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Work health and safety

This section outlines Finance's work health and safety performance in accordance with Part 4 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act).

Finance recognises that, as part of its aspiration to be a leader in the public sector, it must exemplify good work health and safety (WHS) practices. This includes having responsive and flexible safety and rehabilitation management systems.

Work health and safety initiatives within Finance

In 2018–19, to meet its obligations under the WHS Act, the Department:

  • provided WHS training and information to all staff, with a continued focus on mental health awareness training for managers and staff
  • continued to promote the ‘flexible by default’ working arrangements, including part-time, working from home, job sharing and flexible start and end times
  • conducted hazard inspections and implementation of a corrective action plan to address findings
  • conducted workstation assessments with a strengthened approach to reasonable adjustment
  • provided a confidential counselling service through the employee assistance program
  • continued to promote a healthy lifestyle, including influenza vaccinations, Steptember and a health market day.

Results of work health and safety initiatives

Finance’s 2018–19 WHS initiatives resulted in:

  • an increased staff satisfaction rating for wellbeing in the APS Employee Census
  • an increase in the uptake of flexible work arrangements
  • a strengthened Rehabilitation Management System (RMS) by implementing activities identified in the 2017–18 RMS audit corrective action plan
  • a reduction in the Comcare compensation premium for Finance from 0.75 per cent in 2017–18 to 0.65 per cent in 2018–19
  • increased staff awareness in identifying and managing mental health in the workplace
  • increased support for employees that require reasonable adjustment.

Notifiable incidents

In 2018–19 Finance reported one notifiable dangerous incident involving Finance staff to Comcare under section 38 of the WHS Act.

Work health and safety investigations

Under the WHS Act, Finance is required to provide statistics for any investigations or notices given at the workplace it manages. No investigations were conducted and no notices were given during 2018–19.

MOP(S) Act employees

Work health and safety initiatives

Finance and parliamentarians share duties under the WHS Act for health and safety in parliamentarians’ workplaces. This includes duties to staff employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 (MOP(S) Act). Other Commonwealth entities may also have duties in relation to the health and safety of MOP(S) Act employees.

In 2018–19, Finance’s key WHS activities for MOP(S) Act employees were:

  • consulting with health and safety representatives through the Work Health and Safety Committee
  • organising face-to-face training sessions delivered by Comcare
  • implementing a new Emergency Management Services process with a new contracted provider
  • providing a confidential counselling service through the employee assistance program
  • conducting workstation and worksite assessments
  • administering a WHS site officer program to support hazard and incident notification and access to first aid in parliamentarians’ workplaces
  • implementing mandatory annual refresher training for WHS site officers
  • administering a Staff Assistance Officer program to support MOP(S) Act employees experiencing bullying and/or harassment.

Notifiable incidents

In 2018–19, Finance reported 20 incidents involving MOP(S) Act employees to Comcare under section 38 of the WHS Act. Seventeen of the reported incidents were classified as dangerous incidents under the WHS Act. Three involved a serious injury.

Investigations and notices

No investigations were conducted in relation to incidents involving MOP(S) Act employees during 2018–19. One notice was issued under section 155 of the WHS Act

The Comcare premium

Finance’s 2018–19 workers compensation premium accounted for 0.65 per cent of its payroll (for both Finance and MOP(S) Act employees), a decrease from the figure of 0.75 per cent of its payroll in the previous year.