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CEO/Agency head

This information  is designed to support CEOs/Agency Heads in meeting their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) (WHS Act) and to provide practical guidance through leadership, consultation, and communication to promote and support a culture of health and safety within their business. There is information for CEOs/Agencies Heads about:

Research has been conducted over the past few decades to identify the elements that make leaders effective and what makes a sustainable culture of health and safety. A strong health and safety culture is one where workers can see and believe that their leaders are committed to their health and safety. That any input workers provide into the development of systems, policies and procedures is valued and followed.

Effective leaders know the value of committing to health and safety as a strategic imperative, an integral part of everyday business. They value the ideas and involvement of their workers.

Workers value a leader who sets clear direction and commits to action. Leaders, who say they are committed to a course of action but fail to adhere to them, send a clear message to their workers “I am telling you the things you want to hear but I don’t intend to follow them”.

Workers see that the primary role of a CEO/Agency Head is to shape, drive, guide and retain oversight of business strategic direction and objectives. The success, or otherwise, of any business largely depends on its workforce and the relationship between the business managers and senior leadership.

CEOs/Agency Heads should provide direction to incorporate the Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws into existing channels of business development such as strategic planning, financial and resource planning, and performance measurement. Responsibility lies with them to ensure there is in place, an appropriate due diligence framework, that is employed and embedded into business and to integrate the WHS laws into everyday business through engagement of workers at all levels to mitigate the risks and barriers.

Page last updated: 07 Mar 2014