Appendix C: Work, health and safety
WHS performance 2018–19 and 2019–20
This appendix outlines our Work, Health and Safety (WHS) performance in accordance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act).
Table 6.18: WHS performance 2018–19 and 2019–20
Total incidents reported
ADF members or dependants
Recordable injury rate
Total recordable injury frequency rate
Lost time rate
Lost time injury frequency rate
Audits and office inspections
Contractor and internal audits conducted
Office inspections conducted
Workers’ compensation claims (accepted in financial year)
1. Incidents are reported from the date of occurrence. Figures in Table 6.18 can vary from previous DHA Annual Reports as incidents which occurred in one financial year may be reported in another year, incidents may be reclassified following investigation, or figures may be varied following greater data analysis (i.e. to remove duplicate reports). The variances are not considered material or statistically significant.
The total number of incidents reported declined in 2019–20. The variance is largely due to a change in the process for recording potential gas leaks to improve the accuracy of incident reports. All potential gas leaks reported are now assessed by the Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) team in the first instance to determine whether they are WHS related incidents or standard maintenance requests. Previously, all potential gas leaks were recorded as WHS incidents, skewing the number of incidents reported.
The total number of WHS related incidents increased in 2019–20. The largest variance related to ADF members and dependant reporting of incidents. This is attributed to greater home based work during the bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019–20, DHA notified Comcare of eight incidents in line with the WHS Act (as they were deemed dangerous or resulted in serious injury). Of these, five incidents concerned contractors and three concerned ADF members or dependants. DHA conducts an internal investigation of all incidents. Following investigation, the three ADF member or dependant incidents were not deemed to be WHS related.
Figure 6.1: WHS incidents by person involved 2017–18, 2018–19 and 2019–201
1. Incidents are reported from the date of occurrence. The data in Figure 6.1 can vary from previous DHA Annual Reports as incidents which occurred in one financial year may be reported in another year, incidents may be reclassified following investigation, or figures may be varied following greater data analysis (i.e. to remove duplicate reports). The variances are not considered material or statistically significant.
Safety audits and inspections
In 2019–20, DHA undertook 192 contractor audits and 62 office inspections as part of our regular Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Program. A total of 172 corrective actions were identified following these audits. The results have assisted in various initiatives, including data trend analysis, targeted audit and safety campaigns and local area risk mitigation strategies. The significant variance in auditing (753 audits in 2018–19 compared to 192 audits in 2019–20) is due to trade group auditing undertaken in 2018–19. This type of auditing is only performed every two years.
DHA holds AS NZS 4801 (Health and Safety) and ISO 9001 (Quality) management system certifications. Ongoing certification is subject to an annual external audit process. DHA’s audit process was ongoing as at 30 June 2020.
In 2019–20, four workers’ compensation claims were lodged with Comcare, the Australian Government’s insurer, regulator and scheme manager. Of the four claims, two related to psychological injuries, one related to an autoimmune condition and one was a musculoskeletal injury. One claim (musculoskeletal) was accepted as a compensable injury. The remaining three claims were rejected by Comcare.