Small business: Easy to do WHS

Can practical assistance in the form of a toolkit assist small businesses to understand and comply with Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation in NSW?

What is this research about?

This project was undertaken in response to the needs of small business who were asking for clarity and guidance on their WHS compliance obligations. In many cases, small businesses do not have a dedicated WHS professional in the workplace. In addition, small businesses are often family businesses, with a mix of part-time and casual workers.

SafeWork NSW developed a small business tool – Easy to do WHS, designed to help small businesses to interpret the WHS legislation and apply it appropriately.

The Centre provided front end feedback and behavioural insights to help shape the toolkit and conducted a three-phase research project to refine and evaluate the efficacy of this resource among the target audience.

What the researchers did?

In Phase One, seven discussion groups were undertaken among NSW small business employees across a range of industries, in addition to in depth interviews among nine government and industry stakeholders. The research gathered feedback on the form and content of the Toolkit, and refinements were made to each as a result.

In Phase Two, a longitudinal online survey was undertaken among a final sample of n=52 NSW different childcare centre employees. The research measured changes in WHS awareness, attitudes and behaviours among an exposure group, who received a copy of the Toolkit after an initial benchmark survey, versus a control group at 6-week, 12-week and six-month intervals.

In Phase Three, follow up, in depth interviews were undertaken with four childcare workers from the longitudinal exposure group to gather more detailed user feedback on the form, content and efficacy of the updated Toolkit in making it easier for small business to do WHS.

Research to Practice

The findings and recommendations of this project have been used in the design the digital version of the toolkit. The digital toolkit has enhanced functionality, including an interactive checklist and digitised action plan.

Insights including the development of and links to industry specific materials will be used in future versions.

Research partners and stakeholders

JWS Research

Want to know more?

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Supporting documents