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Work health and safety

NOPSEMA recognises that good work health and safety (WHS) performance contributes to the overall success of an organisation and is committed to providing a safe workplace for all staff, contractors and visitors.

In 2018–19, NOPSEMA continued to implement its work health and safety management system, managed and reviewed hazards and risks on an annual basis, and monitored and reported on the organisations work health and safety performance.

NOPSEMA is committed to being recognised as a leader in workplace health and safety performance. We strive to achieve a culture which empowers our people to be accountable for their WHS. Our objective is to achieve or exceed the standard of work health and safety performance we expect from the industry we regulate.

All new staff undergo a WHS induction and this includes permanent, ongoing, non- ongoing, secondment and temporary staff. NOPSEMA has the required resources in place to comply with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act). This includes a strong commitment to an organisation wide consultative process on WHS matters, the ongoing development and implementation of relevant policies and procedures; and the management of hazards and incident reports. In 2018, NOPSEMA responded to published information by the WHS regulator Comcare and Safework Australia on the hazards of ‘Occupational Sitting’ and implemented controls to assist in mitigating this risk.

Health and safety committee

The NOPSEMA Health and Safety Committee provides an avenue for effective communication between senior management and staff on workplace health and safety matters. The committee has 10 members comprising at least one staff representative from each division. The committee met four times in 2018–19, and published its meeting minutes on NOPSEMA’s internal website. A representative of NOPSEMA’s safety officer function attends each meeting as an observer and to provide information if required.

Governance

Comcare is the national regulator of workplace health and safety. It conducts a program of management system audits (on all federal employers) to assess policies and practices to ensure employers are meeting and maintaining their responsibilities under the WHS Act. NOPSEMA was last audited in March 2017.

Incidents

Under the WHS Act, NOPSEMA is required to notify Comcare of any notifiable incidents or dangerous incidents arising from the organisations conduct of business or undertakings.

In 2018–19, there were no notifiable workplace accidents or dangerous incidents reported to NOPSEMA. NOPSEMA continues to meet all three targets of the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–22. See Table 7 WHS national target results for 2018–19.

Investigations and other matters

Under the WHS Act, NOPSEMA is required to report any WHS investigations conducted during the year relating to businesses or undertakings conducted. This includes details of all notices given to the entity during the year under Part 10 of the WHS Act. In 2018–19, no investigations were conducted and no notices were issued to NOPSEMA.

Table 6: WHS national target results for 2018–19

National target

NOPSEMA result

A reduction of at least 20% in the number of worker fatalities due to injury.

Nil fatalities

A reduction of at least 30% in the incidence of claims resulting in one or more weeks off work.

Nil claims

A reduction of at least 30% in the incidence of claims for musculoskeletal disorders resulting in one or more weeks off work

Nil claims

Table 7: NOPSEMA workplace OHS programs and initiatives

All staff and their immediate family members are provided counselling services through an employee assistance program.

Regular workplace hazard inspections are undertaken.

Ergonomic assessments are provided for:

  all new staff (includes permanent and temporary staff

  any staff suffering injuries or discomfort

  any staff returning from extended absences or leave

  as requested by any staff member.

A mental health initiative is in place. Regular information sessions and seminars are provided.

Regular medical assessments are undertaken for all inspectorate staff. All employees undergo a pre-employment medical assessment.

A free vaccination program against influenza is offered to staff at the beginning of each winter.

NOPSEMA encourages staff participation in seminars, information sessions and workshops on various health-related matters.