Appendix 7: Work Health and Safety

Work health and safety policy

The Department of Education and Training is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment and subsequently established a Work Health and Safety (WHS) Policy to support this commitment. The department promotes a proactive approach to health and safety management based on effective communication, consultation and systematic identification, assessment and control of risks.

During 2014–15 the department established a new Work Health Safety and Environment Committee in accordance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. The committee was formed to align with the changed governance arrangements and to ensure the department’s obligations are met. With national and state office representatives, the new committee provides a forum for consultation and allows consideration of strategic work health and safety issues within the department.

The department’s Due Diligence Framework assists officers to meet their responsibilities under the Act.

The department is committed to the creation of a strong safety culture driven by an understanding and acceptance that the responsibility for health, safety and wellbeing rests with every one of us. Activities during the year included promotion of National Health and Wellbeing Week, Oz Help Health checks for employees, Pink Ribbon day, influenza vaccination scheme, and the development of a health and wellbeing hub available to all employees.

Work health and safety reporting

The table below shows the breakdown of the incidents for 2014–15, with falls, slips and trips making up the highest proportion and body stressing (including muscle strains, back conditions and tendonitis/tenosynovitis) making up the next highest proportion.

In 2014–15, the Department of Education and Training had no notifiable incidents pursuant to section 38 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. This compares with two incidents reported to Comcare by the Department of Education in 2013–14.

Table 29: Reported work health and safety incidents by type, 2014–15
Mechanism of incident Incidents (%)
Falls on the same level (including trips and slips) 38.1%
None 26.2%
Repetitive movement with low muscle loading 7.1%
Hitting objects with a part of the body 4.8%
Unspecified mechanisms of injury 7.1%
Other and multiple mechanisms of injury 4.8%
Other muscular stress 7.1%
Being hit by moving objects 2.4%
Exposure to mental stress factors 2.4%
Total 100.0%

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