The Director General and Corporate Executive has a duty of care to provide a safe and healthy work environment, and to ensure the safety and health of all employees, contractors and visitors as far as practicable. To support and demonstrate this commitment, the department’s safety management system aims to not only meet, but also exceed the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984. During the year, this commitment was communicated to staff in the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Policy and Procedures on the intranet, and covered in the OSH induction and OSH managers’ training.
The department also continued to demonstrate its commitment to enhancing staff wellbeing through programs such as the:
The department’s OSH Committee is a consultative committee representing all employees and is accountable to the Director General through the Corporate Executive. The Committee consists of five employer representatives and all safety and health representatives who attend meetings on a rotational basis. The committee is chaired by an executive member and an employee representative on a rotational basis.
The OSH Committee continued to meet quarterly during the year, to discuss and resolve OSH issues, and review hazards and incident reports. The minutes are tabled at the next Corporate Executive meeting and made available to staff on the intranet. Safety is also a mandatory agenda item in all divisional and branch meetings to ensure safety is discussed and promoted across the department.
The department continued to use its injury management system during the year, and managed workers’ compensation claims in a fair and equitable manner in accordance with the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981. This included return to work programs assisting the prompt return of officers to meaningful and productive work following work related injury, illness or disability. The injury management system is available to all staff.
There were eight workers’ compensation claims lodged during 2017–18.
The safety management systems for both the former Department of Commerce and Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) were assessed against the WorkSafe Plan within the last three years. In 2017, the Department of Commerce received a WorkSafe Platinum Certificate of Achievement. This marked the first time a government agency had achieved this level of certification. In 2015, DMP received a WorkSafe Gold Certificate of Achievement.
The WorkSafe Plan Certificates of Achievement are awarded to organisations that have had an independent assessment of their workplace safety and health practices and have achieved high ratings in each element of the WorkSafe Plan. They also recognise organisations for having rates of work-related injury and disease that are reducing, or being kept at low levels. Platinum certificates are for those organisations that achieve the highest standards, and gold certificates are for organisations demonstrating good progress toward a best practice approach to safety and health management.
All recommendations identified in both of these assessments have been actioned.
Table 12: OSH and Injury Management
(1) This indicator examines a three-year trend and as such the comparison base is to be two years prior to the current reporting year i.e. 2015-16 and 2016-17.
(2) The data for the current reporting year (2017–18) is for the amalgamated department.
(3) Results for former Department of Commerce.
(4) Results for former Department of Mines and Petroleum.
(5) Further information on complying with this reporting requirement, including the calculation and reporting of the performance measures, can be found at www.publicsectorsafety.wa.gov.au under ‘Reporting’.
(6) During 2017–18, of the eight workers compensation claims lodged, six claims resulted in one day or more off work. During 2017–18, three of the six LTI workers compensation claims lodged were considered severe.
During 2017–18, the department focussed on mental health and wellbeing including fitness for duties. The Health and Wellbeing Policy and Fitness for Work Guideline were rolled out across the department. The department has:
The department has successfully amalgamated its award winning wellness programs into one Working on Wellness (WoW) program that has been rolled out across all of the department’s locations. The WoW program aims to provide employees with opportunities to improve their health through developing relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for a healthy lifestyle, while positively impacting absenteeism, presentism and incident rates. Some of the events offered during the year were annual health and fitness checks, annual skin cancer screenings, influenza vaccinations, healthy cooking demonstrations, emotional intelligence, information sessions and a corporate walking challenge.
In 2017, the department was awarded a Gold Safe Way Achiever Award in the 2017 Industrial Foundation for Accident Prevention (IFAP)/CGU Safe Way Awards.
The Safe Way Awards aim to motivate people in the workplace to maintain safe work practices, and recognise the implementation and continuous improvement of their organisation’s safety management systems.
To nominate, the former DMP Corporate Occupational Safety and Health team provided a written submission and supporting documentation from which the department’s safety management system was assessed against IFAP criteria such as:
IFAP individually reviews all submissions against criteria and conduct an in-house interview process to determine which level is achievable. Platinum certification is considered after achieving gold for at least five consecutive years.