WorkSafe’s strategy: 2018-2022

WorkSafe’s four-year strategy, outlined in the Statement of Intent 2018/19-2021/22, sets out the improvements we need so that New Zealand can lift its health and safety at work performance towards world-class. We have set clear focus areas that will align our work with our strategic direction and will report annually against these. 2019/20 is the second year of turning our strategy into action.

Our external focus areas

1. Deliver the right mix of services in the right way

We are optimising our services and tools to support best practice and lift health and safety capability.

image SPE 2019 2020 deliver pathway
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Why this matters

WorkSafe’s success relies on making effective choices as a regulator. We have limited resources available and need to intervene in the best way to make the greatest impact.

Our services and tools include everything from providing information and advice to monitoring and enforcing compliance. This involves awareness campaigns, publishing guidance and research, and undertaking targeted assessments of workplaces. It also involves investigating serious health and safety breaches and responding to unsafe incidents and precursor events that have the potential to cause serious harm.

We also have a critical role to work with and through others to resolve systemic work health and safety issues.

What we intend to achieve in 2019/20

In 2019/20 we will develop an organisation-wide target operating model for our future regulatory framework. This will support increased and sustained improvements to the health and safety system. The target operating model will build on our current operating model. This year, to support the future state decision we will:

  • complete the Operations Group operating model
  • continue to develop an intelligence-led and technology-enabled approach to the prevention of work-related harm so WorkSafe can better target resources to underlying drivers of harm
  • develop a decision-making framework to target resource to where it can make the biggest difference
  • continue to support our inspectorate to keep pace with the changing and growing risk profile of work.

In preparation for future years, we will also engage with stakeholders to co-design and implement evidence based harm prevention programmes. The proposed target operating model will be discussed with stakeholders and a draft high-level implementation plan will be developed.

2. Build our harm prevention approach

We are working to reduce harm through targeted, evidence-based programmes. We enable workers to participate in and influence health and safety improvements.

[image] SPE 2019 2020 build pathway
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Why this matters

While the level of work-related harm has been reducing, it still remains too high. The toll of our poor health and safety performance is paid by the individuals, families, friends, co-workers and communities of those who are killed, seriously injured or harmed at work. Our work focuses on reducing all harm – acute, chronic and catastrophic and preventing harm from gas and electricity.

There are sectors of work where the level of harm is significantly above average, specifically traditional sectors of agriculture, forestry, construction and manufacturing. Rates of harm are also high in some other sectors such as transport. However, when considering all types of harm, other sectors such as public administration and safety, health care and social assistance and education, and training should also be considered higher risk. We know that significant work is needed to lift New Zealand’s maturity when it comes to managing work-related disease and ill-health, and address health impairments like fatigue that can have a significant impact on people’s safety.

WorkSafe has a single-minded focus on harm prevention. A comprehensive integrated evidence-based approach to harm prevention is needed so that WorkSafe can enable people to address the underlying factors that drive harm at work and manage the risks in their workplace.

What we intend to achieve in 2019/20

In 2019/20 we will consolidate our harm prevention plans and implement a harm prevention operating model, based on a comprehensive survey of consumers, workers and employers.

Our response will include supporting leadership to implement sector- specific initiatives to address the greatest risk of harm, and cross-sector initiatives to address risks common to all sectors, including improving worker engagement, participation and representation. Vehicles are the single biggest cause of fatal accidents at work across all sectors. In response to this we will address the risks of working in and around vehicles through a series of co-designed and co-delivered initiatives.

We will also implement initiatives tailored to workers at greatest risk of harm for example Māori and Pacific Peoples and migrants/vulnerable workers. Over the coming year there will be greater emphasis on reducing work-related health risks and we will develop proposals for addressing three areas of work-related health harm. Our Risk Management Tool will be piloted and available for use by small to medium businesses to enable their understanding of risk management.

3. Grow effective strategic relationships

We use the influence and insights of our strategic partners to work together to drive system-wide changes.

[image] SPE 2019 2020 grow pathway
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Why this matters

To achieve the future we want, all parts of the health and safety system need to demonstrate leadership and accountability by working together to address both safety and health.

One of the foundations of good health and safety at work is strong tripartite leadership, ensuring workers, business and system agencies work collectively to improve New Zealand’s health and safety performance.

WorkSafe can also influence others to build capability and drive improvements to health and safety at work at a sector level. As a system leader we are uniquely able to help others form strong, strategic relationships and enable industry to lead their own health and safety change.

What we intend to achieve in 2019/20

We will strengthen purposeful and active relationships with strategic partners and stakeholders, including MBIE, ACC, health and transport, our social partners (NZCTU and businesses) and other regulators.

We will build on the success of the Health and Safety Regulators Chief Executives Group by implementing two shared initiatives. The Group was established by WorkSafe in 2018/19 and is heavily focused on building health and safety capability within the public sector, including supporting effective management of health and wellbeing within this sector. We will continue to chair the Health and Safety Regulator Chairs’ Forum. The Forum was established to build a better understanding and collaboration at governance level to achieve a whole of government approach to the work that we’re each doing to improve outcomes. A key action will be stakeholder mapping with other regulators.

We will continue to co-chair the Government’s Health and Safety at Work Strategy Reference Group.

WorkSafe will continue to support existing sector leadership like the Forest Industry Safety Council (FISC), Agricultural Leaders’ Health and Safety Action Group (ALHSAG), and Construction Health and Safety New Zealand (CHASNZ), along with specialist associations like the Health and Safety Association of New Zealand (HASANZ). We will also take a strong tripartite approach to working with industry in establishing other sector-led health and safety leadership models.

Our internal focus areas

4. Drive organisational excellence

[image] SPE 2019 2020 drive pathway
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WorkSafe is a young organisation founded on mature people roots. Over the last five years we have established   the organisation using and building on existing capabilities. We  have built basic systems and processes enabling us to respond to initial needs. However, the needs of the health and safety system are changing and we need to change in order to remain sustainable and to meet future needs. While acknowledging and respecting the achievements of the past we are forward-looking and aim to become a modern, data- and intelligence-led, world-class regulator. To achieve this we need to strengthen our capability and modernise our systems and processes. This includes a clear focus on our own health and safety performance, improving staff wellness and engagement, and delivering on a comprehensive modernisation programme.

A safe and healthy environment for our WorkSafe people

WorkSafe is an organisation with a single unifying purpose around supporting people to be healthy and safe. Caring for people is at the heart of what we do and is why we are focused on enabling New Zealand to transform its health and safety performance towards world-class levels. We are a people and service organisation with the vast majority of our resources, capability and cost being people-related. As a people centred organisation we put our primary focus on the four critical health and safety risks that affect our people:

Strengthen our people and culture

As an organisation focused on supporting people to be healthy and safe, caring for people is at the heart of what we do. We are a people and service organisation with the vast majority of our resources, capability and cost being people-related. Increasing understanding and expectations about health and safety has seen us move from a traditional regulatory approach to become more comprehensive covering harm prevention (across both physical and mental harms), regulatory effectiveness and system leadership.

What we intend to achieve in 2019/20

In 2018/19 we developed our People Strategy to build on the capability we already have to become a regulator with a diverse and highly skilled workforce. Our People Strategy provides a framework to strengthen our culture, supported by leadership and team development programmes. This year we are implementing our People Strategy across seven workstreams: leadership, performance, talent management, reward and recognition, employee experience, grow and adjust, and technology, including design work for a Human Resources Information and Payroll System. We are reviewing our values to support staff in delivering the refreshed 2018/19- 2021/22 WorkSafe strategy.

Organisation wide and leadership capabilities

Enhance our technology, data and infrastructure

We connect with a wide range of business and workers across New Zealand. To maximise our geographical coverage we need the right systems to enable staff to work in a smart, integrated, technology-enabled and data- and intelligence- driven way. This requires investment over the next four years and includes building a contemporary ICT platform, developing a core case management system, using cloud-based services, strengthening business intelligence capability, improving front end customer facing processes, developing a core web presence and consolidating existing websites. These improvements will have a flow-on effect supporting the development of evidence-based, targeted harm prevention programmes and enable WorkSafe to become more effective and efficient as current manual processes are replaced by technology-enabled platforms.

What we intend to achieve in 2019/20

In 2019/20 we will implement ICT capabilities such as Office 365 and a computing upgrade to modernise workplace environment and user solutions. We will also deliver foundations for a new case management system, which subject to further funding, will provide a single platform to record, manage and access operational information. Supporting our aspiration to be data- and intelligence-led, we will continue to build our business intelligence capability and enhance data and intelligence collection.

We will also refine our future office requirements, finalising our property strategy to ensure we are best located to serve workers, employers and communities across New Zealand.

Future-proof our organisation

WorkSafe is at a critical point of ensuring that the organisation is sustainable and future-proofed to lift New Zealand’s health and safety performance towards world-class. This requires ensuring we have the right capability, service and interventions in place and that our funding and resources keep pace with what is expected of us.

In 2018/19 we developed our four-year strategy setting out our goals, focus areas and core roles. This provides a clear pathway to guide where we need to put our resources, effort and future investment.

What we intend to achieve in 2019/20

In 2019/20 we will resource a Modernisation Office to help us to prioritise and deliver on our activities as we lead the health and safety system and become a modern regulator. Over the next two years the Modernisation Office will embed a standard approach to projects so that we have the resource capability and capacity, tools and techniques to deliver programmes of work more efficiently and cohesively. The Modernisation Office will align sequence and resource each programme of work across the organisation’s portfolio of projects to ensure success.