The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption’s report on his Evaluation of the Practices, Policies and Procedures of the Regulatory Arm of SafeWork SA has been tabled in Parliament today.
The extensive report presents the Commissioner’s findings and makes 39 recommendations to the agency.
The evaluation revealed that SafeWork SA has a poor workplace culture, described by many staff as ‘toxic’.
The Commissioner says that SafeWork SA “has a very poor understanding of its own risks” and “is lost in a sea of overly convoluted, unnecessary and ineffective policies”.
“Practices, policies and procedures that should exist to address real risks of corruption, misconduct and maladministration are missing.
“One of the most significant findings in this evaluation has been the intentional creation of a communication barrier between SafeWork SA’s educator arm and its regulatory arm.
“…the risks associated with constructing the agency in this way should be obvious. Very serious workplace safety risks might be identified but affirmative action may not be taken. This could lead to catastrophic consequences for workers. The practice ought to end immediately.”
In his report, the Commissioner also said that SafeWork SA’s continual change of leadership and direction has meant that staff “are suffering from change fatigue”.
“A number of staff see no real end to the change. Regrettably more change is required before SafeWork SA can be seen as on course to be a more effective agency,” said Commissioner Lander.
The Evaluation of the Practices, Policies and Procedures of the Regulatory Arm of SafeWork SA including the Commissioner’s recommendations can be downloaded online.