Work health and safety
CASA strives to provide a work environment and systems of work that are safe. The organisation has implemented systems that provide early identification of risks, and actively works to minimise the impact of risks on the health, safety and wellbeing of CASA employees and contractors.
The maintenance of a comprehensive health and safety management system to prevent the onset and impact of workplace injury and illness was a key strategy in the CASA People and Performance Business and Risk Management Plan 2012–13.
The health and safety work group structure facilitates local communication and consultation on work health and safety (WHS) matters. Every work group has an elected health and safety representative and deputy health and safety representative, and a work group manager appointed by the Director of Aviation Safety.
Through their local forums and health and safety representatives, local work groups can refer matters to the National Health and Safety Committee, which comprises four management representatives and four employee representatives and is chaired by the Head of People and Performance. Outcomes from the national committee are reported at the quarterly Executive Managers’ meeting. Four National Health and Safety Committee meetings were held during the year, in August and December 2012 and March and June 2013.
Health and safety management arrangements
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 CASA employees and contractors. The organisation continued to maintain a comprehensive health and safety management system to prevent the onset and impact of workplace injury and illness during 2012–13.
In 2012, CASA reviewed and updated its health and safety management arrangements in consultation with employees to ensure alignment with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and reinforce a risk management approach.
A rigorous review of CASA’s Health and Safety Procedures Manual was also conducted to ensure compliance with the new WHS codes of practice.
CASA’s health and safety management system embodies the principles of risk management to identify and control hazards in the workplace and ensure that all reasonable and practicable steps are taken to protect the health and safety of CASA employees at work.
Table 8 describes the specific measures undertaken by CASA to ensure the wellbeing at work of its staff and contractors in 2012–13.
|Audits, risk assessments and reviews||The organisational health and safety risk register was reviewed and modified to identify emerging and known risks and record the actions taken to either eliminate or reduce the risks. All hazards and incidents are logged into the HRMS Work Health and Safety Management module. This enables efficient identification and risk assessment, ensuring earlier notification to the appropriate areas for action by automated workflows. Hazard identification and risk assessments and risk mitigation plans arising from causal factors were completed. Risk mitigation strategies were implemented to prevent recurrences of workplace incidents. Detailed risk assessments were provided for people travelling to high-risk overseas destinations. In complying with the WHS Codes of Practice, risk assessments are also conducted routinely as part of identifying potential harm from psychosocial hazards.|
|Information and training||Online training was provided on the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 for managers and employees. All newly elected health and safety representatives and deputies were provided with prescribed training to fulfil their roles and obligations under the Act. Continuing officers were provided with refresher training, ensuring that they were familiar with changes arising from the new legislation. First aid officers and deputy first aid officers were appointed as vacancies arose, and received training in compliance with the approved code of practice.|
|Consultation||The National Health and Safety Committee met four times, in August and December 2012 and March and June 2013, to oversee, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the CASA health and safety management system. Prior to these meetings, all health and safety representatives and work group managers are invited to submit agenda items. Election and selection processes for health and safety representatives were conducted in all 12 work group locations. Mechanisms for consultation with staff on matters relating to the transition to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 were established through the work groups. All staff were provided with access to the proposed amendments to CASA’s health and safety management arrangements and asked to provide feedback. The CASA Board received a work health and safety report at each meeting. The Board has separately put in place appropriate monitoring and training arrangements to ensure that CASA fulfils its statutory duties.|
|Health services||A seasonal influenza vaccination program was held in March and April 2013. A national calendar was released to recognise and raise awareness of health, safety and wellbeing issues for all staff in June 2013. Notices were also sent to staff to promote healthy choices and provide important information for employee health and wellbeing. The early intervention program provided for workplace assessments conducted by a suitably qualified occupational therapist to prevent the onset or aggravation of musculoskeletal disorders. The Employee Assistance Program provided suitable intervention to reduce the impact of personal or work-related matters on employees’ health and wellbeing at work. Early intervention support was provided to staff in relation to personal health and wellbeing issues to prevent the possible aggravation of health conditions at work.|
|Equipment||Suitable equipment and instructions on its use were provided through the workstation assessment program, preventing the onset and minimising the impacts of occupational overuse and other musculoskeletal injuries. Individual risk assessments were completed for CASA-controlled worksites and operations in non-CASA-controlled sites, in response to reported potential hazards, to ensure that appropriate equipment and information were provided to mitigate potential risks.|
The following activities demonstrated CASA’s work health and safety performance for 2012–13:
- All new employees received online induction on work health and safety at work.
- 70 per cent of employees and managers completed the online training on the changes and transition arrangements for the new Act.
- A total of 353 employees (41 per cent) participated in the seasonal influenza vaccination program.
- 53 employees (6.2 per cent) had individual workstation assessments conducted by a suitably qualified occupational therapist to prevent the onset or aggravation of musculoskeletal disorders.
- 61 employees were provided with early intervention and support to stay at work or return to work safely while trying to cope with significant personal or health issues.
- 38 staff (4.7 per cent) sought assistance from the Employee Assistance Program to reduce the impact of personal or work-related matters that could potentially affect their health and wellbeing.
- All overseas travellers were provided with a health, safety and security risk assessment for a total of 306 trips.
Lost-time occurrence incidence rate
At 30 June 2013, CASA’s annualised lost-time occurrence incidence rate was 0.54 per cent, with an average of four days per lost time occurrence. This is a decrease compared to the result for 2011–12 (lost time occurrence incidence rate of 0.87 per cent and average of 2.03 days).
Figure 10 shows the lost time occurrence incidence rate for the past five years.
Figure 10 Lost time occurrence incidence rate, 2008–09 to 2012–13
The 2012–13 rate of 0.54 per cent continues a downward trend since 2010–11. The trend reduction is attributed to CASA’s prevention and early intervention strategies.
Claims for workers compensation
Seven claims for workers compensation were lodged in 2012–13. Two were disallowed, resulting in five accepted claims—the same number of accepted claims as in 2011–12. Four of the five accepted claims were the result of short-term injuries from sprains and strains.
Workers compensation premium
The 2012–13 premium rate was 0.96 per cent of the 2012–13 payroll. The total premium amount for 2012–13 increased by $302,234 compared to the premium amount for 2011–12. A bonus payment of $51,245 for 2012–13 resulted, due to a revision of the 2011–12 premium rate.
Key factors affecting CASA’s premium were as follows:
- There was an estimated $10 million increase
in payroll for 2012–13 compared with the 2011–12 premium year.
- Claims occurrences were the same as the previous year; however, there was a strong upward trend in the average costs of claims.
- CASA’s premium rate responded not only to the number of CASA claims and their estimated cost but also to the claim frequency and cost trends in the jurisdiction and the increase in the total premium pool needed for the Australian Government sector.
- The increased rate is in the context of across-the-board pressure on premiums for all Australian Government agencies.
As an employer, CASA demonstrated a good claim frequency compared to the average for all other agencies. CASA’s five claims represent 0.08 claims per $1 million payroll, compared with 0.16 claims per $1 million payroll for all agencies.
CASA will continue to maintain vigilant monitoring of early indicators for factors that potentially produce high-cost claims, such as psychological or occupational overuse injury. This includes monitoring extended unplanned leave, reported health issues, patterns of poor attendance, poor performance, avoidance, low morale or conflict.
Accidents or dangerous occurrences
There were no incidents reportable to Comcare in 2012–13, compared to two in the previous year. Over the past five years, CASA has had just three reportable incidents, none of which resulted in further action by Comcare.
Investigations conducted by Comcare
CASA was issued with a notice to provide information in accordance with section 155(a) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 in response to allegations of bullying and harassment made by an employee. On 26 March 2013, Comcare notified CASA that there were no matters to investigate.