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WHS activities and outcomes

For: Employers and managers Information seekers

Comcare has released Work Health and Safety – Year in Review 2019 (PDF, 4.3 MB).

This inaugural report highlights Comcare's activities and outcomes which support employers to meet their duties and obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act).

Work health and safety year in review 2019

Regulatory activities

Comcare's report shows that 86 per cent of workplaces realised improved work health and safety (WHS) outcomes as a result of Comcare’s regulatory intervention.

In 2018-19 financial year we conducted regulatory engagement with 100 per cent of our jurisdiction. This includes 230 persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) who employ 414,555 people (at end of December 2019).

We promote healthy and safe work through a range of broad and risk-based regulatory activities:

  • 452 proactive engagements including site-specific regulatory advice, education forums and workshops
  • 1053 monitoring activities including inspections, verifications and investigations
  • 5202 compliance activities including WHS audits, approvals, authorisations and prosecutions.

Priority risk areas

Risk priorities have been identified through analysis of a comprehensive suite of internal and external risk profiles.

Comcare is currently undertaking a multi-year program of work to improve jurisdictional understanding and compliance in relation to:

  • Psychosocial injury associated with organisational change
    Our WHS jurisdiction is uniquely impacted by organisational change associated with machinery of government (MOG) changes, which is shown to be a high psychosocial risk factor.
  • Benefits of WHS management systems
    Contemporary research and evidence that well-implemented work health and safety management systems provide a framework that delivers improved WHS performance.
  • Transport industry body stressing
    Half of all accepted claims for injuries incurred in the transport industry between 2015-16 and 2018-19 related to body stressing.
  • WHS contractor management
    WHS incident data shows an increasing proportion of notifications involve contractors.

Last year we released a suite of priority risk management resources to assist employers to address risks. Supporting this we conducted proactive monitoring activities to measure compliance in targeted areas, and initial baseline compliance has been established in the past year.

Our regulatory approach during COVID-19

Planned workbook activities have been interrupted this year due to the national bushfires earlier this year and with the ongoing situation with COVID-19, which has restricted travel and interpersonal interaction.

Our highest priority is the health and wellbeing of our people and our stakeholders.

Comcare’s Work Health and Safety regulatory approach is aligned to the National Statement of Regulatory Intent—published by Safe Work Australia and currently in place—to ensure compliance with Australian WHS laws during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regulatory actions will be proportionate to what is reasonably practicable in these exceptional circumstances and will focus on matters that pose serious risks to health and safety as well as advisory support.

Page last reviewed: 06 May 2020
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GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
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Date printed 16 Apr 2021