Harley Wright
Founder, Safety Leadership


  • Extensive experience in aged care and seniors living – advises on workplace safety, M&A, supply chain and development feasibility
  • Senior executive at Opal Healthcare from 2011 to 2019; CFO, Head of Corporate Services, Chief Commercial Officer
    – Direct responsibility for WHS, HR, compliance, risk and clinical governance
  • Prior roles at UBS, Goldman Sachs and Allens Linklaters


Safety Leadership in Aged Care: Improving Safety, Driving Retention, Reducing Costs

The aged care labour force is a key strategic issue

Injury rates in aged care are high – staff perceive them to be getting worse
– The Prime Minister’s Draft National Care and Support Economy Strategy 2023 noted that there is significant room for improving workplace safety in care industries
– average Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) in aged care is 24.8 more than double the LTIFR in hospitals (12.1) and Construction (9.6)
– some aged care providers manage safety well

Workers compensation costs are rising and are likely to continue to rise
– Victoria has announced a 42% increase in premiums
– In NSW, icare has stated that premiums need to increase by 22%
– aged care workers rates of pay are increasing (as they should!)

Safety is a robust indicator of the strength of a workplace culture
– Better safety = stronger culture (higher engagement and improved retention/lower turnover)
– Better safety = lower costs

Safety is a key part of ESG reporting

Lessons learned on the journey to better safety – insights from Ian Thorley, CEO of Estia until 2022, Harley Wright (ex Opal CFO) and Heather Napier (ex Opal Head of Safety)
– Leadership is key; practical steps to safety leadership and a robust safety culture
– How to measure and benchmark safety
– Initiatives that really work (and those that don’t!)