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Case Study

Victorian state government department – organisational structure

Completed 2021


A Victorian state government department made up of multi-disciplinary parts wanted to improve its health and safety performance.

The Challenge

The department had realised that the make-up of its OHS team, including number, location, type of resources and their remit, was not supporting the department’s goals to be an exemplar in safety and wellbeing across the public sector. Bushfires and COVID had exacerbated the issue.

Project Goals

  • Develop a strategy to transform the OHS team into an integrated team working across the department, and operating a service delivery model that:
    • provides advice to support the entire department.
    • encourages line management to own their health and safety responsibilities.
  • has a suitable mix of health and safety skills, competencies and qualifications that align with the needs of the department.

The Insight

We used our experience in similar government projects to investigate the department’s specific health and safety needs and challenges by:

  • reviewing existing safety management system documentation
  • understanding current accountabilities and responsibilities
  • reviewing current performance and OHS data
  • reviewing the governance structure
  • interviewing senior leaders of the department
  • undertaking stakeholder focus groups to understand current perception of health and safety and the safety team, departmental needs, and what was working and not working in the current structure.

The Solution

  • Identified key issues that were preventing the OHS team from meeting the needs of the department.
  • Recommended:
    • lifting the limits on the type of support that could be provided.
    • consolidating safety team resources into a single integrated team.
    • implementing a professional development program to enhance the skills of the OHS team.
    • improvements to senior leadership accountabilities related to safety management.
    • upgrades to the OHS management system.
    • enhancements to departmental safety training.
    • improvements to governance arrangements.