World-leading WHS culture

The department's Mine Safety Industry Assistance Unit, the NSW Mine Safety Advisory Council, industry and unions are working closely together to achieve world-leading health and safety throughout the NSW mining and extractives industry.

We are working together to achieve a WHS culture where safe practice is innate and authentic at all levels.

A comprehensive vision has been established for the industry that strives for:

  • zero harm
  • a demonstrated commitment by everyone to WHS
  • complete competency at all levels
  • best practice consultation
  • no tension between productivity and safety
  • all WHS implementation is fair and just
  • an effective enforcement policy
  • clear accountabilities and responsibilities for everyone
  • collaboration
  • no disconnect between systems and practices.

Targeted assistance by the Mine Safety Industry Assistance Unit will raise awareness and build capacity. Areas targeted for improvement include systems practice, interaction between people, safety culture and the individual's capacity to participate in safety and health.

The world-leading WHS culture program will also promote associated non-technical skills and engage the industry competence boards in their approach to competency assessment.

WHS culture change project

The WHS culture change project aims to help create the NSW mining industry of the future. One that has a mature and resilient culture, reflecting the changing work habits and workforce now and in the future.

A set of self-assessment tools have been produced to enable mining operations to assess their WHS culture performance level and identify areas of improvement.

The project is being overseen by the WHS culture working party, a sub-committee of the NSW Mine Safety Advisory Council.


An independent consulting consortium led by Shaw Idea Pty Ltd developed and conducted a pilot program to develop an industry approach to assessing, building and monitoring progress in WHS cultural maturity.

Nine pilot mine sites in NSW tested systems to establish what level their work culture is at and identify areas that could be improved.

MSAC safety culture assessment website

The safety culture benchmarking project is an initiative of Mine Safety Advisory Council (MSAC). The aim is to create a leading safety indicator and monitor industry progress towards its world-leading safety culture vision.

The website contains information relating to the objectives of this project, how the results are measured and the process by which they are established.

WHS culture benchmarking

A self-assessment tool was developed to enable mines to assess their own WHS culture and performance against key elements of their WHS management system. The tool identifies areas that may be improved, but also where the mine is placed in relation to other operations and the ten CEO vision points.

The Associated Non-Technical Skills (ANTS) project findings will also feed into this project.


Ultimately the project will deliver a self-sustaining method for achieving and monitoring continuous improvement in WHS culture and practice. The project will also build the capacity of industry champions to continue WHS culture improvement within the industry and enable benchmarking into the future.

To find out more information on the process and how to participate, please contact, Manager, Mining Industry Assistance Unit.

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