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Case Study

Fairfax Media – governance review


WHS legislation across Australia had gone through significant change and placed defined duties on employers’ (PCBU’s) Company Officers. They now had to demonstrate how they met these obligations through establishing governance arrangements to inform themselves of their organisation’s safety performance.

The Challenge

The Board of Fairfax Media was keen to understand if they were meeting their duties as Officers of the PCBU. Of particular interest was whether the monthly Board Reports were providing the right information about the organisation’s health and safety performance. They were seeking advice on what additional information should be included so that Board members could remain well informed of past and emerging issues.

Project Goals

  • Understand Board member confidence levels in what was being reported and what made them nervous – looking at perception versus reality.
  • Assess how information was analysed, including the accuracy of reported information.
  • Gain insight into what OHS information was being reported to the Board.
  • Analyse the current reporting systems, including online systems.
  • Understand the organisation’s business and OHS strategy.

The Insight

Verus’s significant experience working with Boards and senior organisational leaders enabled us to understand what information needed to be reported to make effective decisions.

The Solution

  • Changes recommended to the OHSMS to rationalise the system, remove duplication, simplify administration and improve how people interacted with it.
  • Improved reporting that provided the Board with greater visibility of key risks, incidents and safety performance.
  • A revised WHS strategy that focused on eliminating and controlling key risk issues.
  • Changes recommended to the IT system to improve data integrity.
  • Improved reporting processes for end users.