Work health and safety
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, 13 health and safety representatives and a national Work Health and Safety Committee. The committee met on three occasions in 2017–18.
In 2017–18, 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
- the 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.
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. The Commission’s workers compensation premium rate was reduced to 0.29 per cent in 2017–18, well below the scheme average premium rate of 1.23 per cent for 2017–18.
In 2017–18, the Commission did not receive any new compensation claims, and had one ongoing claim. A total of 14 accidents or incidents involving employees or other parties were reported, compared with 24 in 2016–17.
Notifiable accidents and occurrences
Under s.38 of the WHS Act, the Commission is required to notify Comcare of any notifiable accidents or dangerous incidents arising out of work undertaken by any of its employees. The Commission had no reportable accidents or incidents in 2017–18.
Under Part 4 of the WHS Act, the Commission is required to report any investigations conducted during the year into any of its undertakings. No investigations were conducted in 2017–18.
Under Part 5 of the WHS Act, health and safety representatives are entitled to issue provisional improvement notices to address immediate risks to improve health and safety performance. No notices were issued in 2017–18.
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 $13,200 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 2017–18.
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 ensures 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 to reduce the Commission’s carbon footprint.
Kitchens in a number of offices have separate bins to manage waste, including organic, recycling and general waste.
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. All showers continue to be fitted with energy efficient T5 lighting and shower timers.
The Commission has continued to reduce its carbon footprint by utilising videoconferencing as an alternative to travel.
The Commission ensures that new leases over a certain size have a green rating. The Commission actively encourages its landlords to increase their National Australian Built Environment Rating System rating, a national rating system that measures the environmental performance of Australian buildings, tenancies and homes.