Work health and safety
CASA continues to focus on providing a work environment and systems of work that are safe. Through strong leadership and commitment to work health and safety (WHS), CASA's aim is to ensure that no person will suffer a serious, preventable work-related injury or illness. At times, CASA does require people to operate in environments that present a degree of risk. CASA fosters a risk-based approach to ensure that risks are understood and managed to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of employees and other people at work.
During 2013-14, CASA promoted a continuous improvement approach to WHS performance through the introduction of a new WHS strategy for 2014-16. The strategy recognises that responsibility for WHS is shared between CASA, its managers, employees and other workers. The strategy aims to:
- promote a positive WHS culture
- drive proactive prevention and active early intervention
- foster a supportive work environment.
Key performance indicators have been established to effectively monitor and measure outcomes.
Communication and consultation arrangements play a vital role in CASA's WHS management system. The work group structure aims to facilitate communication and consultation on WHS matters at a local level. Each work group elects a health and safety representative and a deputy health and safety representative and has a WHS work group manager appointed by the Director of Aviation Safety.
Through local forums, WHS representation and an enhanced incident and hazard notification system, work groups are empowered to resolve local issues and refer organisational matters to the National Health and Safety Committee (NHSC).
In 2014, CASA reviewed the governance arrangements of the NHSC to enhance transparent and direct lines of communication between the committee, the Director of Aviation Safety and the CASA Board. The NHSC comprises four management representatives and four employee representatives and is chaired by the Executive Manager, Corporate Services. Outcomes from the NHSC are included in the standard reports for the CASA Board, the Board Audit Committee and the Executive Managers' Meeting. Four NHSC meetings were held during the reporting period, in August and December 2013, and March and June 2014.
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 and continuously improve a comprehensive WHS management system to prevent the onset and impact of workplace injury and illness.
During 2013-14, CASA completed the review and delivery of the following system elements, in consultation with employees and other workers:
- Health and Safety Management Arrangements
- WHS Strategy 2014-16
- organisational WHS risk register
- terms of reference for the NHSC.
CASA's WHS management system embodies the principles of risk management to identify and control potential 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.
In December 2013, an internal audit of CASA's WHS framework was conducted. The audit objectives were to provide assurance that the framework is fit for purpose and that the operating practices comply with the requirements of the WHS legislation.
The audit found that CASA's WHS framework was fit for purpose and that staff were complying with the framework. CASA undertook to implement recommendations to strengthen employee engagement and consistent application of CASA's WHS policies and procedures.
A key focus for 2013-14 was to improve access to data to enhance effective monitoring of the WHS management system.
Table 9 describes the specific measures undertaken by CASA to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing at work for CASA staff and contractors in 2013-14.
|Audits, risk assessments and reviews||Recommendations based on an internal audit of the work health and safety (WHS) framework, conducted in December 2013, were implemented. The organisational WHS risk register was released to enable all employees to identify known and emerging WHS risks and record actions taken to eliminate or reduce risk levels. The revised WHS risk matrix was released to enable employees to conduct WHS risk assessments in the context of broader organisational risk factors. The online human resources management system health and safety module was expanded to improve hazard and incident reporting, data collection and recording of actions taken to reduce risk levels. Detailed risk assessments were provided for reported hazards and potentially high-risk work activities, and for people travelling to high-risk overseas destinations.|
|Information and training||
Online training regarding the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and workplace health and safety was made available to all new starters within the first weeks of engagement. Evidence of completion of online induction was required for all trade contractors prior to their providing services at CASA buildings. All newly elected health and safety representatives were provided with prescribed training on fulfilling their roles and obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. First aid officers were appointed as vacancies arose, and received training in compliance
with the approved WHS Code of Practice.
|Consultation||The National Health and Safety Committee met four times, in August and December 2013 and March and June 2014, to oversee, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the CASA WHS management system. Prior to these meetings, all health and safety representatives and work group managers were invited to submit agenda items. Election processes for health and safety representatives were conducted by WHS work groups as vacancies arose. All staff were invited to provide feedback on all new policies and initiatives that related to workplace health, safety and wellbeing. A consultation register was developed for recording documents released for consultation, feedback that was received, and how feedback may have been incorporated into CASA's policies and procedures. The CASA Board and Board Audit Committee received a WHS report at each meeting.|
|Health services||A national calendar of activities was released to recognise and raise awareness of health, wellbeing and diversity. Eight flagship events were held across all CASA locations, raising awareness in the areas of diabetes, bowel cancer, hearing impairment, mental health, men's health and women's health, in addition to Harmony Day celebrations and activities associated with the Australia's Biggest Morning Tea fund-raising event. Influenza vaccinations were provided in March and April 2014. The early intervention approach provided for workstation assessments conducted by a suitably qualified occupational therapist to prevent the onset or aggravation of musculoskeletal disorders. Comprehensive workplace assessments were conducted on all aspects of the work environment for staff in high-risk work areas. The Employee Assistance Program provided services to staff and their family members 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 process, preventing the onset and minimising the impacts of occupational overuse and other musculoskeletal injuries. Individual risk assessments were completed for non-CASA controlled sites, in response to reported potential hazards, to ensure that appropriate equipment, information and security provisions were provided to mitigate potential risks.|
The following activities demonstrate CASA's WHS performance for 2013-14:
- all new employees received online induction and face-to-face orientation training on WHS at work
- 265 individual online inductions were provided to trade contractors across all states
- 389 employees (44.3 per cent) received influenza vaccinations
- 52 employees (7 per cent) had individual workstation assessments, two employees received full workplace assessments and five employees participated in home-based assessments; all assessments were conducted by a suitably qualified occupational therapist
- 61 employees were provided with early intervention and support to stay at work or return to work safely while addressing significant personal or health issues
- 38 incidents and 15 hazards were notified by staff; of the 38 incidents notified, seven incidents resulted in claims for workers compensation, with five claims accepted
- 57 employees (6.8 per cent) and nine family members of employees accessed the Employee Assistance Program; 128 separate services were provided, of which 80 per cent were face-to-face counselling services
- all CASA employees travelling overseas were provided with a health, safety and security risk assessment for a total of 258 trips.
Lost-time occurrence incidence rate
At 30 June 2014, CASA's total lost time was 54.20 weeks, with an average of 13.55 weeks per lost time occurrence. This is an increase compared to the result for 2012-13 (total lost time of 10.59 weeks and an average of 1.76 weeks per lost time occurrence). This is attributed to two incidents that resulted in significant periods of lost time due to illness. These incidents converted into claims for workers compensation.
Figure 11 shows the lost time occurrence incidence rate for the past five years.
Figure 11 Lost time occurrence incidence rate, 2009-10 to 2012-13
Claims for workers compensation
Seven claims for workers compensation were lodged in 2013-14 and five of those claims were accepted. Of the five accepted claims, four incurred lost time. The five accepted claims resulted from two psychological injuries, one repetitive movement injury, one fall, and one injury resulting from lifting and bending.
One additional claim was accepted for a limited period for an injury incurred in 2012-13, following an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Workers compensation premium
CASA's 2013-14 workers compensation premium rate was 0.88 per cent of the 2013-14 payroll. This was revised from 0.92 per cent estimated by Comcare. The total premium amount increased by $337,069 compared to the premium amount for 2012-13.
Key factors affecting CASA's premium were as follows:
- an estimated $8.4 million increase in payroll for the 2013-14 period compared with the 2012-13 period
- trends in the numbers and costs of CASA's claims for injuries suffered in 2013 and earlier
- trends in the numbers and costs of claims for all agencies combined.
As an employer, CASA demonstrated a good claim frequency compared to the average for all agencies. CASA's six claims represent 0.04 claims per $1 million payroll, compared with 0.14 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 reportable incidents made to Comcare in 2013-14. 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
No investigations were conducted by Comcare for the 2013-14 period.