take their duty of care seriously and consult with stakeholders on the work health and safety implications of their designs throughout the building process. Work health and safety is considered at all stages of the supply chain. Retro-fitting is not needed as architects and designers consult with end users on work health and safety which is embedded into the design’s functionality. Risk assessments occur on change of work systems to ensure due diligence and not just tweaking. Work health and safety is taken seriously. Anthropometric measurements are up-to-date and reflect the changing sizes of Australians – both large and small. Australian standards or equivalent are updated based on timely anthropometric data.

27 Session Four: Safe Design & Work Systems How do we get there? 27 Consult with trade departments and ministries to ensure Australian standards are met. Break down global barriers so that Australian imports are safe. Instigate a “stop” point in the supply chain at the level of importation where the product is checked and rejected if it is not safe. Instigate a system, similar to the heart foundation tick, to highlight good design of safety. Make construction design management regulations apply to architects as well as builders. Embed more info/research/education and consultation into design practice, to ensure that designers recognise their duties. Ensure that work health and safety is a key item that is included at every stage of the design process. Provide work health and safety training for architects. Ensure that local governments demand that buildings comply not only with environment regulation but also with health and safety regulation.

28 Session Four: Skills & Training What will success look like in 10 years time? 28 Competency-based training, learning and reinforcing skills learnt ensures that there is more than tick and flick. Training is effective and relevant. Training is open to all who need it, and training plans include succession planning and other training requirement into the future. Employer/PCBUs commit resources for training. Training courses provide value for money, and the skills needed in the industry. Feedback systems and course reviews assess the effectiveness of training. Effective trainers/consultants are competent in delivery training and deliver up-to-date information. Training is targeted to the recipient and is risk- based. A system is in place that provides evidence of having done training that is effective, and recognised widely.

29 Session Four: Skills & Training - How do we get there? 29 Develop robust training infrastructure either at company or industry level. Develop industry supported and approved curriculums. Research audiences before delivery to ensure training is relevant. Provide records of training that are accurate and support the needs of the person and the organisation. Source training from the most effective sources, recognising that there are methods other than class work to address competencies that are also more cost effective. Support regulators – especially in high risk areas, like asbestos training. Consider financial support or grants to meet legitimate training needs, as well as compliance support to ensure training is effective. Recognise that training increases the value of employees to the organisation and for themselves, while assessing the effectiveness of training and the cost of ineffective training. Instil work health and safety into the school curriculum, right from kindergarten, through high school, under-graduate courses, and vocational education training. Provide good training that recognises the higher costs and skills shortage in rural areas.

30 Session Four: Safety Leadership and Organisational Culture – What will success look like in 10 years time? 30 Workplace culture is defined and leaders drive it to gain commitment at all levels of the organisation. Leaders provide resources, people, systems and finances to support work health and safety. Organisational systems are integrated: quality, manufacturing, safety, environment and health. Leadership combines the systems and integrates risk management into them. Measurements are consistent and relevant and a safe business is recognised as good business. Equally it is recognised that being unsafe costs money, and there is better understanding of the costs and impact of poor work health and safety, how much it costs upfront, in terms of premiums, and in terms of productivity. Good safety management is an indicator of good investment, and information on the stock market highlights well performing companies in terms of work health and safety and injury management.

31 Session Four: Safety Leadership & Organisational Culture ̶ How do we get there? 31 Develop metrics for work health and safety performance and risk management that can be and are used by CEOs. Avoid commodifying work health and safety, e.g. buying safety management systems online. Share information and lessons learned from leading organisations. Educate and share knowledge within industries and across industries, e.g. share manual handling techniques from hospitals with manufacturing industries. Develop a reporting culture: (i) to get people to move from just walking past hazards toward reporting hazards, and (ii) sharing that information and using the reports to stop other people getting injured. Do not link reported safety outcomes to performance and pay – it can lead to under-reporting. Identify reasonable lead indicators. Identify a lead indicator that is associated with doing safety training, combined with a lag indicator that measures if the training is effective.

32 Closing Reflections from the Chief Executive Officer 32 Rex Hoy thanked John Watson, General Manager, Occupational Health and Safety Division, WorkCover Authority NSW, for opening the workshop; the facilitator Rick Hodgson, and all the workshop participants for their attendance and contribution. He outlined how the Wagga Wagga workshop fits into the overall development of the new National Work Health and Safety Strategy. Rex commented on the need for a rigorous evaluation plan for the new National Strategy that will provide good tools to measure the strategy’s progress and outcomes. He also highlighted that the new strategy should acknowledge the roles various stakeholders will be throughout the life of the strategy. Rex noted that this was the first National Strategy workshop held in a rural centre. He noted that while the discussions highlighted similar matters to other workshops about where we want to be in 10 years time, there were differences on how to actually get there. Some of the themes in common with the other workshops were cultural issues, leadership, wellbeing and education in schools and the workforce. More specifically rural in outlook was the need to focus on the work health and safety needs of regional workers on 457 visas, the multicultural issues that need to be addressed among CALD workers (cultural and linguistic diversity), and rural skill shortages. Rex appreciated the useful discussions about the link between safety, environment and health, the need for more competency-based training, and the importance of better chemical labeling. He also highlighted the quality of the discussions on hazards, particularly on the need for a better process to identify and manage risk as well as the comments around the substitution of hazardous substances with safer alternatives. There were interesting discussion on defining psychological issues, on getting a better understanding of exposure outcomes, and on identifying the true costs of diseases. He emphasised that these were all areas where we should ask how much is work-related and how much is really part of public health. He noted that one of the big challenges for Safe Work Australia is getting more up-to-date data. Safe Work Australia obtains data through various sources and it is a real challenge to release up-to-date data. He agreed with the comments on the need for work health and safety information in annual reporting. Rex particularly mentioned several discussions that he hadn’t heard before at other workshops. One was on the question of whether we should be looking to replace workers in high risk work with automation. Another was about understanding the degree of effectiveness of what we do to improve work health and safety as well as the need to challenge the way we think so that we design out risks. It was also the first time he’d heard discussion about the need for AS/NZS 4801 accreditation as well as industry-supported curriculum. Rex went on to comment that the matters that had been chosen for exploration were just some of the many that are under active consideration by Safe Work Australia members as they develop the new National Strategy. He closed the workshop by welcoming participants’ ongoing engagement with the development of the new Strategy and said that if they would like to provide further comments and ideas these may be sent to

33 Evaluation Outcomes 33 Overall, the feedback from the National Work Health and Safety Strategy workshop which was held in Wagga Wagga on 1 July was very positive. Both quantitative and qualitative results were collected from 18 evaluation sheets, recording a 100% satisfaction both for the opportunity to contribute and the facilitator. The length of the workshop and the format of the day both reported a 94% approval rate as did the location and the room set-up. In addition there was 100% satisfaction with the refreshments provided. More than half of the attendees commented on how they had enjoyed interacting with diverse groups, and how they had appreciated the opportunity to contribute. In particular the fact that Safe Work Australia had asked them to participate and sought their thoughts on what success in work health and safety will look like in 10 years time and how we will get there was appreciated. An excellent cross section of both rural and urban stakeholders offered useful probing input. The emerging language issues as rural Australia uses more migrants was raised as a matter that requires significant thought and input over the next 10 years (the local meat processing plant employs 800 people, made up of 30 different nationalities, a great deal of whom are migrants on 457 visas) necessitating in this case a person of the same nationality to induct staff, as well as the plant making the investment of teaching their staff English. Highlighting rural based zoonotic diseases as part of the occupational disease session was also a useful exercise, with current high incidences of Q Fever, leptospirosis and Ross river virus (the latter two of which are particularly problematic due to the mice and mosquito plagues following the drought breaking rain). There was a particular call to have more representation from unions and that having industry groups getting together may be beneficial. One attendee found the sessions quite repetitive and another found the workshop too long. A particularly useful suggestion centred around the potential for the new Strategy to be used as a vehicle to work towards every control measure being at engineering level or above, and also that Australia needs to avoid being complacent as developing nations in the Asia Pacific region and beyond as are rapidly improving their safe working practices as they realise the competitive edge that can give them. All of the input has been noted, and is being integrated into future workshops and into planning the new Work Health and Safety Strategy to make improvements. Text in italics indicates direct quotes from responders

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