Using machinery safely

Read our research update here.

Research question

Does improved leadership improve safety culture and front-line machine safety behaviours?

What is this research about?

Traumatic injury resulting from poorly guarded machines is a priority area in the Work Health and Safety Roadmap for NSW 2022 (SafeWork NSW, 2016).  Past research has demonstrated that leadership, safety culture and the way training is implemented, followed up and incorporated into the organisation by managers is important to improve front-line machine safety behaviours.

This research aims to improve the behaviours in front-line young male worker surrounding the safe use of machinery in heavy manufacturing industries. The research will develop and test a bespoke intervention to improve the leadership skills in upper and middle managers. Improved leadership is hypothesised to enhance safety culture, which in turn will influence front-line workers to adopt better machine-safety behaviours.


Mar 2019 – June 2019: Development of safety culture toolkit and measures

June 2019 – Nov 2019: Testing toolkit with businesses within manufacturing

Nov 2019 – Jan 2020: Revision, stakeholder engagement and final report

What will the researchers do?

  • Undertake interviews with manufacturing businesses, health and safety professionals, and inspectors to identify the behaviours, practices, and workplace characteristics that influence machine operating behaviours
  • Develop the toolkit and measures
  • Establish baseline performance in the participating manufacturing businesses
  • Distribute the toolkit
  • Determine impact of the toolkit on participating manufacturing businesses

Research partners and stakeholders

The Griffith University Safety Science Innovation Lab

Want to know more?

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Supporting documents

Centre for Work Health and Safety Research Blueprint - Core Stream of Research

Work Health and Safety Roadmap for NSW 2022 - Action Area II - 'Traumatic injury from poorly guarded machinery'

Manufacturing sector plan