Appendix D: Report under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

The Department recognises its obligation to provide a safe working environment and is committed to ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of employees while they are at work. This includes effective and timely incident investigation and injury management.

Increased education and awareness of work health and safety across the Department was undertaken in 2016–17 to promote active engagement in workplace safety. This included an ongoing communication campaign and the promotion of Mental Health Week and Safety Month, which was held in October 2016. In addition, the Department's contract with the Employee Assistance Program provider was extended for a further year.

The Rehabilitation Management System, Fitness for Duty Employment Procedure, Reasonable Adjustment Employment Procedure and Return to Work Assistance Employment Procedure were updated in 2016–17. In addition, the Department embedded an early intervention approach into its Rehabilitation Management System in August 2016 with the aim to reduce lost time for work related injuries and have a positive influence on workers compensation premiums. The Department's 2017–18 Comcare premium is 0.52 per cent of payroll, which is a reduction from last year's premium of 0.72 per cent.

Workplace health and safety statistics

Table D.1 provides a summary of health and safety outcomes, notifiable incidents, investigations and notices in accordance with the Work Health and Safety Act.

Table D.1 Workplace health and safety statistics in 2016–17
Proactive measures
Workstation assessments 195
Employee health assessments 301
Employee influenza vaccinations 540
Wellbeing indicators
Employee using employee assistance % 8.78
Days of unscheduled absence per full-time equivalent employeea 12.9
Workers compensation
New claims accepted by Comcareb,c 5
Total weeks lost from new claims through incapacityb,c 38.40
Average time off work per injury (weeks)b 7.68
Incidents, notifiable incidents, investigations and noticesd
Reported workplace incidents, injuries, illness or near misses 88
Death of a person that required notice to Comcare under section 35 0
Serious injury or illness of a person that required notice to Comcare under section 35 0
Dangerous incident that required notice to Comcare under section 35 2
Notices given to the Department under section 90 (provisional improvement notices) 0
Notices given to the Department under part 10, section 191 (improvement notices) 0
Notices given to the Department under part 10, section 195 (prohibition notices) 0
Directions given to the Department under part 10, section 198 (non-disturbance) 0
Exemptions given under section 276 0
Inspector reports issued by Comcare 2

Notes:

  1. Unscheduled absence includes sick leave, carer's leave, unauthorised absences and compassionate/bereavement leave. Workers' compensation leave is not included.
  2. These figures are as advised by Comcare.
  3. Includes four accepted claims from former employees from the Australian National Railways, which was sold by the Australian Government in 1997–98.
  4. Includes notifiable incidents, investigations and notices in the Indian Ocean Territories.

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Last Updated: 16 April, 2018