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Work Health and Safety

AFTRS continues to identify and promote best practice work health and safety (WHS) management and is committed to the reduction of workplace-related accidents, illnesses, and injuries. AFTRS is committed to the implementation of, and adherence to, all relevant government WHS policy and legislation.

During 2019–20, several policies and procedures were developed or reviewed, including the following:

  • Rehabilitation Management System
  • Work Health and Safety Handbook
  • Critical Incident Management Plan
  • Business Continuity Plan
  • Pandemic Policy and Procedure, along with:
    • COVIDSafe plan
    • COVID Risk and Threat Assessment
    • COVIDSafe Production Protocols
    • Room and space assessment to safeguard social distancing
    • Infection Prevention and Control online training for Staff, Students and Guests
    • COVIDSafe sign-in procedure for Staff, Students and Guests.

An ongoing program of review continued including risk assessment processes; ergonomic assessments; identification and examination of high-risk activities; emergency evacuation and critical incident drills; handling of hazardous chemicals; and workplace inspections. Measures were taken to address identified risks as required.

The School is a member of the Cultural Institutions Health and Safety network, the Commonwealth Safety Managers Forum, and the Comcare Health and Safety Forum.

WHS Consultation

The Health and Safety Committee, the key consultative body for WHS issues, held regular meetings during the reporting period. Staff are represented on the Committee by Health and Safety Representatives from each division (workgroup) within the School, along with Senior Management and Executive representatives.

All Health and Safety Representatives have undergone training, and two members of the Executive team attend Committee meetings and report directly back to the Executive team on health and safety- related issues.

Staff have access to the minutes, and action tracker via the AFTRS intranet and the representatives share outcomes with their teams after each meeting. Staff are also regularly consulted on health and safety-related issues by their managers or specialist staff.

Staff are encouraged to communicate WHS concerns, either directly to the Committee or through their representatives, and are welcome to attend meetings. The Senior First Aid Officer group meets prior to each Health and Safety Committee meeting and reports to the larger meeting.

WHS Personnel

As part of AFTRS’ commitment to health and safety, the School currently has the following trained personnel:

  • 12 Health and Safety Representatives
  • 10 Senior First Aid Officers plus Contract Security Officers
  • 28 Mental Health First Aid Officers
  • 5 Safe Conversation Officers
  • 18 Emergency Wardens
  • 2 Rehabilitation Case Managers.

Given the impacts of COVID-19 during this period, we have ensured that Safe Conversation Officers and Mental Health First Aid Officers have access to counselling supervision to ensure they feel adequately supported.

Incident Reports

During 2019–20, there were 28 incidents reported, which is a 7% increase on last year and reflects the ongoing work of the Committee to encourage a safety culture with staff reporting all hazards, near misses and incidents they observe or encounter.

None were reportable according to legislation, and all are closed. We continued to streamline the incident reporting process and early identification of issues through the WHS Committee.

There were no lost-time injuries and no new compensation claims lodged during 2019–20. We have one ongoing claim relating to back pain. Absences were minimal, and the employee has a case manager assigned to ensure ongoing monitoring.