Health and safety

CSIRO is committed to the health and safety of its staff and recognises the importance of positive interventions aimed at improving staff health and safety.

CSIRO acknowledges its responsibilities under section 74 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 and the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Health, Safety, Environmental Sustainability and Community Policy

CSIRO’s Health, Safety, Environmental Sustainability and Community Policy reflects our commitment to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our staff, visitors and the communities in which we work. It reinforces our Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) strategic goal of ‘Striving for Zero Harm’ to our people, the environment and the communities in which we operate.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 was rescinded on 31 December 2011 and replaced by the Work Health and Safety Act (Commonwealth) 2011 which became effective on 1 January 2012. A summary of CSIRO’s performance and its compliance with these Acts is provided below.

Health and safety management arrangements

Health and safety management arrangements are documents concerning the management of health and safety in CSIRO, and are one of the mechanisms by which CSIRO demonstrates commitment to meeting its duty of care.

In recognition of this duty, CSIRO developed these health and safety management arrangements in consultation with staff and their representatives. The Act emphasises consultation and cooperation between employers and employees in regard to occupational health and safety issues by requiring the establishment of a framework incorporating:

  • health and safety management arrangements (HSMAs)
  • designated work groups
  • health and safety representatives
  • health and safety committees
  • dispute resolution processes.

These structures and arrangements are in place and effective within CSIRO. A review of the HSMAs in line with the expected changes to Workplace Health and Safety laws commenced in June 2011 and was completed in September 2011.

Initiatives undertaken during the year to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of staff members and affiliates

  • An HSE supervisors training program was introduced.
  • A safety leadership training program for CSIRO’s top 250 leaders was implemented.
  • Contractor training, electrical safety training, and incident and investigation programs were deployed.
  • A gas safety review was finalised.
  • A freezer safety review was finalised.
  • A hazardous substances gap analysis was carried out.
  • A quad bike safety survey was conducted.
  • New work health and safety laws were incorporated into internal procedures.
  • An aviation safety procedure was developed.
  • A small boat safety procedure was developed.
  • Safe travel and work overseas guidelines were deployed.
  • Safe overseas travel by staff was enhanced through a staff international travel system upgrade.
  • Divisional HSE risk profiles were updated.
  • An on-line health and wellness program was piloted.

Statistics of any accidents or dangerous occurrences during the year that arose out of the conduct of undertakings by CSIRO that required the giving of notice under section 68 (see Figure 3.1)

  • A significant change in the method for classifying lost time injuries (LTIs) and medical treatment injuries (MTIs) commenced in 2010–11 to ensure reliable, accurate, standardised injury classification. CSIRO is now in the process of re-establishing its injury performance baseline, hence LTI and MTI comparisons with data prior to 2010–11 are not considered meaningful (for more information see Enterprise Strategy Measure (ESM) 7).
  • Fifty-three LTIs were reported during the year, resulting in an LTI frequency rate of 4.8.
  • Eighty MTIs were reported during the year, resulting in an MTI frequency rate of 7.2.
  • There were 47 Comcare Notifiable Incidents reported during the year. Comcare changed the definitions and requirements for Notifiable Incidents on 1 January 2012. Of the 47 incidents reported during the year, 28 were under the old definitions (pre 1 January 2012) and 19 came under the new requirements (post 1 January 2012).
  • The number of workers’ compensation claims with injury dates in the reporting period increased from 56 in 2010–11 to 60 in 2011–12.
  • CSIRO’s premium for 2011–12 was 0.47 per cent of payroll compared to the Commonwealth agency rate of 1.41 per cent.

Details of any investigations conducted during the year that relate to undertakings carried on by the employer, including details of all notices given to the employee under sections 29, 46 or 47 during the year

  • There were no Prohibition Notices or Provisional Improvement Notices issued in 2011–12.
  • There was one Improvement Notice issued by Comcare at the end of the 2011–12 reporting period. CSIRO is working with Comcare regarding the required improvements.
  • There were 11 compliance monitoring interventions and one investigation of Notifiable Incidents conducted by Comcare in 2011–12. All were completed to Comcare’s satisfaction.
  • There were no notifiable environmental incidents in the reporting period.

Figure 3.1: Number of Notifiable Incidents

Number of Notifiable Incidents

During 2010–11, CSIRO re-established its injury performance baseline to ensure all injuries resulting in time lost from work, or where medical treatment has been necessary, are identified and correctly classified using international best practice criteria.

The Comcare derived LTIFR in Figure 3.2 shows what CSIRO’s lost time performance would have been if Comcare workers’ compensation data was still used as the basis for measuring CSIRO’s performance. We are seeing a decreasing LTIFR trend using historic Comcare derived data.

Figure 3.2: CSIRO LTIFR and MTIFR and Comcare derived LTIFR annual trends

CSIRO LTIFR and MTIFR and Comcare derived LTIFR annual trends

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