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Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally

Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally

Appendix 4

Work health and safety

Information in this appendix is provided in accordance with Schedule 2, Part 4 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Health and safety management arrangements

The department attached a high priority to the health, safety and welfare of its employees and remained committed to facilitating an organisational culture that actively seeks to improve workplace practices, and to foster attitudes which sustain healthy and safe working environments. The department's Health and Safety Management Arrangements outline the responsibilities of management, supervisors, employees and their representatives and provide the structural framework within which Work Health and Safety (WHS) is managed.

The department's Workplace Relations Committee WHS Sub-Committee met quarterly and represented the interests of all workers. WHS committees also operated in state and territory offices and at overseas posts. The committees facilitated cooperation on WHS matters between management and workers and take an active role in the dissemination of health, safety and welfare information.

Initiatives taken during the year

Ensuring readiness for the introduction of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, on 1 January 2012, was a priority for the department. A transition strategy promoting awareness and training on the requirements of the new legislation was developed and delivered to all workers in Australia and at our overseas posts.

Comprehensive training was delivered to 41 Australia-based health and safety representatives (HSRs). The HSRs are integral to promoting health, safety and welfare in the workplace by ensuring that WHS issues concerning staff are communicated to management for resolution.

An online work health safety training program is being developed to provide all staff with access to WHS materials.

Health and safety outcomes achieved

During 2011–12, 136 WHS incidents were reported to the WHS section in accordance with the department's incident notification and reporting procedures. Relevant remedial action was undertaken to eliminate or control the risk and prevent further occurrences.

Reporting requirements under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

One incident was notified to Comcare under Part 3 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

No directions were given to the department under Part 11, section 217 of the Act.

No notices were issued under Part 10, section 191 of the Act.

No external investigations were conducted under Part 9 of the Act.

Table 27. Work health and safety statistics

 
2009–10
2010–11
2011–12
Total departmental staff covered by Comcare
(includes employees located in Australia, Australia-based employees overseas and, where applicable, locally engaged staff overseas)
2874
3305
2684
Number of claims accepted by Comcare:
 
 
 
falls, trips and slips
4
4
9
hitting objects
1
0
0
sound and pressure
2
0
0
body stressing
4
5
10
heat, radiation and electricity
0
1
3
chemicals and other
0
0
1
biological factors
0
0
3
mental stress
1
2
3
other and unspecified
2
1
0
Total
14
13
29
Departmental premium for Comcare coverage (as a percentage of total departmental wages and salaries) 2011–12*
0.50
0.71
0.72

* The Comcare coverage premium for current and previous years is reviewed annually by Comcare based on the changes during the year in the number of claims and the average cost of all claims relating to injury or illness.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade