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Encouraging workplace health and safety

We are committed to maintaining a productive and safe work environment and meeting our obligations under the WHS Act. Senior managers, supervisors, Health and Safety Representatives, the Health and Safety Committee, and all staff worked cooperatively to ensure that WHS risks were effectively managed.

AIHW staff participating in the ABS fun run

Initiatives and outcomes

We continued to focus on early prevention strategies. We introduced initiatives to raise knowledge and capabilities in managing WHS. Table 5.8 provides a summary of key WHS initiatives.

Table 5.8: Key WHS initiatives and staff participation, 2018–19



Mini induction

All staff participate in a face-to-face mini induction within the first 2 weeks of commencement. This initiative includes an overview of WHS management and support services.

Workstation assessments

All staff, upon commencement (or request) are provided with a workstation assessment to mitigate the risk of ergonomic injury.

Mental health e-learning programs

Online learning modules on subjects such as managing mental health risks, mental health awareness and respectful workplaces.

Work Health and Safety (e-learning module)

70% of staff have completed this module.

Work Health and Safety for managers (e-learning module)

37% of managers have completed this module.

Wellbeing support page

An intranet page detailing support services to assist all staff.

Executive Level 1 and Executive Level 2 Leadership Program

Modules to raise awareness and capability about WHS, resilience and mental health. More than 120 EL staff have participated in this program.

Mental Health Strategy

Continued to deliver programs associated with the Mental Health Strategy.

Mental Health Week and R U OK Day?

Hosted guest speakers in relation to mental health.

Workplace harassment contact officers

Maintained a network of officers.

White Ribbon Australia Accreditation

Obtained accreditation with White Ribbon Australia.

Employee Assistance Program

Staff utilisation rate: 11.4% (for 1 March 2018 to 28 February 2019).

Flu vaccinations

295 vaccinations were administered to 59% of total active staff and contractors.

Discounted gym membership

70 staff are current members.

Yoga and meditation

These are programs managed by staff.

Cultural appreciation

5 courses, 78 attendees.

Cultural awareness (e-learning module)

73% of staff have completed this module.

Rehabilitation management system self-assessment

As the AIHW is considered a ‘low-risk’ agency, consistent with Comcare’s Guidelines for Rehabilitation Authorities 2012, an annual audit was not required. We continue to meet the applicable criteria of the rehabilitation management system and conform with the guidelines.

Incidents and compensation

No compensation claims were lodged with Comcare in 2018–19. Table 5.9 shows an overview of claims lodged since 2015–16.

Table 5.9: Compensation claims lodged with Comcare, 2015–16 to 2018–19


Claims lodged

Claims accepted













Notifiable incidents and investigations

Under the WHS Act, we are required to notify Comcare when incidents occur that involve the death of a person, a serious injury or illness, or a dangerous incident.

No incidents were notified to Comcare during the year.

Workplace inspections, Comcare investigations and Comcare audits

Our Health and Safety Representatives and staff responsible for facilities carried out 4 workplace inspections. These inspections occur about a fortnight before Health and Safety Committee meetings to enable findings and recommendations to be considered and actioned. Issues notified were minor, such as the removal of trip hazards, an audit of fire and safety equipment, and environmental measures, such as adjustments to the air conditioning and assessment of new work environments.

No investigations by Comcare were conducted in 2018–19 and no directions, notices, offences or penalties were served under the WHS Act.

An audit of our work health and safety management system was conducted by Comcare in August 2017. The AIHW was found to be highly compliant in the practical management of all WHS functions. Improvements identified included documenting formal processes, an annual review of policies and the development of new initiatives such as a WHS Risk Register. All improvements requiring action were finalised in 2018–19 to ensure we were compliant.