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C: Work health and safety

Executive commitment

The Commission is committed to safeguarding the health and safety of its employees, workers and visitors by providing and maintaining a safe working environment. The Commission aims to eliminate all preventable work-related injuries and illness through systematic management. The Commission is also committed to supporting and promoting the holistic wellbeing of its employees.

Rehabilitation management system

At the end of 2012–13, the Commission arranged an audit of its rehabilitation management system as required under Comcare's Guidelines for Rehabilitation Authorities 2012.

The audit, conducted by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, identified one area in which the Commission was non-compliant and five opportunities for improvement. The Commission has since taken corrective action that meets the requirements for compliance and implemented most of the opportunities for improvement. The Commission continues to monitor and review its rehabilitation management system as part of the commitment to continuous improvement.

Health and wellbeing program

The Commission promotes health and wellbeing awareness among employees by supporting an annual program that is focused on health and lifestyle. The health and wellbeing program is an initiative that is developed in consultation with employees, primarily through the Workplace Relations/Health and Safety Committee.

The program provides a comprehensive mix of health and wellbeing activities, programs and initiatives based on a survey developed by the ACT Government Health Directorate. The survey acts as a mini health check for employees, but also helps the Commission identify and monitor the current health status and program preferences of employees. The survey assisted the Commission to identify which changes, tailored to the needs and preferences of employees, could be made in the workplace. These changes will be made throughout 2014–15.

As Commission employees' work is generally sedentary, the main focus for the 2013–14 program was to encourage mobility during the day and to support overall wellness. An initiative introduced during the year was the use of step-counting pedometers to monitor daily physical activity. Employees were encouraged to participate in the 10,000 steps program and in the individual competitions that were set up within the Commission. Participation in walking and running groups during lunch breaks is also encouraged. The Commission will continue to provide influenza vaccinations, health checks and meditation classes.

The Commission continues to provide reimbursement for employees who require assistance to quit smoking or who require glasses for visually demanding tasks.

Wellness strategy

First aid officers are located throughout the Commission to ensure that immediate assistance is available when required.

The Commission has a no-tolerance approach to bullying and harassment and has developed the Respectful Relationships at Work policy, which sets out the Commission's expectations about behaviour in the workplace. The Commission also has a number of contacts available if an employee or manager requires advice on an instance of bullying or harassment, including workplace contact officers, the employee assistance program and the Ethics Advisory Service. The Commission addresses formal and informal allegations of bullying or harassment promptly and sensitively.

The Commission has implemented an injury prevention and early intervention policy, which is designed to work in conjunction with the reasonable adjustment and rehabilitation policies. Employees are provided with comprehensive assistance to remain at or return to work when injured or ill.

Positive performance indicators

The Commission's orientation program for new starters—such as employees, APS employees on secondment to the Commission and contractors—has a work health and safety component and includes a walk-through of the Commission's emergency evacuation procedures. Workers are also required to complete an online work health and safety learning module (developed by Comcare) within one month of starting with the Commission.

Workstation assessments are conducted for all new starters and for those with reported health concerns.

Table A3 shows some key performance indicators for the Commission's wellness strategy.

Table A3: Work health and safety performance indicators, 2011– 12 to 2013– 14
Actions Measure 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14
Work health and safety induction Percentage of non-SES staff who completed the workers training module 48% 83% 84%
Influenza vaccinations Percentage of staff who received an influenza vaccination 30% 32% 35%
Health checks Percentage of staff who received a health check 24% 29% 25%
Employee assistance Number of staff receiving employee assistance 25 31 30

Outcome measures

The Commission noted a decrease in the number of work health and safety incidents reported in 2013–14 (13 in 2013–14 versus 23 in 2012–13). One of the 2013–14 incidents was notifiable to Comcare under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Due to an increase in the number of psychological claims and associated time off work, the Commission's estimated premium for 2014–15 (1.46%) increased from the revised premium for 2013–14 (1.38%). The Commission continues to manage injury and illness in accordance with the early intervention and rehabilitation strategies, which have, to date, resulted in a reduced number of compensation claims in 2013 and 2014.

No directions or notices were issued under the Work Health and Safety Act in 2013–14.