Work health and safety
In 2020–21, PM&C continued its commitment to promoting and sustaining a safe and healthy workplace – one that values inclusion and ensures a healthy, resilient and capable workforce.
A key focus was to embed the new Work Health and Safety Management System (WHSMS), which is aligned to AS/NZS ISO 45001:2018 Occupational health and safety management systems – requirements for guidance with use and reflects the functions, work types and organisational priorities of PM&C. Initiatives undertaken to support the WHSMS and PM&C’s commitment to work health and safety included:
- implementing a revised workgroup structure and health and safety representatives (HSRs) to better support more productive local communications and consultation with staff on work health and safety matters
- finalising the internal audit of the WHSMS against AS/NZS ISO 45001:2018
- reviewing and implementing 5 work health and safety procedures to support the WHSMS
- improved engagement with the First Aid Officer and HSR networks through regular meetings, structured induction programs and a platform for communication between HSRs and their workgroups
- launching and implementing a Wellbeing Portal – a one-stop shop for health and wellbeing information from leading mental health organisations. The portal offers online courses as well as links to videos, podcasts, documents and PM&C resources
- delivering targeted training programs, including Accidental Counsellor Awareness, Mental Health 101 and Mental Health First Aid, to promote staff accountability for their own and their peers’ wellbeing, increase manager capability in managing staff with a mental health challenge, and strengthen mental health literacy across PM&C
- conducting the annual building hazard inspections across PM&C premises in Canberra
- undertaking work health and safety risk workshops with key work areas to clarify workplace hazards and associated risks and ensure that appropriate mitigation strategies have been implemented.
The impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic continued to be a key workplace health and safety focus during 2020–21. Initiatives undertaken included:
- developing an online Working Remotely or from Home Agreement and Checklist to enable staff to establish a safe workspace when working remotely
- developing and implementing online COVID-19 learning modules for employees and managers
- undertaking comprehensive transition back to the office risk assessments, supported by risk assessments of the common areas, lifts, meeting rooms and social events, to assess the health and safety risks associated with an increased number of staff returning to the office
- continuing to implement measures to support the physical and mental health of staff during a dynamic and rapidly changing period of time
- working with other areas of PM&C to develop annual risk assessments for domestic and overseas travel, Guests of Government incoming visits, funerals and other events.
One dangerous incident was mandatorily notified to Comcare in 2020–21.