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Appendix A: Report under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

Providing a safe and healthy work environment

During 2019–20, the NTC continued to deliver work health and safety (WHS) programs under its WHS policy and management system, which have been designed to comply with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cwlth) and Australian Standard AS4804, and to foster a best-practice approach to WHS management.

Strategic

  • A work health and safety management system which is reviewed every 12 months.
  • WHS quarterly certification reports developed to the satisfaction of the NTC's Risk and Audit Committee and Commissioners.

Compliance

  • Quarterly workplace safety assessments were carried out.
  • For the year 2019–20, a biennial external review of the NTC's WHS management system was conducted to assess the extent to which the organisation’s WHS-related targets were met. The review found that overall the NTC is meeting its targets and that safety is well managed.

Operational

  • Workstation ergonomic assessments were performed for all new employees prior to employees commencing remote working due to COVID-19. No new employees commenced at the NTC from the start of remote working in March to the end of June 2020.
  • Workplace safety inductions for all new staff and contractor appointments were carried out on commencement.
  • Risk assessments were completed for identified WHS hazard areas.
  • Regular health and safety team meetings were held to discuss operational WHS matters. These continued remotely once the NTC moved to remote working.

Training

  • All relevant staff received training to understand their WHS duties.
  • Staff WHS representatives and fire wardens were appointed and formally trained.
  • The NTC participated in emergency trial evacuation exercises for its building.
  • Staff completed online compliance training in anti-bullying and harassment, equal employment opportunity, discrimination, privacy, and NTC Code of Conduct and notifiable data breaches.

COVID-19 response and recovery

  • The NTC provided regular updates on COVID-19 and consulted with staff during the response. The NTC followed guidance from the Chief Medical Officers (Commonwealth and Victoria), the Australian Public Service Commission, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, Safe Work Australia, and Comcare.
  • All staff commenced working completely from home in March 2020, supported by current working from home plans and checklists, and suitable equipment to ensure continued connection with the organisation and colleagues.
  • A preparatory COVID-safe plan for returning to the office was developed along with workplace risk assessments. Control measures included installation of hand sanitiser stations, signage and social distancing processes. However, due to the renewed direction from the Victorian Government to continue remote working if possible, the plan for return to the office was not activated by the end of 2019–20.

Health and wellbeing programs

  • A Wellbeing Action Plan was developed and implemented from April 2020 onwards. The NTC identified mental health and wellbeing as a strategic priority in March, in anticipation of the uncertainty associated with pandemic restrictions across Australia. Activities included extra contact by the employee assistance program provider, fortnightly staff pulse checks to foster connectedness, training managers to identify and respond to mental health issues, and facilitating increased online one-on-one and team meetings to gauge employee wellbeing.
  • All staff were offered a flu vaccination as part of the annual campaign in May 2020. This program was implemented remotely.
  • All staff continued to have remote access to the NTC's comprehensive Employee Assistance Program as needed.

The NTC's office and equipment have all passed relevant work health and safety checks. The organisation's ongoing WHS initiatives have led to a consistently safe work environment for staff and visitors to its office. There were no notifiable incidents during the year. There were no investigations undertaken by an inspector appointed under Part 9 of the Work Health and Safety Act, and the NTC did not receive any notices under Part 10 of the Act.