Build and strengthen a workplace culture with a focus on our values, safety and wellness.

DMIRS has demonstrated a commitment to occupational safety, health (OSH) and injury management, by including the above priority in our new Strategic Plan Towards 2024.

The Director General and Corporate Executive have confirmed this commitment to provide a safe and healthy work environment, maintaining the safety and health of all employees, contractors and visitors by having OSH as a permanent standing item on the Corporate Executive meeting agenda.

To support and demonstrate this commitment, the department’s safety management system aims to exceed the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (OSH Act). During the year, this commitment was communicated to staff by the review and publication of the department’s OSH Policy and other OSH procedures, guidelines and supporting documentation. The review of the OSH policies and procedures was endorsed by the OSH Committee and the elected safety and health representatives (safety representatives). They continue to be promoted and covered in the OSH induction and managers’ OSH training. OSH is embedded in departmental systems including MyPD and in departmental Job Description Forms.

OSH inductions
38 from 30 June 2018
ergonomic assessments
52 from 30 June 2018

Additionally, the department continued to demonstrate its commitment to enhancing staff wellbeing through initiatives such as the:

  • Working on Wellness (WoW) program (including an onsite gym);
  • office ergonomics; and
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP).


The department’s employees are represented by their elected safety representatives on the OSH Committee, which is a consultative committee accountable to the Director General through the Corporate Executive. The Committee consists of five employer representatives and all safety representatives who attend meetings on a rotational basis. The committee is chaired by an executive member and an employee representative, also on a rotational basis.

The OSH Committee meets quarterly, to discuss and resolve OSH issues, to review hazards and incident statistics and reports. The OSH Committee meeting is preceded by a quarterly meeting, where safety representatives discuss which OSH issues should be addressed by the OSH Committee.

The OSH Committee minutes are tabled with the Corporate Executive and made available to staff via email to departmental managers; through safety representatives; departmental newsflashes; intranet; and on safety notice boards. Each quarter, the Work Health and Safety team present to Corporate Executive current data including hazards, incidents and emerging trends.

hazard notifications
49 from 30 June 2018
incident reports
4 from 30 June 2018

To encourage consultation and ensure safety is discussed and promoted across the department, safety is a mandatory agenda item in all divisional and branch meetings. Managers also receive a monthly “Safety on the Agenda” email from the Manager Corporate OSH that includes safety alerts, current safety and health issues and DMIRS events and training.

OSH newsflash item
114 from 30 June 2018

Injury management

This financial year, in line with its duty of care under the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981, DMIRS provided employees with a safe and caring work environment. Where a work related injury or disease occurred, the department managed workers’ compensation claims fairly and efficiently. The department continues to assist injured employees back to meaningful, productive and appropriate work. This is done as soon as possible, when medically appropriate, through graduated return to work programs, which are developed through a consultative process.

During 2018–19 there were seven workers’ compensation claims lodged, five resulted in one day or more off work. Two workers’ compensation claims were considered severe (60 days or more lost).

Safety management system

The department is working towards amalgamating the two safety management systems of its legacy departments. Both were assessed against the WorkSafe Plan audit and assessment (former Commerce received platinum certification in 2017, former Mines and Petroleum received gold in 2015).

One hundred per cent of the audit recommendations have been implemented.

A comprehensive review of all OSH policies, procedures, guidelines and other guidance material is continuing to take place. This includes improvements in systems and processes, for instance to first aid procedures, reasonable adjustments and modifications and ergonomics procedures.

DMIRS is implementing an online OSH reporting system for all staff to be able to report hazards and incidents easily and efficiently. The system will further develop the strong safety reporting culture and enable effective reporting to managers and Corporate Executive.

(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. 2016–17 and 2017–18).
(2) Data from 2017-18 onwards is for the amalgamated department - DMIRS.
(3) Results from legacy agency Department of Commerce.
(4) Results from legacy agency Department of Mines and Petroleum.
(5) Number of severe injuries (60 days or more lost) divided by the number of LTI’s as a percentage.

Focus on mental health and wellbeing

During 2018–19, the department continued with its focus on mental health and wellbeing, including fitness for duties, which is covered by the newly introduced Health and Wellness Policy. The department has continued with its successful implementation of Managing Mental Health for Managers training and complementary Mental Health Awareness training for employees.

The department has a new EAP provider with presentations and onsite counselling sessions being provided to staff. Departmental emails, newsflashes and posters have been used to promote service provider details.

The WoW program also had a mental health focus, running workshops on mindfulness, balancing your life, resilience and rewarding relationships.


The department continued with its highly successful and award-winning wellness program, WoW, which is available to all DMIRS staff. This year, the program was shortlisted for the Institute of Public Administrations award for Best Practice in Health and Wellbeing. The WoW program is designed to raise an awareness of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, improve employees’ wellbeing and deliver high quality wellness information and tools to promote a culture of wellness.

The WoW program is integrated with the department’s safety management system. The program aims to provide employees with opportunities to improve their health through increased knowledge, skills and attitudes potentially positively impacting absenteeism, presenteeism and incident rates. Some of the events offered during the year were health and fitness checks, skin cancer screenings, influenza vaccinations, healthy cooking demonstrations, gut health and healthy eating.

Number of WoW events
8 from 30 June 2018
WoW participation
745 from 30 June 2018

The program is planned annually, considering current wellness trends and staff feedback and suggestions gained through an online survey. WoW also partners with health professionals to run innovative events. For example, in 2019 WoW partnered with staff from Edith Cowan University’s Nutrition Research team to introduce a healthy eating program for staff.

2018, the WoW program ran three Wellness Expos at various DMIRS sites. These were a great success with over 300 staff attending. The Wellness Expos were organised during National Safe Work Month in October and featured an array of health and wellness stalls and activities. These included fatigue management; massage; nutrition; craft activities; EAP information; health insurance funds; and healthy cooking.

The success of the WoW program was demonstrated in the results of the 2018 Public Sector Commission Employee Perception Survey that reported 86 per cent of staff felt the department was committed to their health and wellbeing in the workplace in comparison with the public sector average of only 62 per cent.