Appendix F - Report under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991

The Department is committed to promoting strategies that improve the health, safety and wellbeing of its employees, particularly through effective and timely incident investigation and injury management.

A range of health and wellbeing initiatives were provided in 2009–10, including:

  • Health Week, held in September and May, which offered employees health assessments, influenza vaccinations and skin cancer checks
  • Weight Watchers at Work, which involved 22 employees
  • support to quit smoking, which was provided to two employees
  • lunchtime fitness classes, which involved 35 employees, and
  • health and wellbeing seminars, which were held monthly and provided information on a variety of subjects, including sleep, happiness and understanding depression.

To ensure ongoing compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 and the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988, Health and Safety Management Arrangements were introduced in September 2009. A new policy was developed, covering guidelines for the use and allocation of, and access to, basement car parking and bike cage facilities.

Information and advice on occupational health and safety were made available to all employees through the Department's intranet. Additionally, Protecting Your Best Asset: OH&S for Managers and Supervisors training was offered to managers and supervisors, providing them with the information they need to ensure the health and safety of their employees.

During 2009–10:

  • 12 reports were submitted identifying workplace hazards (anything with the potential to cause injury)
  • 23 reports were submitted following workplace health and safety incidents, and
  • two notifiable incidents were reported to Comcare.

A total of four reported incidents resulted in accepted workers' compensation claims. Comcare denied liability in relation to an additional two reported incidents. The number of accepted claims was significantly reduced, compared to eight claims in 2008–09, and the total time lost from new claims decreased by 21.35 weeks. The Department's Comcare premium was reduced to 0.49 per cent, well below the Australian Public Service average of 1.25 per cent.

Table F.1 summarises occupational health and safety measures, indicators and incidents in 2009–10.

Table F.1 Workplace health and safety statistics in 2009–10
Proactive measures
Workplace assessments 46
Staff health assessments 293
Staff influenza vaccinations 361
Wellbeing indicators
Staff using employee assistance (%) 5.76
Days of unscheduled absence per full-time equivalent employeea 11.57
Incident managementb
New claims accepted by Comcare 4
Total weeks lost from new claims through incapacity 14
Average time off work per injury (weeks) 3.5
Special or serious incidents requiring Comcare investigation 0
Directions or notices issued to the Department under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 0

a Unscheduled absence includes sick leave, carers' leave and bereavement leave. Workers' compensation leave is not included.

b These figures are as advised by Comcare.

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Last Updated: 24 October, 2014