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WHS activities and outcomes

For: Employers and managers Information seekers

Comcare has released the annual Work Health and Safety – Year in Review 2020 (PDF, 7.2 MB).

The report highlights Comcare’s regulation and engagement activities conducted in 2020, supporting safe and healthy work throughout the pandemic.

Work health and safety year in review 2020

Regulation and engagement activities

Our annual employer survey found that 85% of workplaces realised improved work health and safety (WHS) outcomes because of a visit from a Comcare inspector and 82% of respondents agree that Comcare is an effective regulator.

Despite the disruption of the pandemic in 2020, Comcare was able to maintain our strong approach to serious incidents and fatalities, and we conducted:

  • 710 proactive engagements – inspectorate information and advice activities, webinars and digital forums.
  • 1128 monitoring activities – inspections, verifications, and investigations.
  • 3714 compliance activities – WHS audits, approvals, authorisations, and prosecutions.
  • 2640 WHS helpdesk enquiries – were received and responded to.

Comcare established COVID-19 focused programs providing assurance that the jurisdiction had effective safety systems in-place to minimise the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace. These were:

  • National COVID-19 triage service for notifications and WHS concerns.
  • COVID-19 Assurance Program to seek assurance of COVID-19 controls in the workplace
    at the enterprise level.
  • COVID-19 quick checklists used in workplaces to verify controls at local sites.

In addition, Comcare worked closely with the Australian Public Service Commission, Safe Work Australia, the Heads of Workers Safety Authorities and the broader work health and safety jurisdiction to deliver four webinars and produce more than 20 pieces of practical COVID-19 related guidance material published on our coronavirus webpage.

Monitoring high risk construction activities has also been a focus for Comcare in response to an increase in major infrastructure projects. A specialist team of inspectors with engineering and construction experience were deployed in November 2020 and continue to provide enhanced oversight and intelligence.

Regulatory Priorities and Work Activity Programs 2020–23

Comcare has identified the Regulatory Priorities for 2020–23 (PDF, 1.7 MB) through consultation and analysis of our regulatory intelligence, injury and work health and safety data.

The four priorities are:

  • Psychosocial injury associated with organisational change
  • WHS management systems
  • Transport industry body stressing
  • WHS contractor management.

Planned workbook activities were interrupted in 2020 due to national bushfires and COVID-19. Initial compliance benchmarking activities commenced in early 2021 and evaluation activities will be conducted from June 2021 and will inform education and engagement through 2022–23.

Page last reviewed: 20 May 2021
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GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.comcare.gov.au

Date printed 24 Jan 2022