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Appendix H: Work health and safety

DVA’s work health and safety (WHS) policies and procedures foster an environment of physical and psychological safety for staff. The WHS system supports continual improvement by reducing the risk of injury, identifying potential risks and controls, and following best practice.

DVA prides itself on implementing and maintaining effective WHS systems and practices in line with legislative compliance and industry standards.

The National WHS Committee, supported by state-based subcommittees, continues to promote effective consultation and communication between managers and workers in relation to health and safety.

All committees meet quarterly and promote, encourage and support the health and wellbeing of workers.

WHS is paramount for DVA, and Senior Officers have signed the Safety Leadership Compact Statement demonstrating their commitment to WHS.


A range of services and activities to promote health and wellbeing were in place in 2018–19, including:

  • the DVA Wellbeing Strategy 2018–2023
  • an early intervention and rehabilitation management system to support and assist staff to stay at work by providing appropriate support for illness and injury
  • the Employee Assistance Program, which provides access to free and confidential counselling to support the psychological wellbeing of staff and their families
  • the Harassment Response and the Domestic Family Violence (DFV) telephone contact lines
  • the DFV Policy and the appointment of DFV contact officers to support staff and managers
  • the Blended Workforce Guide to demonstrate commitment to an inclusive workplace regardless of the nature or duration of employment
  • training programs such as Mental Health First Aid, Building Resilience, Strengthen for Life—Suicide Awareness, Unconscious Bias, Cultural Ambassador and Appropriate Behaviour
  • annual flu vaccinations, eyesight and hearing tests, subsidy for glasses and software designed to encourage rest breaks from continual computer use
  • ergonomic assessments and equipment to support staff in maintaining safe work practices, including the assessment of furniture needs during refurbishment/relocation of offices
  • the Healthy Lifestyle Subsidy to encourage participation in fitness and promote healthy lifestyle activities
  • accredited training for health and safety representatives, harassment contact officers, first aid officers and emergency wardens
  • emergency evacuations drills
  • Safe Work Month activities
  • accreditation as a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace and support
  • workplace inspections to promote and ensure safety with hazard and risk reporting
  • audit and assurance activities in WHS and rehabilitation case management.


As a result of DVA’s WHS initiatives in 2018–19, we achieved:

  • a significant reduction in the workers’ compensation premium
  • proactive management and use of early intervention strategies that have improved the overall health and return to work outcomes for employees
  • improved awareness of WHS hazards and available strategies to mitigate risks to maintain a safe and healthy workplace
  • a greater understanding of risks and an ongoing focus on hazard reporting to ensure proactive risk management
  • zero investigations and no notices under Part 5 or Part 10 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.