National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development

Prepared by the Ecologically Sustainable Development Steering Committee
Endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments
December, 1992
ISBN 0 644 27253 8

Occupational Health and Safety
Part 3 Intersectoral Issues - Chapter 25


To ensure that occupational health and safety (OHS) considerations are fully integrated into processes developed for the implementation of ESD

Strategic Approach

The most effective way to achieve this is to develop mechanisms for ensuring that: strategies and approaches for ESD include enhanced OHS measures; there is industry reorientation towards more efficient working methods; and the need for health and well-being at work is promoted and maintained. Given that the workplace is one prime arena for the implementation of ESD, governments will focus on developing effective relationships between the ESD implementation process and existing workplace reform policies, including best practice, job redesign, industry and award restructuring, and OHS enhancement.

Objective 25.1

  • to put in place an effective policy framework for the development, enhancement and management of OHS components of ESD-related decisions and actions

Governments will:

  • continue to work through the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC) to develop national uniform OHS standards, related hazard control strategies for Australia, and OHS strategies and plans for selected key national industries, as well as research, education, training and information programs
  • encourage action through the NOHSC to provide a framework which will involve:
    • complementary integration of OHS and ESD objectives as first principles in planning for new industries and technological processes;
    • inclusion of increased OHS performance benefits as one of the indicators of successful implementation of ESD;
    • integration of OHS with public health and environment protection into a comprehensive approach to environmental impact assessment; and
    • collaborative standards setting in OHS, public health and environment protection
  • review chemical management schemes as a first step in ensuring that they integrate comprehensive responses for use in all sectors, including workplace, domestic, agricultural, veterinary and public, and cover technical issues as well as consultation, information strategies, public participation and accountability
  • seek to integrate best practice environment management initiatives with the development of OHS best practice
  • encourage integration of ESD principles in OHS agencies' institutional arrangements
  • encourage cooperative and collaborative action to translate into practice the principles, guidelines, and initiatives outlined in this Strategy, as they affect OHS