A Work, Health & Safety Priority

Safe Work Australia is the national policy body for Work Health and Safety (WHS). It is responsible for the development of a national strategy which sets the scene for state and territory governments and encourages a harmonisation of priorities across all spheres of government. The current strategy, the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022, prioritises particular industries and disorders. The industries prioritised are those which have high numbers and rates of injury and/or fatalities or are by their nature hazardous.
 
Priority disorders are chosen based on the severity of consequences for workers, the number of workers estimated to be affected and the existence of known prevention options. It is hardly surprising then that one of the priority disorders is mental illness.
 
Complementing this national strategy is the Safe Work NSW six-year strategy called the Work Health and Safety Roadmap 2022. This State-wide strategy reflects the national priority of reducing mental illness at work, setting a goal of a 30% reduction by 2022 of the incidence of serious mental health disorders. 
 
Tackling mental health and wellbeing at work is a national and New South Wales WHS priority which should be on the agenda for every council.