In 2016, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Defence Aviation Safety Regulations (DASR) came into being, in part to harmonise with the Australian Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHSA). Defence aviation is too complex to be regulated completely by Work Health Safety (WHS) legislation; therefore, amplification is required to ensure safe and legal outcomes. The DASR provides the necessary amplification, managing aviation safety through technical and operational airworthiness. ADF technical airworthiness is based on the European Military Airworthiness Requirements (EMAR), with an overlaid Aviation Safety Management System (ASMS) modelled by the International Civil Aviation Organization. Australian WHS legislation directly influences Safety Risk Management (SRM), mandating how hazards and risks must be controlled by duty holders in all industries. For ADF aviation, this means a shift from a standards-based SRM to a legislative-based SRM, culminating in implementing a seven-step process integrated into all risk management activities. This paper examines how WHS legislation can directly influence the safety regulation of a high-risk industry such as military aviation. Further, safety management from a military perspective is a novel area of research, as military and civil safety management have historically been non-aligned and disparate. This research helps close the knowledge gap and offers an opportunity to disseminate and explore military safety management processes resulting from changes to the overarching WHS legislation. The authors believe such insights may prove useful to other states transitioning to an EMAR-based regulatory structure.
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