ANSTO's safety culture


ANSTO strives to have a safety is integral to everything we do culture which is demonstrated in the attitudes and behaviours of all its staff. Safety is considered to be a shared responsibility and the organisation expects everyone to be aware of their obligations for their own safety, the safety of others and to be diligent in meeting these obligations.

In developing and maintaining its desired safety culture, ANSTO has drawn on the recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and adopted the following principles:

Questioning attitude
All employees, research partners and contractors are encouraged to have a questioning attitude with regard to safety. Managers and supervisors are expected to encourage this behaviour, and to treat questions raised in a considered and constructive manner.

Conservative decision making
Safety should always be the number one priority and will never come second to operational, production or research objectives. This principle does not mean that ANSTO will not take on ambitious challenges in seeking to maximise the benefits of its activities to Australians. However, these objectives will be achieved in a safe and compliant manner by the lowest risk means available.

No blame culture

ANSTO recognises that everyone is fallible and strives to ensure that its management systems are sufficiently robust to cope with human errors. Any event with an unexpected outcome is recorded within an event management system and investigated with the aim of identifying direct, root and contributory causes, learning lessons and taking action to prevent recurrence. Within this system, open reporting is actively encouraged and an appropriate no blame culture employed.


STAR principle

ANSTO encourages all employees, partners and contractors to employ the STAR principle during workplace activities. This includes:

  1. Stop: before undertaking an activity, stop
  2. Think: consider the actions about to be undertaken
  3. Act: only when satisfied that it is safe to do so
  4. Review: how did it go? What could be done better next time? Ensure that the review is documented and all stakeholders are notified of the outcome 

Health and safety representatives

ANSTO takes its statutory duties in relation to employee representation very seriously. All work groups nominate health and safety representatives who have defined statutory powers in regards to the health and safety of their colleagues. The representatives meet regularly where relevant health and safety matters are discussed.