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Publications archive - Annual reports

Disclaimer

Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Environment Australia Annual Report 2000-01

Environment Australia, 2001
ISSN 1441-9335

Appendix 3 - Occupational Health and Safety

This report is presented in accordance with the requirements of section 74 of the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991.
Environment Australia continued to promote the health, safety and welfare of its employees in accordance with legislative requirements (the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988) and the provisions of the Environment Australia Occupational Health and Safety Policy and Agreement. A new policy and agreement is expected to be finalised in 2001-02.

Environment Australia's Occupational Health and Safety Committee continued to meet regularly and addressed a wide range of issues.
During the year, Environment Australia tendered for a new employee assistance provider. Davidson Trahaire was the successful tenderer, and is currently providing support and information sessions throughout the Department.

Comcare conducted a planned investigation programme on a number of Environment Australia sites. The areas audited under the programme were the Marine and Water Division, Environment Information and Technology Strategies Branch, Kakadu National Park, the Australian National Botanic Gardens, and the Australian Antarctic Division.

Administrative work included maintaining the accident/incident reporting system; organising arrangements and reimbursement of costs for eyesight testing for users of screen-based equipment in accordance with Environment Australia's Eyesight Testing Policy and Guidelines; and organising training of first aid officers and health and safety representatives and deputies. Because of the relocation of staff, recruitment of additional first aid officers and health and safety representatives and deputies is being undertaken.

A number of prevention programmes were conducted for staff throughout the year. These programmes addressed occupational overuse syndrome, stress, and exposure to ultraviolet radiation (sunlight). The occupational health and safety unit conducted or coordinated 244 workplace assessments for staff during the year under the prevention programme.

Accident or incident reporting

In Environment Australia and the Canberra-based programmes 44 accidents or incidents were reported under section 68 of the Act.

Within Parks Australia 54 accidents or incidents were reported under section 68 of the Act. Twenty-four of the accidents or incidents involved visitors to national parks.

There were no matters to report under sections 30, 45, 46 or 47.

Compensation and rehabilitation

Under the rehabilitation policy and guidelines, Environment Australia continued to provide support for injured and ill employees and provided an early return to work programme. During 2000-01, there were 12 return to work plans in place for injured staff. Six ceased during this period.

Occupational health and safety committees continued to operate at all Australian Antarctic Division work sites. Fifteen accidents and incidents were reported under section 68 of the Act. There were no matters to report under sections 30, 45, 46 or 47.

Two return to work plans were initiated during the year. One was ceased, and one was still open at 30 June 2001.

The Bureau of Meteorology's head office Occupational Health and Safety Committee met regularly throughout the year and addressed a range of issues including health promotion, fire safety and awareness, building works, and training for staff.

Achievements during the year included a SunSmart workplace campaign that distributed sunscreen and dispensers to staff and visitors at field offices.
Extensive trialing was carried out of new equipment for generating hydrogen to check its suitability for use within the Bureau. The equipment is claimed to be a cleaner, safer method of generating hydrogen with the added benefit of not impacting adversely on the environment. Subject to the successful completion of trials, this equipment will replace existing generating equipment.

The Bureau's national occupational health and safety coordinator undertook numerous ergonomic, workplace and safety inspections at Bureau sites. Policies and guidelines were developed including occupational health and safety checklist for home-based work applications; occupational health and safety guidelines for agency purchasing; and occupational health and safety guide for first aid in the workplace.

Two incidents were reported to Comcare under section 68 of the Act and were investigated locally. One of the incidents required no further action but an equipment check was ordered in the other case.

A provisional improvement notice was lodged on the Bureau under section 29 of the Act. The notice alleged the Bureau had contravened the Act by failing to provide safe car parking for head office shift workers. The provisional improvement notice was investigated and subsequently cancelled by Comcare, which found that provision of car parking facilities by management in these circumstances was not warranted.