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Annual performance statements

I, Barry Sherriff, as the accountable authority and Chairperson of the Seacare Authority, present the 2018–19 annual performance statements of the Seacare Authority, as required under paragraph 39(1)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). In my opinion, these annual performance statements are based on properly maintained records, accurately reflect the performance of the Seacare Authority, and comply with subsection 39(2) of the PGPA Act.

Overview

The Seacare Authority’s annual performance statements should be read in conjunction with the Seacare Authority 2018–19 Corporate Plan. The Seacare Authority does not have a Portfolio Budget Statement (PBS).

Seacare Authority 2018–19 Corporate Plan

The Seacare Authority’s 2018–19 Corporate Plan defines its purpose to be to:

  • perform its statutory functions to promote healthy and safe workplaces and appropriate and timely compensation for, and rehabilitation of, injured workers covered by the Seacare scheme
  • maintain a scheme safety net that is able to meet its liabilities.

Table 2: Seacare Authority purposes and Corporate Plan intended results (IR)

Purpose

Link to Corporate Plan

1. Perform its statutory functions to promote healthy and safe workplaces and appropriate and timely compensation for, and rehabilitation of, injured workers covered by the Seacare scheme

IR1.1

Secure the health, safety and welfare at work of maritime industry employees

IR1.2

Protect persons at or near workplaces from risks to health and safety arising out of the activities of maritime industry employees at work

IR1.3

Expert advice is available on occupational health and safety matters affecting maritime industry operators, maritime industry employees and maritime industry contractors

IR1.4

An occupational environment for maritime industry employees that is adapted to their health and safety needs

IR1.5

Cooperative consultative relationship between maritime industry operators and maritime industry employees on the health, safety and welfare of maritime industry employees at work

2. Promotion of appropriate and timely rehabilitation and compensation

IR2.1

Effective rehabilitation procedures by employers

IR2.2

High operational standards of claims management by employers

IR2.3

Compliance by employers with the Seafarers Act

3. The target reserve of assets is appropriate to meet the Fund’s liabilities and external factors

IR3.1

Maintain the viability of the Fund in a changing industry environment

IR3.2

The Fund’s target reserve is met

Purpose 1

Perform the Seacare Authority’s statutory functions to promote healthy and safe workplaces and appropriate and timely compensation for, and rehabilitation of, injured workers covered by the Seacare scheme.

Measure 1: Promotion of healthy and safe workplaces

Performance criterion

Identification of opportunities to promote health and safety and legislative reporting obligations.

Source

Corporate Plan intended result 1.1, delivery strategies 1, 3 and 5.

Target

Seacare Members and scheme participants have available reporting on scheme OHS performance to allow Seacare Members to identify and review trends and opportunities to promote health and safety.

Result

Seacare Authority Members were provided with scheme OHS performance biannually. This, coupled with qualitative data and other information available to Members, has enabled the Seacare Authority to identify and agree on opportunities to promote health and safety in the scheme. In 2018–19, the Seacare Authority agreed to hold a Mental Health Forum, which occurred in November 2018 and was targeted specifically at the maritime industry. The Seacare Authority also re-formed the Mental Health Working Group to create a Seacare Authority Mental Health Strategy. The Strategy will be endorsed and implemented in 2019–20 onwards. In 2018–19, the Seacare Authority published its Scheme Data Report 2017–18 which provides OHS information, data, and trends in the scheme.

Performance criterion

Identification and implementation of actions to address identified OHS priorities.

Source

Corporate Plan intended results 1.1-1.5, delivery strategy 2.

Target

Plan developed, implemented and reviewed, action taken in accordance with the joint Seacare Authority and AMSA OHS Plan 2019–2022 (OHS Plan) and otherwise as required.

Result

The OHS Plan was endorsed at the Seacare Authority’s September 2018 meeting. The Seacare Authority considers progress against annual objectives in March and September. Action has been taken in 2018–19 to address the annual OHS priorities as identified in the OHS Plan. More information on progress against the plan can be viewed in Table 3 of this report.

Performance criterion

Opportunities taken by the Seacare Authority to provide information and guidance to scheme participants on actions to address identified health and safety issues and priorities.

Source

Corporate Plan intended results 1.1-1.5, delivery strategy 4.

Target

Action taken by the Seacare Authority in accordance with its plan and otherwise as appropriate to provide information and guidance to scheme participants.

Result

In 2018–19, the Seacare Authority commenced a review of published guidance material at regular intervals to ensure that the guidance material remains relevant, accurate, and reflective of better practice.

In 2018–19 a review of the Seacare website was started to ensure the information available is current and readily accessible.

Performance criterion

Regular and consistent reporting by AMSA to the Seacare Authority on its inspectorate role.

Source

Corporate Plan intended results 1.1, 1.2 and 1.5, delivery strategy 5.

Target

Satisfaction of Seacare Authority Members with content and regularity of reports provided by AMSA.

Result

Under subsection 82(c) of the OHS(MI) Act, AMSA, as the Inspectorate, has a function to provide the Seacare Authority with such information as is asked for by the Seacare Authority. AMSA undertakes this function by providing a report to the Seacare Authority at each of its regular meetings.

In 2018–19 AMSA provided a report on its inspectorate role at each of the Seacare Authority’s four face-to-face meetings. The Seacare Authority Members were satisfied with the content and regularity of the reports provided by AMSA.

Performance criterion

The Seacare Authority assists AMSA in undertaking its educative and advisory functions.

Source

Corporate Plan intended results 1.1-1.5, delivery strategies 2 and 4.

Target

Seacare Authority Members have taken action to assist AMSA with the promotion of AMSA material and initiatives.

Result

In 2018–19, AMSA sponsored the Seacare Authority mental health workshop. AMSA branding was used on all event material. AMSA also presented ‘A Snapshot of the AMSA report – Assessing the Determinants and Consequences of Safety Culture in the Maritime Industry’ at the mental health workshop.

Through its regular report to the Seacare Authority, AMSA raised information for distribution by Members to their stakeholders.

Performance criterion

Health and safety representative (HSR) training courses accredited in line with the Guidelines for Accreditation of HSR training courses.

Source

Corporate Plan intended results 1.1, 1.2 and 1.5, delivery strategy 7.

Target

Satisfaction of Seacare Authority Members with quality of providers through review of accreditation papers.

Result

The Seacare Authority has a function, under s104(f) of the Seafarers Act to accredit OHS training courses for HSRs. The Seacare Authority has created an accreditation panel to assist it with the consideration of an application for accreditation of a HSR training course. The panel assesses courses submitted for accreditation and has an advisory role to the Seacare Authority on whether a course satisfies the requirements outlined in these Guidelines including the mandatory skill development activities, training objectives and learning outcomes. The papers presented to the Seacare Authority must outline the findings and recommendations of the panel to enable it to make a final decision regarding the accreditation of a course.

In 2018–19, the Seacare Authority reaccredited two HSR training courses based on a single presentation of recommendations from the HSR accreditation panel.

Performance criterion

Review and promotion of the Seacare Authority Code of Practice.

Source

Corporate Plan intended results 1.1 and 1.2, delivery strategy 4.

Target

Action is taken by the Seacare Authority to disseminate, review and promote the Code of Practice.

Result

The Seacare Authority Code of Practice (Code) came in to effect on 1 January 2019. Prior to it coming into effect, the Seacare Authority promoted the Code through its website and its Members.

At its June 2019 meeting, the Seacare Authority agreed to seek feedback from scheme participants and industry experts on the Code. The feedback will be considered in 2019–20 and will inform whether a review of the Code will be undertaken, including the nature of the review.

Measure 2: Promotion of appropriate and timely rehabilitation and compensation

Performance criterion

Compliance with reporting and payment obligations under the Seafarers Act and Levy Collection Act.

Source

Corporate Plan intended results 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3, delivery strategy 1.

Target

Reporting and payment obligations under the Seafarers Act and Levy Collection Act provided within required timeframes.

Result

In 2018–19, the compliance rate was 88 per cent, compared to the target of 100 per cent. It is also noted that the 2018–19 result is the same as the result in 2017–18. The Seacare Authority does not collect data on the reasons for non-compliance. The Seacare Authority has Notice and Compliance Procedures which set out the steps the Seacare Authority will follow where there is non-compliance, including referring the matter to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP). No employer was referred to the CDPP in 2018–19.

Performance criterion

Promotion of appropriate and timely rehabilitation and processes for consideration of claims and delivery of compensation.

Source

Corporate Plan intended results 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3, delivery strategy 2.

Target

Action is taken by the Seacare Authority to promote appropriate and timely rehabilitation and compensation activities.

Result

In 2018–19, 87.6 per cent of claims were determined by employers within statutory time limits.

The Seacare Authority was made aware of delayed rehabilitation and compensation activities from employers, through both reporting and via the Seacare Helpdesk, and reminded several employers of both their obligations under the legislation and the advantages of better practice claim and injury management.

Performance criterion

Guidance material on claims management available to all scheme stakeholders. Scheme guidance is assessed as being accessible, up to date and appropriate.

Source

Corporate Plan intended results 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3, delivery strategy 2.

Target

Feedback indicates that scheme stakeholders are, on average, satisfied with the availability, currency and content of guidance on claims management.

Result

In 2018–19, the Seacare Authority undertook a review of the published information relating to coverage under the Seafarers Act. In response to the review a guidance note was created to assist stakeholders in understanding coverage and identifying whether specific employment comes under that Act. A review of the Seacare Best Practice Guide to Claims Management was started in 2018–19 and will be completed in 2019–20.

Analysis

In 2018–19, the Seacare Authority executed its delivery strategies successfully to perform its statutory functions. This included monitoring the operation of the OHS(MI) Act, and the undertaking of the inspectorate functions which are conferred to AMSA under that Act, and developing and implementing a joint OHS Plan with AMSA. In 2018–19 the Seacare Authority also monitored the operation and success of the OHS Plan and its actions.

In order to promote healthy and safe workplaces, the Seacare Authority also collected, interpreted and reported on information from various sources to identify trends relating to occupational health and safety. This information was provided via the Seacare website and directly to relevant bodies and to participants in the scheme to raise awareness of scheme level trends and issues. The Seacare Authority also used this data and information to agree to host a mental health workshop in November 2018.

The Seacare Authority worked closely with and educated scheme stakeholders over the reporting period to facilitate compliance with legislated reporting obligations and promote better practice claims management.

Purpose 2

Maintain a scheme safety net that is able to meet its liabilities.

Performance criterion

The viability of the Fund is maintained in a changing industry environment.

Source

Corporate Plan intended results 3.1 and 3.2, delivery strategies 1 and 2.

Target

The Fund maintains an appropriate reserve to meet recommended target. In 2018–19, this was $1,025,000.

Result

At the end of June 2019, the target reserve was $1,025,000; the Fund held $1,152,034 in assets, therefore the target was met.

In 2018–19, the Seacare Authority closely monitored and reviewed the financial position of the Fund. Recognising the financial pressures on the Fund, resulting from a changing industry environment and workers’ compensation liabilities against the Fund, the Seacare Authority developed and started to implement actions against a plan to address these financial pressures.

Performance criterion

The Fund’s target reserve is and will continue to be met.

Source

Corporate Plan intended results 3.1 and 3.2, delivery strategies 3 and 4.

Target

The Fund maintains an appropriate reserve target.

Result

The Seacare Authority arranged for an actuarial review of the Fund in 2018–19 to ensure that the reserve target is appropriate. The Seacare Authority will review the target reserve in 2019–20.

Performance criterion

Insurance effected in accordance with the Act and at a level and on terms necessary to provide optimal protection to the assets of the Fund.

Source

Corporate Plan intended results 3.1 and 3.2, delivery strategy 5.

Target

Insurance effected in accordance with the Act and at a level and on terms necessary to provide optimal protection to the assets of the Fund.

Result

Appropriate insurance arrangements were in place in the 2018–19 financial year. Appropriate insurance for 2019–20 was arranged in 2018–19.

Analysis

In 2018–19, the Seacare Authority executed its delivery strategies successfully to ensure the scheme safety net could meet its liabilities. This included regular monitoring and reviewing of the financial position of the Fund, recommending a levy increase to the Minister and maintaining appropriate insurance for the Fund.

Performance against the Seacare Authority/AMSA OHS Plan 2019–2022

The Seacare Authority and AMSA have a joint OHS Plan for 2019–2022. Under this plan, the agencies are required to develop a joint annual OHS Plan to cover priorities and programs for OHS awareness and education, OHS prevention and compliance. The agreed priorities and activities completed against them are set out below.

Table 3: 2018–19 OHS priorities

1. Seacare scheme guidance and educational tools are relevant, current and targeted

Identified priority

Activities completed against this priority in 2018–19

Development of review cycle for publications

· Review cycle developed and agreed to by the Seacare Authority in September 2018.

Review of publications in line with review cycle

· The Seacare Authority commenced reviews of a number of Seacare publications and guidance documents in 2018–19.

Consider the development of guidance material, based on any identified trends in data

· AMSA worked on guidance and educational material focused on safe access incidents and deficiencies with a view to deliver it later in 2019.

· AMSA worked on an education campaign targeted at pilot transfer incidents involving manropes with a view to deliver it later in 2019.

Disseminate publications developed by AMSA where appropriate and relevant to the Seacare scheme

· Publication of Issues 8 and 9 of the AMSA Safety Bulletin are on www.amsa.gov.au.

· AMSA published Working Boats issue 14 in December 2018, this is also available on the AMSA website.

2. Promote Code of Practice for Health and Safety in Shipboard Work including Offshore Support Vessels

Identified priority

Activities completed against this priority in 2018–19

Promote and disseminate Code of Practice to scheme stakeholders

· The Code of Practice which commenced on 1 January 2019 was promoted and disseminated on the Seacare website in November 2018.

3. Publish and disseminate scheme OHS statistics and performance results

Identified priority

Activities completed against this priority in 2018–19

Publication of compendium of statistics

· The Seacare Authority published the 2017–18 version of this document on 17 December 2018 under the revised title 201718 Seacare Scheme Data.

4. Undertake workshops on identified topics and an awards program to promote best practice in the maritime industry

Identified priority

Activities completed against this priority in 2018–19

Workshops on mental health

· The Seacare Authority hosted a Mental Health Workshop in Fremantle on 20 November 2018.

Awards program

· The Seacare Authority determined not to proceed with an awards program in 2018-19.

5. Promote the importance of Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) in the maritime industry

Identified priority

Activities completed against this priority in 2018–19

Promote the Seacare Authority’s HSR portal as a tool for communicating with HSRs

· The Seacare website allowed access to this material in 2018–19.

Review and promote guidance material

· A review of Seacare Health and Safety Representative

Handbook publication was commenced in April 2019. This is to be completed during 2019–20.

Utilise the Seacare website as a tool for promoting information to HSRs

· The Seacare website allowed access to this material in 2018–19.

6. Accredit and monitor HSR training courses

Identified priority

Activities completed against this priority in 2018–19

Reaccreditation of relevant training courses

· The Seacare Authority agreed on 15 August 2018 that the AMSC and Ferriby training courses were to be reaccredited for a three-year period to 2021.

Review of accreditation guidance

· The guidance for the accreditation of HSR training courses was reviewed and discussed at the November 2018 Seacare Authority meeting and it was agreed that the guidance was up to date and no further action was required.

7. Compliance with OHS(MI) Act reporting requirements

Identified priority

Activities completed against this priority in 2018–19

AMSA reports satisfaction with employer compliance with reporting requirements

· AMSA conducted 69 FSC inspections, this includes one on an OHS(MI) vessel in 2018–19 financial year to ensure compliance.

Promotion of compliance requirements as needed

· AMSA website contains up to date information on OHS obligations including reporting under OHS(MI). The Occupational health and safety inspectorate website page was last updated June 2019.

8. Advise the Minister on effective means of giving effect to the objects of the Act

Identified priority

Activities completed against this priority in 2018–19

Contribute to Seacare scheme reform

· The Seacare Authority continued to support scheme reform through the provision in 2018–19 of letters to the Minister following each Seacare Authority meeting.

Discussion and analysis of the financial performance

Seafarers Safety Net Fund

Scheme sustainability continues to be a key priority for the Seacare Authority.

At the end of June 2019, the Fund held sufficient assets to meet the target reserve of $1,025,000.

Insurance was in place for the Fund at all times during the financial year as required under section 102 of the Seafarers Act. The insurance was held with an authorised insurer for any amount of the Seacare Authority’s liability under the Seafarers Act that exceeds $1 million for a single event which results in an injury to one or more seafarers.

During the period, there was an increase in outstanding claims liabilities due to the outcomes of a Federal Court matter.

Details on the income and costs associated with the Fund are detailed in the audited financial statements (Appendix 1).

Levy Collection

Employers in the scheme are required to report berths numbers, and pay levy berth, on a quarterly basis. In 2018–19, $153,250 was collected in levies from Seacare scheme employers. Levy payments were made by 27 employers throughout the course of the year.

Levy collection results for the last five years are set out in Table 4.

Table 4: Levy collection summary

Financial Year

Number of employers paying levy

Average berths per quarter declared by employers

Levy rate

Levy payable

2014–15

36

2522

$15

$151,290

2015–16

31

2255

$15

$135,300

2016–17

27

1619

$15

$97,140

2017–18

27

1914

$15

$114,825

2018–19

27

1533

$25

$153,250

Exemption from payment of levies

Under section 20A of the Seafarers Act, the Seacare Authority may exempt employment from the application of the Seafarers Act. Schedule 2 of the Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2015 amends section 20A so that an exemption under this section also applies to the Levy Act and the Levy Collection Act.

The Levy Collection Act requires an employer to keep a register of berths on prescribed ships that are operating on the first day of each quarter. If an exemption is in force on first day of the quarter then there is no requirement for berths to be reported and no levy is payable.

Performance of statutory functions

Providing advice to the Minister

The Seacare Authority provides advice to the Minister on its powers and functions regarding scheme legislation and on matters including compensation, rehabilitation, the making of OHS regulations and approval of codes of practice, as well as on the management of the Fund.

The Seacare Authority, through its Chairperson, maintains regular communication with the Minister on outcomes arising from its work and according to resolutions made at its meetings. During 2018–19, the Chairperson advised the Minister on matters including:

  • the operation of the scheme, including scheme performance
  • the management and operation of the Fund
  • the Seacare Authority governance arrangements
  • the reissue of the two exemptions by own motion
  • Seacare Authority matters at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and Federal Court.

Insurance arrangements

Under section 93 of the Seafarers Act, an employer must have a policy of insurance from an authorised insurer or be a member of a protection and indemnity association (P&I Club) that is a member of the International Group of Protection and Indemnity Associations and is approved in writing by the Seacare Authority. Section 93 requires that each employer is insured or indemnified for the full amount of their liability under the Seafarers Act for all seafarers employed.

Under sections 94 and 95 of the Seafarers Act an employer is required to provide the Seacare Authority with information relating to its insurance coverage within 14 days of being issued with, or renewing, a policy of insurance or indemnity. During 2018–19, the Seacare Authority monitored compliance with section 94 of the Seafarers Act and ensured that employers’ insurance arrangements were recorded on the Seacare Authority’s online reporting system, Seacare Online.

Based on the information provided by employers, there were five insurers providing workers’ compensation policies under the Seafarers Act. While the Seacare Authority is able to approve arrangements for workers’ compensation cover through P&I Clubs, there are currently no P&I Clubs approved by the Seacare Authority to provide such cover. Details on the insurers providing cover under the Seafarers Act are available from the Seacare website.

Accreditation of health and safety representative training courses

HSRs, to perform their responsibilities under the OHS(MI) Act, must undertake an accredited HSR training course. The Seacare Authority is responsible for accrediting these training courses to ensure they meet the highest national standards.

For 2018–19, there were three accredited HSR training courses, down from four in 2017–18.

Australian Maritime Safety Consultants

(accredited until 20 May 2021)

Ferriby Group of Companies (Australia) Pty Ltd

(accredited until 16 August 2021)

Industrial Foundation for Accident Prevention

(accredited until 7 June 2021)

Table 5 summarises the training delivered over the last five years. It indicates that the number of courses delivered in 2018–19 and the number of seafarers undertaking accredited HSR training is higher than in the previous reporting period but is lower than the three reporting periods prior.

Table 5: Accredited health and safety representative training courses

2014–15

2015–16

2016–17

2017–18

2018–19

Courses delivered

22

15

11

5

10

Completions

214

122

142

51

74

Source: Providers of Seacare scheme accredited HSR training courses

Performance of statutory functions under delegation

The Seacare Authority has a variety of statutory functions. As it has no staff or resources of its own, and as provided for under section 125(1) of the Seafarers Act, the Seacare Authority delegated some of its powers and functions to Comcare to undertake on its behalf.

Exemptions under section 20A of the Seafarers Act

An employer may apply to the Seacare Authority under section 20A for an exemption from the application of the Seafarers Act with respect to a particular employee, group of employees, or employment on a particular ship. The Seacare Authority has guidelines that describe the procedure for, and the circumstances under which it will consider, granting an exemption.

In 2018–19, the Seacare Authority granted 52 exemptions for nine employers in relation to 48 vessels in accordance with its exemption guidelines. Twenty-four of the exemptions were granted in accordance with the 2006 Ministerial Direction to the Seacare Authority that its exemption guidelines provide for an employer to seek a section 20A exemption (under the Seafarers Act) where they are able to find workers’ compensation insurance under a state or territory scheme at a cost lower than that available under the Seacare scheme.

Appendix 2 provides a list of the exemptions granted between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019.

Collection and use of data

Consistent with its functions and powers under both the Seafarers Act and the OHS(MI) Act and supporting legislation, the Seacare Authority collects data from employers through the following sources:

  • employee and ship details surveys, which provide data in relation to employee numbers, ship information and the calculation of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees
  • claim determination reports and claim updates for the number of claims lodged and compensation paid against all active claims
  • berth and levy reporting processes
  • insurance policies.

The collected data is used to monitor compliance with employer obligations as well as to assist the Seacare Authority to monitor and report on the operation of the scheme through analysis against scheme level performance indicators and trends.

In 2018–19 the Seacare Authority published the 2017–18 Seacare Scheme Data Report, available on the Seacare website, which presents a comprehensive scheme level report on OHS, workers’ compensation and return to work statistics and data to complement the 2017–18 Annual Report.

Annual occupational health and safety report

AMSA performs the OHS inspectorate function under the OHS(MI) Act. Its responsibilities are to:

  • ensure compliance with the requirement to report serious personal injuries, deaths, dangerous occurrences and other obligations under the OHS(MI) Act and Regulations
  • advise operators, employees and contractors on OHS matters
  • provide the Seacare Authority with information.

Together with the Seacare Authority, AMSA works toward promoting the health, safety and welfare of seafarers under the OHS(MI) Act.

The Seacare Authority is required, under section 114 of the OHS(MI) Act, to prepare a report as soon as practicable after each 30 June, on the operation of that Act and the Regulations during the year ending on that date. The requirements for this report are set out under subsection 111(2) of the OHS(MI) Act. The report is set out at Table 6.

Table 6: Annual OHS report

2014–15

2015–16

2016–17

2017–18

2018–19

Incidents reported (s107)

Deaths

0

0

0

0

0

Serious personal injuries

43

42

22

16

5

Dangerous occurrences notified

11

10

8

0

4

TOTAL

54

52

30

16

9

Investigations (s87) 2

TOTAL

97

93

79

70

69

Prosecutions (s116)

Prohibition Notices s 93

0

3

0

0

0

Deficiencies (including Improvement Notices s 98) 3

43

51

24

35

36

TOTAL

43

54

24

35

36

Commenced

0

0

0

0

0

Completed

0

0

0

0

0

Other

Marine Notices/Orders relevant to OHS

0

1

0

1

0

AMSA staff appointed as OHS inspectors s 84

46

55

55

49

56

Taking possession of plant, substances or things s 91

0

0

0

0

0

Directions given s 92

0

0

0

0

0

Appeals instituted against inspectors’ decision s 100

0

0

0

0

0

2 This is a combination of both OHS(MI) and Flag State Control inspections as a result of Maritime Labour Convention, MLC 2006 entering into force.

3 When conducting a Flag State Control inspection, surveyors investigate OHS matters under the MLC (Reg 4.3). As such deficiencies may be issued under the Navigation Act 2012.

Compared to 2017–18 there has been an increase in the number of dangerous occurrences reported to AMSA and a significant decrease in the number of serious personal injuries reported.