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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Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time.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.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 2002-03

Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2003
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.

The Department

The Department continued to maintain a strong commitment to the health, safety and welfare of its staff and any other persons at or near the Department's sites through the promotion of its health, safety and welfare programs.

The Department's Occupational Health and Safety Committee met regularly and addressed a wide range of issues. There are also occupational health and safety committees in each of the mainland national parks and workplaces which address local issues. The implementation of occupational health and safety training for managers and supervisors continued during 2002-03.

Specific achievements and activities during 2002-03 included:

Australian Antarctic Division

The Australian Antarctic Division Executive agreed to undertake a review against AS 4801 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems and to implement a safety management system.

This action is proactive, is consistent with the implementation of the environmental management system and addresses corporate governance issues.

The safety management system is intended to ensure that there are written procedures that provide clear instructions for the safe and healthy conduct of activities and tasks in an environmentally responsible manner.

Specifically the objectives are that:

Implementation of the safety management system is well under way.

Occupational health and safety committees continued to operate at the Division's headquarters at Kingston, Tasmania and at each of the Antarctic stations.

Accident or incident reporting

During 2002-03, the Department and Canberra-based programs reported 25 incidents or accidents under section 68 of the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act. Additionally, Parks Australia reported 24 accidents or incidents under section 68 of the Act and the Australian Antarctic Division reported five incidents.

Comcare conducted three investigations into incidents during the year, one at Kakadu National Park and one at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. No injuries were sustained in one of the incidents and in the other an employee sustained an eye injury. As a result of Comcare investigations, procedures in the reserves were reviewed and improvements made to the occupational health and safety system.

An investigation was undertaken in relation to an event alleged to have occurred at Mawson station in Antarctica in 1997. Findings concluded that procedures in place at the time were adequate.

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

No directions were given under section 45 of the Act and no notices were given under sections 29,46 or 47 of the Act.

Compensation and rehabilitation

Under the rehabilitation policy and guidelines, the Department continued to provide support for injured and ill employees and provided an early return to work program. During 2002-03, there were 13 return to work plans in place for injured staff; 11 return to work plans ceased during this period.