OPC commits itself to taking, at all times, reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health and safety of its workers (staff and contractors) and visitors to the workplace. To achieve this, OPC:
· provides and maintains a healthy and safe work environment;
· consults and cooperates with its workers, their Health and Safety Representatives, and other duty holders, to ensure a healthy and safe workplace;
· complies with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) as a minimum standard, and implements in full the requirements of the WHS Act and its regulations;
· ensures that appropriate organisational arrangements are in place to facilitate the implementation of the WHS Act;
· provides appropriate resources to ensure that necessary health and safety programs and activities are established and maintained; and
· informs all workers about relevant health and safety matters and provides that information in languages other than English where this might be necessary.
During the year, Comcare reviewed OPC’s policies and procedures for incident management and provided advice and recommendations for improvements. Many of the recommendations have been implemented, with work continuing on the updating of some documents.
Health and Safety committee
The WHS Act requires the establishment of a Health and Safety Committee at the request of either a Health and Safety Representative or five or more workers at the workplace. If a Health and Safety Committee is not required to be established, other consultation procedures can be established for a workplace.
In OPC, the WCC fulfils the requirements of the WHS Act with respect to consultation with workgroups on health and safety matters. In addition, the WCC has incorporated the functions of a Health and Safety Committee as a standing agenda item. The Health and Safety Representative attends WCC meetings.
Initiatives taken during the year
A physiotherapist or occupational therapist visited OPC throughout the year to conduct workstation assessments, particularly for new members of staff and staff returning from extended leave.
During the year, OPC paid for influenza vaccinations for interested staff.
OPC maintained a policy of requiring staff to take an eye test, paid for by OPC, once every 2 years. OPC also provided reimbursement to staff for prescription eyewear up to the value of $568 required as a result of the eye tests.
During the year, OPC also provided reimbursement to staff of up to $200 to have an annual health and fitness assessment.
The induction program for new members of staff includes a session specifically aimed at enhancing their awareness of the importance of health and safety issues in the workplace, and emphasising the responsibilities of both staff and management in that regard.
OPC maintains an appropriate collection of publications in our library that relate to health and safety.
Health and wellbeing program
This year OPC received “Platinum Plus Status” recognition from the ACT Government service Healthier Work for our continuing commitment to creating a healthier workplace by developing our fifth 12-month Healthier Work Plan, following on from the success of our earlier Healthier Work Plans.
During the year, OPC implemented the activities from the 2020-2021 Plan which promoted and supported the areas of physical activity, healthy eating and social and emotional wellbeing.
Health and safety outcomes
The following outcomes were achieved as a result of initiatives taken during the year or in past years:
· comprehensive workstation assessments by qualified health professionals ensured good outcomes for staff returning to work from injuries;
· staff awareness of the importance of health, wellbeing and safety in the workplace was raised, particularly through the Healthier Work Plan initiatives; and
· staff survey results showed a high level of satisfaction with health and wellbeing in the workplace.
Although hard to measure, OPC considers that modest outlays on health promotion activities provide good value for money, given the potential loss of work time annually due to the effects of health issues.
There were no notifiable incidents during the year requiring notification under section 38 of the WHS Act.
OPC has not been the subject of any investigation and no notices have been issued to OPC under Part 10 of the WHS Act during the year.