Occupational health and safety
CASA is committed to providing a work environment and systems of work that are safe and without risk to the health, safety and wellbeing of its employees. The maintenance of a comprehensive health and safety management system to prevent the onset and impact of workplace injury and illness is a key strategy in the CASA Business and Risk Management Plan 2009-10.
The designated work group (DWG) structure is a key element to facilitate local communication and consultation on health and safety matters. Every DWG has an elected health and safety representative, a deputy health and safety representative, and a DWG wmanager appointed by the Director of Aviation Safety.
DWGs have the capacity to refer matters to the National Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Committee chaired by the Head, Human Resources. Outcomes for the National OHS Committee are reported to the Executive Manager, Corporate Services for reporting to the monthly Executive Managers’ meeting.
Health and safety management arrangements
CASA’s health and safety management arrangements (HSMAs) were developed in October 2008 and will nominally expire in October 2010. CASA will review the HSMAs in consultation with employees by October 2010. A comprehensive communication and consultation plan will be developed to facilitate the review.
CASA’s HSMAs set out:
- arrangements for a corporate OHS policy and statement of commitment
- the key elements of CASA’s OHS management system, to provide access to OHS initiatives, policies, procedures and reporting for all employees
- the range of communication and consultation mechanisms for employees on health and safety matters and processes to resolve health and safety issues
- the role and functions of the National OHS Committee and local consultative committees
- details of election procedures, terms of office, support, facilities and training for health and safety representatives and deputy health and safety representatives
- the process to establish DWGs and consultation processes to vary the DWG in accordance with the OHS Act
- CASA’s risk management approach for health and safety issues
- the process to review and consult with employees for the ongoing development and future reviews of the HSMAs.
In 2009-10, the following actions were taken as part of the HSMAs:
- The DWGs were varied to accord with the organisational realignment.
- DWG managers were appointed by the Director of Aviation Safety.
- Health and safety representatives and deputy health and safety representatives were elected by employees in each DWG.
- Health and safety representatives received training from a Comcare-accredited training provider.
- Four employee representatives were nominated as the National OHS Committee representatives. The National OHS Committee consists of four management representatives and four employee representatives.
Measures taken to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of employees and contractors
In July 2009, the Workplace Safety and Environment Section was formed as a new section reporting directly to the Head, Human Resources. The realignment of resources ensured that measures to maintain and improve the welfare and wellbeing of employees under the workplace diversity framework could be effectively incorporated into the broader health, safety and welfare objectives for OHS.
New health and safety initiatives for 2009-10 responded to national priorities and included planned activities to improve induction and training programs for the health, safety and welfare of employees:
- The CASA Pandemic Preparedness Plan was implemented in response to the national and international pandemic rating for the H1N1 influenza virus.
- Online training programs in OHS and equity and diversity were introduced for all staff. The online training is now an integral part of the CASA induction process that all new employees complete within their first week of employment.
- All new starters received copies of key policies, with a requirement to read and acknowledge receipt and understanding of the policy requirements on commencement of their employment. This included induction kits designed for the employers of contractors, covering CASA’s HSMAs, procedures for incident and hazard reporting, and injury prevention programs available to contractors.
- Tailored orientation programs were developed for operational field staff recruited through a national campaign. The programs provided important OHS information based on the level of risk associated with the physical tasks and work environments for field operations.
- Airside safety training (an induction course) was developed and released in May 2010. This will also be provided as an online course and a specialist induction requirement in the third quarter of 2010.
- Delivered a drug and alcohol awareness training program for nominated supervisors to manage drug and alcohol related matters in the workplace.
- CASA continued its commitment to early intervention to prevent the onset or impact of workplace injury or illness.
Health and safety outcomes
CASA measured various elements of its operations to provide indicators of OHS performance. The results were as follows:
- 41 employees accessed the employee assistance program, representing an annual usage rate of 6.54 per cent.
- 10 per cent of employees received an individual workstation assessment.
- 69 employees received early intervention assistance for non-compensable injuries and illnesses to facilitate a safe and timely return to work or capacity to stay at work. Activities include occupational rehabilitation, health assessments and individual assessment. Managers are also provided with workplace counselling to assist them to respond to injuries and illnesses that affect an employee’s attendance or work performance or restrict their capacity to fulfil normal duties for a specified period.
- 224 employees participated in the national vaccination campaign for seasonal influenza (33 per cent) and 131 for the H1N1 influenza virus (19 per cent).
- 93 per cent of employees completed the online learning for CASA’s OHS policy and processes for incident and hazard reporting, communication and consultation mechanisms, the risk assessment approach, preventing occupational overuse syndrome, and drug and alcohol awareness.
- 92 per cent of employees completed the online learning for equity and diversity, which included a section on preventing behaviours that can lead to bullying, harassment and discrimination.
- 37 per cent of new starters completed corporate orientation programs, which included OHS information.
OHS training, early intervention, induction and orientation measures provided an avenue for increased awareness and participation in prevention and early intervention to reduce the frequency of injury and illness and resulting lost time. Early intervention also provides an opportunity for an employee to remain at work safely despite an injury or illness.
Lost-time occurrence incidence rate
At 30 June 2010, CASA’s annualised lost-time occurrence incidence rate was 0.29, with an average of three days per lost-time occurrence, reflecting a continuous improvement on 2008-09 figures (1.21 lost-time occurrence incidence rate and 7.57 average days). The frequency of claims continued to decrease, to one accepted claim for the 2009-10 financial year. Average claim costs and lost time continue to decline.
Workers compensation premium
CASA’s revised workers compensation premium rate for 2009-10 was 0.97 per cent of total payroll, and continues to remain below the Australian Government average of 1.25 per cent.
Accidents or dangerous occurrences
During 2009-10, 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 by Comcare during the year
In 2009-10, no provisional improvement notices (section 29), prohibition notices (section 46) or improvement notices (section 47) were issued to CASA, and there were no investigations by Comcare arising out of CASA’s undertakings as an employer in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Comcare requested information and evidence of CASA’s processes to develop and review the HSMAs as part of its national campaign to investigate HSMAs.
In June 2010, Comcare formally advised CASA that the findings of the investigation deemed CASA to be compliant with section 16(2)(d) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, that CASA demonstrated a commitment to consultation in the development of the HSMAs, and that there were adequate processes in place to review and vary the agreement and resolve disputes in relation to OHS matters.