The Commission has work health and safety management arrangements consistent with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act).
The arrangements set out a statement of commitment, a workplace health and safety policy, consultation arrangements, agreed employer and employee responsibilities, and work health and safety structures and arrangements. They also set out guidelines for workplace inspections, training and information, and emergency procedures.
Work Health and Safety Committee
The Commission has five work groups, eight health and safety representatives, and a national Work Health and Safety Committee.
In 2019–20, the Commission continued to promote work health and safety. During the year, the most significant workplace health and safety initiatives were:
workstation assessments and, where needed, rehabilitation case management services, to meet the health, safety and rehabilitation needs of the workforce
early intervention strategies, which included the provision of specialised equipment and advice to assist staff following injury
influenza vaccination program, which was available to all staff
healthy lifestyle initiatives, including subsidised yoga and pilates programs in some locations at lunchtime
R U OK? Day, which was part of a broader initiative promoting a more connected community
fortnightly publication of work, health and safety information and tips
access to services through an employee assistance provider. Specialist and confidential support can be provided for a range of personal issues for individuals and work issues for people leaders.
The Commission closely monitors its compensation costs and internal rehabilitation programs against broader APS compensation costs and the increasing number of longer‑term injuries and more complex claims.
In 2019–20 the Commission received one new compensation claim and does not have any ongoing claims. A total of 21 accidents or incidents involving employees or other parties were reported, compared with 18 in 2018–19.
During the year, the Commission has extended training to all client‑facing staff to provide practical skills in assisting clients displaying signs of distress or at risk of self‑harm. The training aims to equip staff and provide resources on how to best manage challenging interactions.
As well as training staff in our new policies relating to Sexual Harassment & Discrimination and Bullying & Inappropriate Behaviour, the Commission has begun work in conjunction with the Australian Human Rights Commission to train staff and Members on the nature, drivers and impacts of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour.
Work health and safety incident reporting
Under s.38 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, we are required to notify Comcare of any deaths, serious injury or illness, or dangerous incidents arising out of our work. There were no notifiable incidents reported to Comcare in 2019–20.
Under Schedule 2, Part 3 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, we are required to report on any investigations undertaken by Comcare or any notices we received under Part 10 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. There were no investigations conducted or notices received during 2019–20.
Advertising and market research
The Commission is required to disclose payments to advertising agencies and to market research, polling, direct mail and media advertising organisations. Payments of $14,000 or less (including GST) are excluded, consistent with s.311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. The Commission did not make any payments above the threshold in 2019–20.
Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance
Australian Government agencies are required to report on their performance regarding the environment and ecologically sustainable development under s.516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The Commission does not develop or administer legislation or policy relating to the environment but takes steps to ensure that it utilises energy resources as efficiently as practicable and maintains a healthy working environment for members of staff and the public.
Programs are in place for the recycling of paper, packaging, batteries, equipment, toner and other materials, and encouraging double‑sided printing.
Sensor lighting is installed in hearing rooms, conference rooms, meeting rooms and offices. A timer mechanism automatically switches lighting off when rooms are not occupied.
The Commission has continued to reduce its carbon footprint by utilising technology to conduct hearings and minimise travel.
The Commission ensures that new leases over a certain size have a green lease schedule attached to the lease. The Commission actively encourages its landlords to increase their National Australian Built Environment Rating System rating.