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The ACTPS Head of Service signed the ACT Public Sector Work Health and Safety Policy Statement on behalf of the Service including the Directorate. The Policy outlines the commitment of the Service to the health and safety of its workers and other persons.

The Directorate affirms the intent of the Policy and holds the health, safety and wellbeing of its workforce and of its students at the core of its education and school improvement agenda. The Directorate continued its strong health and safety performance and, with the introduction and systemisation of its health and safety support, has sought to further influence and enhance this performance.

The Directorate implemented a number of initiatives to further support its workers’ health, safety and wellbeing including:

INVESTIGATIONS

WorkSafe ACT issued the Directorate with one Improvement Notice on 9 September 2015 in relation to a single incident involving a band-saw. The Heath Safety and Wellbeing team (HSW) supported the school to review the equipment operating procedures, and with advice on safe work methods and behavior within the workshop area. HSW consulted WorkSafe on the actions implemented to eliminate further risk. WorkSafe supported the intervention and corrective actions and removed the notice.

The Directorate reported 33 notifiable incidents to WorkSafe ACT during the reporting period including in relation to asbestos, electricity and/or events where a worker attended hospital or sought medical treatment.

A total of 1,201 worker work health and safety incident reports were received during the 2015-16 reporting period including 32 other parties. This marked a significant improvement in reporting for the Directorate with numbers increasing from 680 in the previous year and is reflective of the introduction of the ACT Public Service incident reporting system, RiskMan, across the Directorate.

HSW reviews all RiskMan reports for corrective actions and, in response, has conducted 47 follow up inspections and site visits to assess the WHS issues and to provide support and advice to further eliminate risk.

There were 1,578 student accident and incident reports and eight third party incident reports for the 2015-16 reporting period.

WORKER CONSULTATION ARRANGEMENTS AND HEALTH AND SAFETY REPRESENTATIVES

The Directorate is committed to effective communication and consultation with its workers on Work Health and Safety (WHS) matters at all levels of the organisation. WHS is a standing agenda item for staff meetings and the Directorate has established reporting frameworks and network wide consultation opportunities to formalise discussions with stakeholder groups.

The Directorate has established Worker’s Consultation Units (WCU) with its workers.  A WCU is the group of workers with whom the consultation arrangements will be agreed and to whom they will be applied. The WCU may include all workers, or the workers may be arranged into multiple units. A total of 97 WCUs have been formed. WCUs include all ACT Government primary schools, preschools, early childhood schools, high schools, colleges, and central office locations.

The Directorate had 97 Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) and 43 Deputy HSRs undertaking responsibilities during the 2015-16 reporting period. The primary role and function of the HSR is to represent workers within their WCU in relation to health and safety matters.

Quarterly network meetings for key stakeholder groups including HSRs, Building Service Officers, Business Managers and Principals are held to ensure up-to-date health and safety information is disseminated and discussed throughout the Directorate.

INJURY PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT

INJURY PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

The Directorate formally consults with worker groups through the Injury Prevention and Management Committee. The Committee is the key consultative forum for the Directorate on workplace health and safety matters and has had oversight of the development of new and existing health and safety initiatives such as:

INJURY PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS

In 2015-16, the Directorate implemented a range of health and safety programs to support worker welfare including:

PERFORMANCE AGAINST THE AUSTRALIAN WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY STRATEGY 2012-22 TARGETS

Target 1 - A reduction of at least 30 per cent in the incidence rate of claims resulting in one or more weeks off work

The Directorate continues to perform above target expectations and has recorded a further reduction in claims of one week or more for the reporting period as indicated in Table B7.1. This continual improvement marks an overall 45 percent reduction of claims since the introduction of the target in 2012 -13.

The result reflects the Directorate’s focus on its workers wellbeing and early intervention injury management strategies, the ongoing risk assessment of all accident or incident reporting, and the provision of specialist advice and support to key stakeholder groups.

TABLE B7.1: REDUCE THE INCIDENCE RATE OF CLAIMS RESULTING IN ONE OR MORE WEEKS OFF WORK BY AT LEAST 30 PERCENT

Education Baseline (Avg FY 09- 12) 2012 - 13 2013 - 14 2014 - 15 2015 - 16 2016 - 17 2017 - 18 2018 - 19 2019 - 20 2020 - 21 2021 - 22
EDU # new 5 day claims 76.00 77.00 69.00 42.00 34.00      
EDU rate per 1000 employees 16.64 16.08 14.56 8.35 6.65      
EDU Target 1 16.64 16.15 15.65 15.15 14.65 14.15 13.65 13.15 12.65 12.15 11.65
ACTPS # new 5 day claims 336.33 371 326 280 205 
ACTPS rate per 1000 employees 17.21 18.17 15.48 12.89 9.33 
ACTPS Target 1 17.21 16.69 16.18 15.66 15.14 14.63 14.11 13.60 13.08 12.56 12.05

Source: Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate

Note: Data are based on those claims received by Comcare in each financial year. Past years’ claim numbers may differ from results published in previous annual reports due to maturation of claims data. The report includes accepted claims which result in one or more weeks off work. Data includes claims up to 30 June 2016.

Target 2 - A reduction of at least 30 percent in the incidence rate of claims for musculoskeletal disorders resulting in one or more weeks off work

The preventative strategies and early intervention injury management focus adopted by the Directorate has resulted in a significant reduction in musculoskeletal disorders claims achieving a rate of 3.91 claims per 1,000 employees for the reporting period as indicated in Table B7.2.  This reduction reflects a 48 percent overall decrease in claims since the introduction of the target in 2012-13.

The Directorate has established manual handling intervention strategies to support its workers including:

TABLE B7.2: REDUCE THE INCIDENCE RATE OF CLAIMS FOR MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDERS (MSD) BY AT LEAST 30 PERCENT

Education Baseline (Avg FY 09- 12) 2012 - 13 2013 - 14 2014 - 15 2015 - 16 2016 - 17 2017 - 18 2018 - 19 2019 - 20 2020 - 21 2021 - 22
EDU # new 5 day MSD claims 43.67 42.00 39.00 21.00 20.00      
EDU MSD rate per 1000 employees 9.56 8.77 8.23 4.18 3.91      
EDU Target 2 9.56 9.28 8.99 8.70 8.42 8.13 7.84 7.56 7.27 6.98 6.69
ACTPS # new 5 day MSD claims 224.67 240 213 180 146 
ACTPS MSD rate per 1000 employees 11.50 11.76 10.11 8.28 6.64 
ACTPS Target 2 11.50 11.15 10.81 10.46 10.12 9.77 9.43 9.08 8.74 8.39 8.05

Source: Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate

Note: Data are based on those claims received by Comcare in each financial year. Past years’ claim numbers may differ from results published in previous annual reports due to maturation of claims data. The report includes accepted claims which result in one or more weeks off work. Data includes claims up to 30 June 2016.

For further information contact:
Director
People and Performance
(02) 6205 9202

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