B7 - Work Health and Safety
Target 1 - reduce the incidence rate of claims resulting in one or more weeks off work by at least 30%
# new 5 day claims
Rate per 1000 employees
ACTPS # new 5 day claims
Rate per 1000 employees
Target 2 - reduce the incidence rate of claims for musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) resulting in one or more weeks off work by at least 30%
# new 5 day MSD claims
Rate per 1000 employees
ACTPS # new 5 day MSD claims
Rate per 1000 employees
Work Health Safety and Wellbeing
A focus on the health, safety and wellbeing of our people is an integral part of the way the Directorate manages its operations. The Directorate fosters a proactive, risk-based approach to ensure risks are identified and managed to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of our people.
The Directorate is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy working environment for our people, volunteers, visitors, contractors and clients as part of everyday business priorities. This is demonstrated through our best practice principles, early intervention practices and continuous improvement initiatives, aligned with whole-of-government safety frameworks resulting in improvements to the overall health and wellbeing of our people, a reduction of serious lost-time work-related incidents and a reduction in the Directorate's insurance premiums.
The Senior Executive Team demonstrates commitment and responsibility by proactively attending information sessions such as due diligence training and ensuring their team attend relevant work health and safety (WHS) training. The Director-General regularly speaks at all new staff induction programs, welcoming new people and reminding them about the importance of safety at work.
Work Health and Safety Strategy 2018-20
The Directorate has maintained its continuous improvement approach to WHS performance through the implementation of its inaugural WHS Strategy 2018-20. The strategy encourages a shared responsibility for WHS between managers, employees and other workers by:
- fostering an effective health and safety environment
- encouraging a proactive injury prevention culture
- providing a productive and supportive work environment through early intervention and
- supporting our people to achieve good health and wellbeing.
Key performance indicators have been established to effectively monitor and measure WHS outcomes. These indicators are communicated, via the new Health and Wellbeing Dashboard, to the Executive Management Group, Risk and Governance Committee and Work Health Safety Committee.
Work Health and Safety Consultation
The Directorate consults on and communicates WHS matters through its Work Health and Safety Committee and the Parks and Conservation Service's WHS sub-committee, which recognises the unique and high risk profile associated with the Parks and Conservation Service. Both committees meet on a quarterly basis; the terms of reference provide the impetus to coordinate, consult and communicate on all aspects of WHS between employees and management. The committees monitor the effectiveness of the WHS safety management system, consider injury prevention initiatives and programs and promote health and safety outcomes through continuous improvement. Meeting minutes are posted to dedicated WHS intranet pages.
The Directorate's Health and Safety Representatives (HSR) conduct quarterly inspections, providing inspection reports to the committees for formal recording, input and follow-up actions. The facilities area and relevant work area managers also receive a copy of the inspection report.
The Directorate has the following Emergency Control Organisation, HSR, and Respect, Equity and Diversity (RED) staff at all locations:
- Emergency Contact Officers:
- 39 Fire Wardens
- 19 First Aid Officers
- 21 elected Health and Safety Representatives
- 20 Respect, Equity and Diversity Contact Officers.
The Directorate welcomed several new HSRs this year. New HSRs are expected to participate in a five-day intensive training program that provides an overview of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and equips them with skills to fulfil this important role.
The Emergency Evacuation Training Provider provided localised WHS information/advice to staff to ensure their levels of communication and understanding of every employee's responsibilities were in place. Other Emergency Control training included:
- procedures for responding to evacuation drills
- dangerous substances and suspicious packages
- bomb threats
- use of fire extinguishers and maintenance of equipment and expiry dates.
Work Health Safety and Wellbeing training features in the Directorate's induction program, with 95 employees participating this year. The People and Capability Branch provided a specific WHS training course with 30 staff members from across the business. This training course targets all employees and provides information in relation to their responsibilities under the WHS Act and particularly focuses on hazard identification and risk assessment.
An important component of the WHS training program is Due Diligence Training for all officer holders (EPSDD Executive). This training was held in October 2017.
Incident and Hazard Reporting
The Directorate actively promotes reporting of all incidents and hazards occurring within the workplace. During the year, workers reported:
- 82 accidents and incidents in the reporting period
- 38 accidents or incidents incurred some 'lost time' due to injury or illness
- 44 related to accidents or incidents with no time lost.
The majority of injuries reported primarily related to soft tissue injuries, with lower back and hands being the body parts most effected.
Four notifiable incidents were reported to ACT Worksafe, with only one incident resulting in further escalation and action by the regulator. This resulted in a detailed report and further mitigation strategies to be identified by the Directorate that has responsibility for the location where the injury occurred.
During the reporting period the Directorate was not issued (under Part 10 of the Act) with any improvement, prohibition or non-disturbance notices, nor did the Directorate fail to comply with any enforceable undertakings under Part 11 or Part 2 (Divisions 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4) of the Act.
Workers' Compensation Claims
Six claims for workers compensation were lodged, an increase of two from 2016-17. Of the six claims lodged, three were physical injuries and three were for psychological injury. Five claims were accepted by Comcare and one was refused.
Workers' Compensation Premium
People and Capability continues to vigilantly monitor early indicators for factors that potentially influence high-cost claims, such as psychological or occupational overuse injury. This includes monitoring extended unplanned leave, reported health issues, and patterns of poor attendance, poor performance or conflict.
The Directorate's 2017-18 workers' compensation premium rate was 1.63% of the year's payroll, a 0.58% reduction from 2.21% in the 2016-17 period. Key factors affecting the Directorate's premium include:
- regular monitoring and scrutiny of monthly reports leading to the subsequent timely closure of claims and/or prompting further follow-up by case managers with claimants to determine if their claim should be closed
- timely and regular contact with case managers and independent rehabilitation providers ensuring employees were appropriately supported in all aspects of their return to work (RTW) goals
- regular reviews and workplace meetings with employees and their managers to ensure RTW goals remained on track, identifying any barriers that might impact these goals sooner rather than later.
EPSDD's results compare with the averages for all directorates as follows:
- EPSDD's 2017-18 workers' compensation premium rate was 1.63% of the year's payroll compared with 3.08% for all directorates.
- EPSDD had 14.5 claims for every 1000 employees, lower than the average for regulatory agencies participating in the scheme of 17.42 claims per 1000 employees.
- EPSDD's claims represented 0.14 (<1) claims per $1 million payroll, compared with 0.17 (<1) claims per $1 million payroll for all agencies.
Key focus and outcomes for 2017-2018
A positive WHS culture
A compliant framework
Good decision making
Integrated WHS systems