Appendix 6: Work Health and Safety

Work health and safety

The new Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011 came into effect on 1 January 2012. The Act initiates harmonisation of health and safety for all Australian workers. Comcare provided an information session for AFMA staff in December 2011. AFMA’s Health and Safety Management Arrangements were reviewed and amended to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

The Work Health and Safety Committee (previously the Occupational Health and Safety Committee) met four times during 2011-12. The Work Health and Safety Committee’s role is to assist AFMA to develop, implement, review and update policies and procedures in relation to work health and safety, incident reporting and consequent prevention measures, improving the cooperation between AFMA and its staff on work health and safety issues and helping AFMA to distribute relevant information.

Health and safety initiatives

In June 2012 we again provided free on-site influenza vaccinations to staff as well as free health checks for all staff. We experienced a strong take-up rate for both of these opportunities.

Four workstation assessments were conducted in 2011-12 by an external assessor for those staff experiencing any sort of pain or discomfort at their workstation. As a result of these assessments a variety of measures were implemented, including purchasing of specialised chairs and desk and computer equipment. In addition members of the Human Resources Section were provided formal training in undertaking workstation assessments.

AFMA had an unplanned absence rate of 7.6 days per person which is lower than last year (8.1 days).

Health and safety outcomes achieved

AFMA’s workers compensation premiums increased in 2011-12 to slightly above the Commonwealth average.

There were two injuries or incidents that fell within the definition of a dangerous occurrence under the Work Health and Safety Legislation. Comcare was notified of both incidents.

We successfully rehabilitated a number of staff who incurred injuries with the potential to become more serious.

Accident or dangerous occurrence statistics

In 2011-12 we recorded 10 incidents, accidents or near-misses (see figure 2). This rate is well down from 2010-11 (17) and again dominated by minor incidents, with one serious personal injury involving two weeks or more absence.

Investigations conducted during the year

No investigations were conducted by Comcare under the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011. In addition, there were no notices issued in relation to health and safety representatives and no prohibition notices issued.