Monitoring, reporting and assurance

Monitoring, reporting and quality assurance are all important in ensuring every aspect of a workplace health and safety system operates effectively.

Questions to consider

  • Are your performance indicators regularly reviewed to ensure they remain fit for purpose?
  • Are all workers aware of how they can report any concerns about an unsafe or unhealthy work practice?
  • Is health and safety reporting a standing agenda item for the board and/or senior management team?

Monitoring and reporting

The person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) has the overall responsibility for ensuring the workplace health and safety system performs. It must ensure it has the information needed to monitor the performance of the workplace health and safety system.

The leadership team, health and safety representatives, and health and safety committees may all contribute to providing information on the system performance to the board or early learning service and assisting officers to meet their due diligence duty.

Performance indicators

Performance indicators are essential management tools for measuring the success of a workplace health and safety system. A system should use both lead and lag indicators, but with a greater weighing on lead indicators.

Lead indicators

Lead indicators measure activities designed to prevent harm and manage and reduce risk. They are focused on future safety performance.

For example:

  • induction training completed for all new staff
  • accident and incident register up to date
  • staff actively engage in health and safety through discussion and reporting.

Lag indicators

Lag indicators measure past performance results and indicate facts about past events. They indicate progress toward compliance with health and safety legislation and regulations.

For example:

  • the number of injuries or incidents reducing
  • a lower level of sick leave.

When monitoring a health and safety system using performance indicators, it is important to regularly assess whether the indicators themselves continue to be suitable, if their context has changed and if they need updating.

Quality assurance

Health and safety audits are an essential part of the quality assurance system as they help to identify weaknesses and areas of areas of non-conformance in a workplace health and safety system.

A health and safety system can be quality assured through both internal and external audit and review processes.

Both the internal and external audits should be carried out against a set of audit standards, which should cover the following areas:

  • the PCBU’s commitment to workplace health and safety
  • monitoring, tracking, reporting and evaluation of the workplace health and safety system
  • risk identification, assessment and management
  • information, training and supervision
  • incident and accident reporting, recording and investigation
  • worker participation in workplace health and safety
  • emergency planning and readiness.

The outcomes of the audit should identify areas of non-conformance and make recommendations on improvements that can be made to the health and safety system.

It is very important you review all incidents and that your risk management system is regularly reviewed and kept up to date. This could be part of your planned self-review.

For more information to support monitoring see the Monitoring What Matters report from the Business Leaders' Health and Safety Forum.

Monitoring what matters: How to identify the critical health and safety indicators needed to understand performance in your business – link) [PDF, 1MB]

Tools and resources

Quick check monitoring and reporting chart

Does our PCBU have...



Health and safety information that is available to all workers?



An explanation of our workers’ health and safety responsibilities?



A comprehensive list of workplace hazards and safe working methods with these hazards?



Reporting requirements and a log for injuries and incidents?



Trained health and safety representatives, fire wardens, and first aiders?



A record of health and safety training needs for specific roles and completed training records for workers?



Emergency and evacuation procedures?



A document showing the location of:

  • first aid kits
  • Civil Defence kits
  • phones
  • fire extinguishers
  • fire alarms
  • emergency exits
  • emergency meeting points.



An explanation of any compulsory personal protective equipment and safety gear, and why it must be used (eg trades classes)?



Information about worker participation and representation in the school’s health and safety policies and procedures?



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