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The Role of Accounting in Work Health and Safety (WHS) Governance (Pilot Project)



CPA Australia,
Macquarie University Enterprise Partnerships Scheme,
SIA (in-kind).


Karen Wolfe (SIA / ANSTO)


The research explores the role of accounting in WHS governance. This exploratory study seeks to identify: what WHS performance information is captured within different organisations and how that performance information is employed to inform operational and governance decisions.In essence, this study seeks a practical understanding of the current role of accounting and accountants in the exercise of officers' due diligence and WHS governance. The findings are expected to provide important insights to help inform the development of evidence-based strategies for improving WHS governance. It is also anticipated that the findings will identify issues for further, in-depth, research.


Detailed case studies are being conducted in eight organisations to examine practices of WHS governance and the role of accounting in that process. These organisations range from very small (sole trader) to very large (multinational) organisations and span a range of industries including construction, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, entertainment, education, environmental and professional services.The findings are informing a series of four discussion papers (see Safe Work Australia website) and a final report on Accounting for WHS Governance.