Occupational health and safety
The following occupational health and safety (OHS) report is provided in accordance with the requirements of section 74 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991.
Health and safety management arrangements
In October 2008, CASA management formalised interim Health and Safety Management Arrangements (HSMA) in consultation with CASA employees through established designated work groups and elected employee representatives.
CASA’s HSMA set out the:
- arrangements for a corporate OHS policy
- key elements of CASA’s OHS management system, to provide access to OHS initiatives, policies, procedures and reporting
- range of communication and consultation mechanisms for employees on health and safety matters
- processes to resolve health and safety issues
- role and functions of the National OHS Committee
- process to review and consult with employees for the ongoing development and future reviews of the HSMA.
Designated work groups
In July 2008, CASA varied its designated work groups to accommodate changes in the work locations and realignment of work groups for employees in the Brisbane region. The same number of designated work groups was maintained.
Each designated work group has a management representative, nominated by the Director of Aviation Safety, with responsibility for health and safety matters for the group, including the administration of a local consultative committee as a forum for communication and consultation with employees on workplace health and safety matters.
During 2008–09 the elected health and safety representatives completed the second year of their two-year term, with elections scheduled for the second half of 2009. Each designated work group has an elected health and safety representative and deputy health and safety representative; all representatives receive training from a Comcare-accredited training organisation.
National Occupational Health and Safety Committee
CASA’s National OHS Committee is composed of four employee representatives and four senior management representatives. The committee met in September 2008, December 2008 and March 2009. The meeting proposed for June 2009 was deferred until the new financial year due to the CASA realignment.
The role of the national committee in 2008–09 was to provide strategic direction on OHS matters and monitor the implementation of planned programs through data provided by the OHS function on incident reporting, lost time indicators, project reports, prevention activities and injury management (compensation data) reports.
Measures taken to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of employees and contractors
CASA continued to demonstrate its commitment to workplace health and safety through the implementation of new measures to prevent the introduction of workplace hazards and provide appropriate support and intervention for the welfare of CASA employees.
Measures initiated in 2008–09 included:
- the CASA Alcohol and Other Drugs Program (see page 83 – 'Occupational health and safety' – for more information)
- new health, safety and security measures introduced to the overseas travel approval process to ensure that all travellers undertake a series of pre-travel health and safety precautions based on the established risk indicators
- increased provisions for CASA’s pandemic preparedness planning.
CASA continued to maintain and build on measures to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees, closely monitoring and reviewing elements of the OHS management system for continuous improvement. Measures were:
- the review of the OHS policy in October 2008
- the review and amendment of the injury and illness management policy in October 2008
- the implementation of the revised Health and Safety Management Arrangements (HSMA), following their formal release in October 2008
- the communication of key outcomes of the National OHS Committee to executives and all employees through the designated work groups
- the consolidation of the role of the designated work groups as a key mechanism for employee consultation on health and safety matters
- increased provision for the education and training of employees and managers on CASA’s HSMA and key requirements for their implementation
- continued commitment and improvements to corporate first aid services, and the procurement of new first aid equipment for each CASA site
- continued commitment to the CASA injury prevention program, with 26 per cent of employees receiving workstation assessments through the injury prevention program, an increase of more than 16 per cent from the previous year
- extension of the national influenza vaccination program in accordance with the pandemic response framework, with more than 40 per cent of employees participating in the program, an increase of nearly 10 per cent compared to the previous reporting period.
Health and safety outcomes
At 30 June 2009, CASA’s annualised lost time occurrence incidence rate was 1.21 with an average of 7.57 days per lost time occurrence. The rate was higher than the 0.02 average for government departments. However, the average number of days lost per incident was small compared to the government department average of 39.16 days per lost time occurrence.
Workers’ compensation premium
CASA’s revised workers’ compensation premium rate for 2008–09 was 0.69 per cent of total payroll, a significant reduction from the previous rate of 1.19 per cent.
CASA’s premium rate continues to be well below the Commonwealth average of 1.36 percent.
Accidents or dangerous occurrences
During 2008–09, there were no notifiable accidents or dangerous occurrences reported to Comcare as prescribed by section 68 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991.
Investigations conducted during the year that relate to undertakings carried on by the employer
In 2008–09 there were no provisional improvement notices (section 29), prohibition notices (section 46) or improvement notices (section 47) issued or investigations undertaken by Comcare arising out of CASA’s undertakings as an employer in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991.
Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy and Program
CASA’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Program was developed in response to amendments to the introduction of CASR Part 99 (Drug and Alcohol and Management Plans and Testing). As an employer of personnel undertaking safety sensitive aviation activities, CASA responded to the regulations by developing an Alcohol and Other Drugs Program for its employees.
The program incorporates:
- pre-employment drug and alcohol screening for all safety sensitive personnel
- drug and alcohol testing for pre-employment and accident and incident testing for safety sensitive personnel, and testing on the grounds of reasonable suspicion for the safety of all staff
- an education program for all staff, on the impact of drugs and alcohol on personal health and performance capability in the workplace, and specified legislative training and testing requirements for safety sensitive personnel
- authorised and trained senior personnel to administer key decision points contained within the program
- a comprehensive intervention and return to work program.
CASA’s policy has a broad application for all staff to ensure that employees are able to conduct themselves safely at work, without risk to themselves or others. There are specific provisions for those staff whose roles present a higher level of safety risk, including safety sensitive employees.
CASA’s policy and program guidelines are closely aligned with the safety requirements of the regulations and do not introduce any additional testing measures for employees outside of the regulatory requirements.
The guidelines for breaches of the policy are linked to CASA’s other workplace relations policies, such as code of conduct, performance management, and injury and illness management programs, including return to work programs and health assessments, depending on the nature and context of the breach.