Agencies are required to report on occupational safety and health performance, injury management, policies and initiatives in their annual reports. This requirement, which is part of a Western Australian government commitment to a national strategy, will continue until at least 2014.
The inclusion of accurate and descriptive occupational safety, health and injury management performance in annual reporting supports the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-22 (the Australian Strategy), endorsed in 2012 by the Council of Australian Governments Select Council on Workplace Relations and the Australian Industry Group, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Australian Council of Trade Unions. The Australian Strategy adheres to the guiding principle that all workers, regardless of occupation, have the fundamental right to be free from the risk of workplace death, injury and illness.
Active and descriptive reporting also benefits the agency by:
- demonstrating the agency’s commitment to effective health and safety to stakeholders and provides evidence that the agency is aware of the need to monitor and improve their performance;
- increasing transparency and accountability to the Parliament and the public;
- providing valuable information on the progress and current status of the strategies, processes and activities being undertaken to improve work health and safety; and
- providing feedback to prompt improvement in identified areas.
To ensure the Western Australian public sector meets the goals of the Australian Strategy, the reporting requirements and performance targets are reviewed regularly.
The Public Sector Commissioner's Circular 2012-05 Code of Practice: Occupational Safety and Health in the Western Australian Public Sector (Circular 2012-05) contains the occupational safety, health and injury management annual reporting obligations public sector agencies are required to include in their annual reports.
The Circular refers to the Code of Practice: Occupational Safety and Health in the Western Australian Public Sector (the Code) which is designed to promote comprehensive and practical preventative strategies to assist public sector Chief Executive Officers, managers and employees with improving the work environment of the sector and ensuring compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulation 1996. The Code, like the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984, applies to all public sector agencies including departments, trading concerns, instrumentalities and statutory bodies.
Public Sector Commissioner's Circulars are reviewed regularly to ensure relevance and currency. In late 2012 Public Sector Commissioner’s Circular 2009/11: Code of Practice: Occupational Safety and Health in the Western Australian Public Sector (Circular 2009-11) was reviewed and reissued as Circular 2012-05 due to the superseding of the National Strategy by the Australian Strategy. Circular 2009-11 had also been reviewed and updated in late 2011 to included minimum requirements for annual reports 2011 and minimum requirements for annual reports 2012 to 2014. These changes were applicable to: financial year reporting agencies for 2011-2012 (and onwards); and calendar year reporting agencies for 2012 (and onwards).
There have also been two earlier versions of the Circular. The first was issued in 2007 as Premier’s Circular 2007/12 and covered minimum reporting requirements for annual reports 2008 and 2009. This was then superseded in April 2009 by the earlier Public Sector Commissioner’s Circular 2009/11: Code of Practice: Occupational Safety and Health in the Western Australian Public Sector, covering minimum reporting requirements for annual reports 2008 and 2009 to 2012.
The current reporting requirements for annual reports are listed below. The reporting of occupational safety, health and injury management need not be restricted to the minimum requirements. Agencies may also wish to report on other aspects of their performance.
Minimum requirements for annual reports
Optional requirements for annual reports
Examples of best practice reporting for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 are available for viewing.
The Department of Commerce reviews agency annual reports for compliance with the Circular requirements. Agencies are assessed as meeting or not providing sufficient detail to comply with the requirements. Annual reports are not assessed for their accuracy or whether targets are met. The compliance reviews determine only whether agencies have met their reporting obligations, and do not assess their safety and injury management performance. Agencies have been deemed to be compliant if they met the first three requirements, and reported on at least four out of the five annual performance data requirements.
Compliance review for the 2011-12 reporting period
The Department of Commerce corresponded with Chief Executive Officers and Human Resource Directors of public sector agencies to remind them of their reporting obligations and the changes to the Circular 2009-11 for the 2011-12 reporting period.
The Department of Commerce is currently reviewing 170 annual reports, for 2011-12 for compliance with Circular 2009-11.
Compliance review for the 2010-11 reporting period
The Department of Commerce corresponded with Human Resource Directors of public sector agencies to remind them of their reporting obligations for the 2010-11 reporting period. Agencies were advised that the Department of Commerce would be specifically focussing on the audit of OSH systems during the 2010-11 reporting period, to ensure agencies have undertaken and reported findings for either an external audit (over the past 3 yrs) or an annual internal audit each year. An information sheet on common mistakes and areas for improvement was prepared for agencies to assist in their reporting. The Department of Commerce reviewed 128 annual reports for compliance with the earlier version of Circular 2009-11.
Compliance reviews for 2009-10 reporting period
The Department of Commerce reviewed 121 annual reports in 2009-10 for compliance against the earlier version of Circular 2009-11.
Compliance review for the 2008-09 reporting period
The Department of Commerce reviewed 122 annual reports for compliance against the earlier version of Circular 2009-11 which superseded the Premier’s Circular 2007/12. The Department of Commerce corresponded with WA public sector Chief Executive Officers on 23 July 2010, detailing whether their agency provided sufficient detail to meet the reporting obligations; or whether their agency did not provide sufficient detail to meet the reporting obligations.
For specific feedback on your agency's performance, email firstname.lastname@example.org