WHS Accreditation Scheme Projects Surpass $150 billion

16 June 2021

The Australian Government WHS Accreditation Scheme has reached a significant milestone this month, with the value of Scheme projects surpassing $150 billion. That’s $150 billion of government-funded building work that’s been delivered to the highest possible safety standards in Australia.

Over 530 companies currently accredited under the Scheme have contributed to achieving this milestone. These companies report significant safety and financial benefits from Scheme accreditation:

  • Between 2016 and 2020, accredited companies reduced their lost time injury frequency rate by 18 per cent and the medically treated injury frequency rate by 29 per cent.
  • On average, accredited companies report lower workers’ compensation premiums than the industry average.
  • Through annual surveys of accredited companies over the last three years, more than:
    • 90 per cent have consistently agreed the Scheme has contributed to improving industry safety,
    • 80 per cent have consistently agreed the Scheme has improved their safety practices,
    • 87 per cent have indicated the Scheme represents value for money.

Acting Federal Safety Commissioner Cassie Woods said “reaching this milestone is a significant achievement for the Scheme, and highlights the benefits of Scheme accreditation to companies and the building and construction industry generally. I thank our accredited companies for their collaborative work with my Office and dedication to improving industry safety. Their commitment to the Scheme’s high safety standards continues to embed a culture that ensures building and construction workers go home safely every day.”

Building work funded by the Australian Government over certain financial thresholds must be contracted to a Scheme accredited head contractor. Accreditation requires companies to have comprehensive and consistent WHS management systems, which the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner regularly audits to ensure comprehensive onsite implementation.

The Scheme is administered by the Federal Safety Commissioner, and has been in operation for over fifteen years. Scheme accredited companies account for around 30 per cent of the annual turnover of the building and construction industry, with over 350 currently active projects valued at approximately $50 billion.