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Appendix B: Work health and safety

This appendix addresses our annual reporting responsibilities under Schedule 2, Part 4, of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Work health and safety priorities

In 2018–19, we:

  • strengthened our existing work health and safety systems by revising all relevant policies and introduced new and improved processes
  • implemented an early intervention training program that specifically targeted managers
  • continued to implement early intervention strategies and rehabilitation case management, leading to improved injury prevention and workers compensation performance
  • further strengthened our due diligence framework by running refresher training for the ACIC Executive.

Work health and safety management arrangements

Our National Work Health Safety Committee meets quarterly and is responsible for:

  • supporting the ACIC Executive to identify, develop, review and implement measures to protect and actively manage the health and safety of employees
  • promoting and monitoring measures to ensure safe work practices
  • facilitating consultation and communication with employees about work health and safety matters
  • undertaking functions prescribed in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and associated Regulations.

Our National Work Health Safety Committee is the conduit for consultation with employees on all work health and safety issues. Local work health safety committees meet regularly and provide input to the national committee.

Initiatives to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of workers

We are committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace and empowering the health, safety and wellbeing of workers.

Health and Wellbeing Program

Our Health and Wellbeing Program continues to evolve with staff input, reviews of better practice and new initiatives. The program aims to:

  • help staff make positive health and behaviour changes
  • promote a culture that supports healthy and positive lifestyles
  • provide a central source for health and wellbeing information and resources
  • inspire staff to take ownership of health and wellbeing initiatives in their offices
  • encompass a broad view of health, including physical, mental and social aspects
  • demonstrate our commitment to the health and wellbeing of employees and their families.

Prevention programs

We take a proactive approach to identify and control hazards in the workplace and to prevent injury. We continue to identify and assess hazards within work areas and ensure that risk control strategies are in place. In 2018–19, we:

  • provided access to an employee assistance program which includes manager assistance, mediation services and other employee information and support services
  • implemented targeted and random, unannounced drug and alcohol testing of high-risk and non-high-risk employees
  • conducted regular workplace inspections to identify hazards and determine appropriate controls
  • implemented an early intervention training program that provided managers with tools and strategies to support employees.

Drug and alcohol testing

Our drug and alcohol policy seeks to identify and eliminate harm arising from the effects of drugs and alcohol in the workplace and to deter drug and alcohol misuse by employees.

Our policy on drugs and alcohol is:

  • zero tolerance in relation to the use, possession, sale and distribution of illicit drugs for all employees at all times
  • a limit of zero blood alcohol concentration for employees working in high-risk areas and less than 0.05 blood alcohol concentration for all other employees while at an ACIC workplace or on official ACIC duty.

In 2018–19, we completed 273 targeted and random, unannounced workplace drug and alcohol tests. There was one confirmed positive test result during the year. The matter was reviewed and appropriate management action taken.

Health and safety outcomes

Workers compensation

An agency’s workers compensation premium rate provides an indication of the employer’s effectiveness in preventing injury or illness and in helping its employees to return to work quickly and safely after a work-related injury or illness. We are committed to supporting employees with work-related injuries or illness and, as outlined in our rehabilitation management system, early intervention is a key strategy. Our premium rate for 2019–20 was set at 0.42 per cent, a decrease from the previous year, which demonstrates that our focus on early intervention and employees with psychological conditions during 2018–19 was effective.

There were two accepted workers compensation claims for injuries/diseases during 2018–19, which was a decrease of one from the previous year (Table B.1). Four compensation claims submitted during 2018-19 are pending determination. Therefore, these statistics may change.

Table B.1: Accepted compensation claims


Accepted compensation claims











Incidents and injuries

Thirty-four injuries, incidents or hazards were reported in 2018–19 (not including notifiable incidents), which was a decrease of five incidents from the previous year. Body stressing was the most common mechanism of injury (Table B.2).

Table B.2: Mechanism of injury 2018–19

Mechanism of injury


Being hit by moving object


Biological/chemical factors


Body stressing


Mental stress


Falls, trips, slips


Other and unspecified


Heat and electrical


Hazard report




In 2018–19, we engaged industry professionals to assist with:

  • external rehabilitation assessment and management services for compensable and non-compensable injuries
  • workstation assessments for staff experiencing pain and discomfort, injury, changes in work practices or the installation of new equipment
  • mediation
  • work health and safety workplace training and information sessions
  • early intervention training for managers.

Accidents or dangerous occurrences

Under section 38 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, we are required to notify Comcare immediately after becoming aware of any death, serious personal injury or dangerous incident. There were two notifiable incidents during 2018–19. We reviewed each incident and implemented corrective actions where possible to reduce the likelihood of similar incidents occurring in the future.

Work health and safety investigations

Comcare undertook one investigation during 2018–19. The matter has been closed, and corrective actions are being taken by the ACIC.