Workplace health and safety

Management arrangements

The Commission has health and safety management arrangements (HSMA) consistent with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act).

Under the HSMA there is a statement of commitment, a workplace health and safety policy, consultation arrangements, agreed employer/employee responsibilities and WHS structures and arrangements. There are also provisions relating to workplace inspections, training and information and emergency procedures. The Commission has six designated work groups, six health and safety representatives (HSRs), and a national Health and Safety Committee, which met twice in 2014–15.

Initiatives taken during the year

In 2014–15 the Commission continued to promote a proactive approach to work health and safety. During the year the most significant workplace health and safety initiatives were:

  • Strengthening quarterly reporting by managers through the provision of details of workplace health and safety matters raised, implemented and/or resolved.
  • Providing workstation assessments and, where needed, rehabilitation case management services to meet the health, safety and rehabilitation needs of the workforce.
  • Making the flu vaccination program available to all staff.
  • Providing healthy lifestyle initiatives, including Pilates and yoga programs at lunchtime.
  • Participating in R U OK? Day, which aims to promote the building of a more connected community and reduce the country's high suicide rate.
  • Conducting regular campaigns encouraging staff to use services provided by the Commission's Employee Assistance Program provider.

Health and safety outcomes

The Commission is committed to maintaining and improving the health and wellbeing of its workforce. In 2014–15 there were no new compensation claims and eight accidents/incidents involving employees were reported.

The Commission closely monitors its compensation exposure and internal rehabilitation programs against broader APS considerations of compensation costs, the increasing incidence of longer-term injuries and more problematic claims, including those of a psychological nature. Its forecast workers' compensation premium rate has been reduced for 2015–16, at 0.65 per cent. The forecast premium rate is well below the 2015–16 forecast premium for all agencies, which is 2.04 per cent.

Reportable accidents and occurrences

Under s.38 of the WHS Act, the Commission is required to notify Comcare of any notifiable accidents or dangerous occurrences arising out of work undertaken by any of its employees. There were no occurrences in 2014–15.

Investigations

Under Part 4 of the WHS Act, the Commission is required to report any investigations conducted during the year into any of its undertakings. No investigations were conducted in 2014–15.

Other matters

Under Division 7, Part 5 of the WHS Act, HSRs are entitled to issue provisional improvement notices to address immediate risks to improve health and safety performance. No notices were issued in 2014–15.