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									WorkSafe WA
Business Plan 2010-11
Foreword by Commissioner
It is fair to say that when a worker leaves home to go to work they are not planning to
suffer an injury and possibly death. They are actually planning to fulfil their duties at
work and return home at the end of their day or shift.

Sadly, every year numerous workers in Western Australia go to work and while they
are completing their tasks they do suffer an injury and more tragically some workers
in Western Australia are killed in the workplace. The sad truth is that on average
every 30 minutes a worker is injured in a Western Australian workplace and every 17
days a worker loses their life.

Our focus is making workplaces in Western Australia safer places to be and this can
only be achieved through a collaborative approach between those in control of
businesses, workers and WorkSafe WA (where necessary).

A bureaucratic or mechanical process is not going to deliver safer workplaces but a
process whereby those in control of workplaces join with workers to identify risks and
hazards in their workplace and then develop solutions to eliminate them or at the
very least reduce them.

Over past years we have seen this in operation through the many entries to our Safe
Work Week awards. These entries have shown how a collaborative approach can
deliver safer workplaces while also delivering improved business processes – a
win/win situation.

WorkSafe WA’s role in this process is to provide assistance in achieving the goal of
safer workplaces in this state. This is delivered through an appropriate mixture of
assistance and education, and where necessary enforcement action.

An important aspect of WorkSafe WA’s role is about ensuring that the law and policy
framework supports the delivery of safer workplaces in this state. During the
2010-11 year WorkSafe WA will continue to participate in the national harmonisation
of the occupational health and safety laws which includes providing input into the
development of codes of practice and other guidance material designed to make
achieving safer workplaces easier.

As a community we do not want people to go to work
on any day and suffer injury or even worse not go
home from the workplace. Those events can have an
affect across the whole community with the impact
ripples starting in the affected family and spreading
out from there.

So WorkSafe WA will be continuing its work with
members of the community in the 2010-11 year and
beyond to deliver workplaces in Western Australia
that can be as safe and healthy as possible.

                                                            Nina Lyhne
                                                            Commissioner, WorkSafe Western Australia
WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11


Introduction ..................................................................................................... 2
Inspector Directorates..................................................................................... 5
   Construction, Regional and Primary Industries....................................................... 6
   Health Hazards and Plant Safety ............................................................................ 7
   Manufacturing Transport and Service Industries .................................................... 8
Our Other Directorates.................................................................................. 10
   Business Services................................................................................................. 10
   Legal and Special Investigations........................................................................... 12
   Policy and Education............................................................................................. 13
Snapshot of our 2009-10 activities................................................................ 15
   Our Performance................................................................................................... 15

WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11


WorkSafe WA is a division of the Department of Commerce and its role is the
regulation of workplace safety in accordance with the Occupational Safety and
Health Act 1984. In a practical sense this translates to the provision of assistance to
the Western Australian workplace community in its endeavours to deliver
improvement in workplace safety and health.

A key platform for ensuring compliance with the law is to ensure that those who need
to comply are fully aware of their obligations and how they can meet them.
Consequently WorkSafe WA’s strategy is to provide information to industry and
workers, in a variety of formats, to assist them to make their workplaces as safe as
possible. This is reinforced through a range of compliance activities designed to
assist in the delivery of workplace safety.

The community needs to be confident that everyone is working together to deliver
this outcome. While this process commences with the provision of information and
education it is further progressed by our proactive and reactive compliance activities,
investigations and, where appropriate, prosecution action. The combination of these
processes forms the basis of providing that assurance.

Our compliance approach is delivered through a structure which is aligned to the
industry groups of: agriculture, forestry & fishing; construction; health and community
services; manufacturing; transport & service industries; and wholesale& retail.
These have been identified as industries where we need to focus our attention based
on data demonstrating high incidence and severity of hazards and risks which have
resulted in injury.

WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11

WorkSafe WA’s inspector compliance operations are supported and enhanced by
other directorates which deliver information through a call centre, educational
activities, preparation of guidance material and the development of advice to
government that allows the formulation of policy which will assist the community to
deliver safe and healthy workplaces.

As noted earlier, we have identified industries where we need to focus our attention
based on data demonstrating high incidence and severity of hazards and risks which
have resulted in injury. While we maintain a focus on those industries, and subsets
within those industries; we also monitor the community for emerging trends and
issues which need our immediate attention.

We work from the assumption that the majority of people want to get things right –
this is the foundation of our compliance strategy as shown diagrammatically below.
On that basis our starting point for all our operations is educational and it is through
this approach that we aim to influence the behaviour of industry and workers toward
the delivery of safer workplaces.

We also know that it is not appropriate to respond to all compliance issues in the
same way and consequently we may tailor our approach depending on the
circumstances we encounter. But we will use traditional enforcement techniques to
deal with non-compliance where serious breaches of the law occur. More
information about the Compliance Strategy is available on the department of
Commerce website (

WorkSafe WA’s goal is to ensure that workplaces in Western Australia are as safe
and healthy as possible.

WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11

During the 2010-11 year we will be conducting workplace intervention campaigns in
relation to a number of target areas which have been outlined in this plan. Our
general approach is that immediately prior to the commencement of these
campaigns we will make announcements and commence consultation with affected
stakeholders; a key aspect of these campaigns is making improvements through
WorkSafe WA working together with the community. However, there will be
occasions where WorkSafe WA will make unannounced visits as part of an
assurance process around the adoption and maintenance of safe work practices.

All these activities are designed to achieve our aim of making Western Australia’s
workplaces as safe and healthy as possible.

This plan provides an outline of WorkSafe WA’s activities for the coming year.
However, additional information about all of WorkSafe WA’s activities and
information on how to make your workplace safer can be found on our website

WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11

Inspector Directorates

As shown in the structure diagram on page 3, WorkSafe has three inspector
directorates which are aligned to the industries which have been identified as
requiring attention on the basis of data demonstrating high incidence and severity of
hazards and risks which have resulted in injury –
    •       The Construction Regional and Primary Industries directorate which directs
            its attention to the construction industry and the agriculture, forestry and
            fishing industry.
    •       The Health Hazards and Plant Safety directorate which focuses its attention
            to the topics of the health and community services industry and the specific
            safety topic of plant and machinery.

    •       The Manufacturing Transport and Services Industries directorate which
            directs its attention to the manufacturing industry; transport industry;
            wholesale and retail; and service industry.

The primary focus of each of these directorates is ensuring that the workplace
participants comply with the requirements of the OSH law through enforcement
activities. Those enforcement activities will be achieved through a mixture of
intervention approaches –
        •    Intervention strategies which will be initiated by WorkSafe on a proactive
             basis. These will be based on trends which have been observed in
             workplaces in Western Australia and workplaces in other locations.
        •    Investigations that are triggered by specific events of which WorkSafe
             becomes aware. These will be often as a result of complaints received
             directly from the community, including concerned workplace participants,
             but can extend to a response to a variety of other information sources.

The inspector directorates’ capacity to achieve a comprehensive range of proactive
activities is influenced by the level of reactive intervention that is required. Our
intention is to undertake as much proactive intervention as possible, however, where
events have occurred which require attention we will ensure that the appropriate
level of resource is committed to resolving those matters as a priority.

When inspectors visit a workplace they have a number of enforcement approaches
they can choose to use which is dependent on the particular circumstances of the
workplace and the occupational safety and health issue that needs to be addressed.

One option available to an inspector is to provide a verbal direction. This is an
instruction given to the employer, safety and health representatives, safety and health
committee or any other relevant party about the need to fix something so that a safety
issues is corrected. The required changes must be made while the inspector is at the
workplace and will be inspected prior to the inspector leaving the workplace.

WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11

Alternately, the inspector may feel that it is more appropriate for an Improvement
Notice to be issued. This notice is a written direction issued by a WorkSafe inspector
requiring a person to fix something which is believed to not be in compliance with the
occupational safety and health law requirements. An improvement notice states the
reasons for the inspector issuing the notice and will include a reference to a specific
regulation or provision of the Act which applies.

In some instances the Inspector may be of the view that there is a risk of imminent
and serious injury or harm to the health of a person. In those instances the inspector
will issue a prohibition notice which is a written direction that prohibits the relevant
activity from continuing to be undertaken. On issuing a prohibition notice, the
inspector remains at the workplace until the employer is advised of the notice and
the prohibited activity has ceased.

While it is a far from ideal outcome, there are situations where it is necessary to
apply the full force of the law and take prosecution action. This is in accordance with
compliance strategy and is commenced where the most serious breaches of
occupational safety and health laws are identified.

Construction, Regional and Primary Industries

The Construction, Regional and Primary Industries directorate will be undertaking a
number of proactive inspection activities. A number of sources of information will be
drawn on to determine the proactive interventions to be conducted by the directorate;
these sources of information will include information obtained from a variety of
notifications including those made by local councils concerning constructions which
have been given approval to proceed.

The proactive investigations commenced by the Construction Regional and Primary
Industries directorate will be designed to determine the level of compliance with
specific issues in the construction industry such as

      •   Safe Work Method Statements – we will be conducting investigations to
          determine the level of and enforce the usage of this tool for developing safe
          systems of work.
      •   Mobile plant in construction – mobile plant in a construction work
          environment poses particular hazards and the Construction Regional and
          Primary Industries directorate will be undertaking inspections to assist
          workplaces operate mobile plant safely.
      •   Asbestos licencing – there are specific licence requirements in relation to
          the management of asbestos. This project is intended to reinforce those
          regulations and the need for asbestos removal in specificed circumstances
          to be only undertaken by licenced persons.
      •   Fishing industry – this industry has a significant rate of injury and these
          interventions will be designed to assist those in that industry to deliver safer

WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11

      •   High Risk Work licences – this state based project state based project
          engaging with industry to focus on workers carrying out ‘high risk work’, and
          ensuring all necessary high risk work licences are held when this type of work
          is carried out.

The Construction Regional and Primary Industries directorate actively seeks to
understand the commercial issues within which businesses operate along with the
issues that workers encounter in their workplaces through a number of liaison points.
These include specific industry and employee representative contacts as well as a
number of forums such as the Construction Industry Safety Advisory Committee and
the Agricultural Industry Safety Group. These networks provide the directorate with
the opportunity to influence and shape the approaches taken by industry as well as
to undertake responsive intervention where appropriate; they also ensure that
WorkSafe operates in a manner which is relevant to industry.

Regional WA

There is a considerable amount of business activity occurring in regional Western
Australia. WorkSafe will be undertaking proactive inspection activities in a variety of
these locations throughout the year as part of its process for delivering workplace safety
across the whole state. Construction Regional and Primary Industries directorate will be
undertaking activities in areas such as the Gascoyne, the Kimberley and the Great
Southern region as part of its program to deliver workplace safety. The inspection
activities in these regions will include some targeted interventions for specific industries
in the relevant regions such as forestry and fishing.

Health Hazards and Plant Safety

The Health Hazards and Plant Safety directorate will be initiating a number of
inspection activities during the 2010-11 period. The directorate has identified a
number of specific industries and activities for attention including –

      •   Hardwood dust and noise exposure in the timber products industry -
          investigations will cover exposure to hard wood dust and noise in timber
          products manufacturing sector, including air monitoring for hardwood dust.
      •   Welding fume in the manufacturing industry - welding fume is a hazardous
          substance, and there appears to be a lack of consistency at workplaces
          about the required controls. The first year will involve a pilot program of
          inspections with monitoring.
      •   Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD’s) in the supermarket industry – inspections
          will be conducted in this industry due to the observed high prevalence of MSDs
          especially seen for storeperson and salesperson occupations.
      •   Work-related stress in government agencies – investigations will be
          conducted in high-risk government agencies to investigate the procedures
          and processes adopted to identify, assess and control risk factors
          associated with work-related stress.

WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11

      •   Bridge and gantry cranes – inspections will be carried out in the
          manufacturing industries, covering the safe operation, maintenance and
          inspection of bridge and gantry cranes.
      •   Imported plant – this project addresses the issue of unsafe plant designed,
          manufactured, supplied or imported into Australia, and includes information
          and guidance to industry as well as inspections of imported plant.
The Health Hazards and Plant Safety directorate will also be taking part in a
campaign on reportable Manual Task injuries as part of its proactive workload. This
will adopt a process that will investigate risk management processes and evaluate
the adequacy of incident investigations. The outcomes of this campaign will both
inform WorkSafe of trends in Western Australia as well as contribute toward the
understanding of the exposure of workers to Manual Task hazards.

Because of the nature of the issues dealt with by the Health Hazards and Plant Safety
directorate can exhibit themselves across all industries, this directorate will provide
support to both the Construction, Regional And Primary Industries directorate, and the
Manufacturing Transport and Service Industries directorate as they undertake their
inspection work during the 2010-11 year. This support will extend to the other
directorates within WorkSafe as they undertake their respective roles.

This continued support of all directorates across WorkSafe allows the Health
Hazards and Plant Safety directorate to influence and shape the approach to safety
and health workplaces in this state across a broad spectrum. This approach
provides the directorate with a greater opportunity to understand the manner in which
the environment and commercial landscape is impacting on compliance behaviours
and then take appropriate predictive or responsive action.

The Health Hazards and Plant Safety directorate will also take an active role in a
variety of other matters including a continued contribution to the development of the
national harmonised occupational health and safety laws. It will provide contributions
from a topic expert perspective to assist in WorkSafe’s influence on the national
agenda and the development of both the laws and supporting guidance material that
will provide Western Australia with a world class regulatory environment.

The directorate will be actively assisting Western Australian workplaces and workers
to meet the requirements of our OSH law through its continued involvement in the
delivery of educational sessions. These interactions with the community provide
opportunities to achieve greater compliance with OSH laws by empowering those in
this state’s workplaces to meet their obligations.

Manufacturing Transport and Service Industries

The Manufacturing Transport and Service Industries directorate has planned a
number of proactive inspector activities during 2010-11 year. The manufacturing
sector historically has a significant rate of injury and the proactive interventions will
be designed to assist those in manufacturing activities to deliver safer workplaces.

WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11

Some of these activities are follow-on inspections which are intended to reinforce the
messages delivered in the sector though earlier interventions. Areas for specific
attention during the year include –

      •   Prefabricated metal building manufacturing
      •   Bacon, ham and smallgood manufacturing
      •   Furniture – cabinet making

In addition to these specific industry activities, the Manufacturing Transport and
Service Industries directorate will be paying particular attention to the issue of High
Risk Work Licences for forklifts. Forklifts have been the cause of a significant
number of serious injuries and fatalities. Our inspection activities are intended to
reinforce that only appropriately licensed people should be operating forklifts on the
basis that the competencies that need to be attained before a licence is issued
contribute to a safer workplace.

The Manufacturing Transport and Service Industries directorate will also be undertaking
some proactive inspection activities based on geographical area. These interventions
are designed to target multiple businesses in a specific geographic area to highlight the
effect and importance of safe systems of work and safety management systems and
thereby enhance the commercial environment. The intent is that these interventions will
assist employers to systematically identify hazards and manage risks within their
manufacturing processes to deliver long term safety improvements.

The businesses that fall within the ‘service industries’ category are wide ranging and
involve a diversity of hazards and risks. The Manufacturing Transport and Service
Industries directorate will be undertaking proactive inspection activities in a wide
cross-section of the business in this category as listed below.
      •   Restaurants – our inspections we will be examining a number of specific
          issues including manual tasks, guarding and slips, trips and falls.
      •   Pest Control – we will be focusing on the hazards and risks associated with
          workers entering roof spaces along with the use of hazardous chemicals.
      •   Cleaners – our inspections will be focusing on a number of specific issues
          associated with this type of work such as manual tasks, electricity,
          hazardous substances and slips, trips and falls.
      •   Sporting grounds and facilities – we will be examining sporting clubs in
          relation to a number of sports to examine the safety issues associated with
          the specific activity and/or venue.

The retail sub-industries that will be proactively visited are:
      • Furniture retail (bedding and outdoor furniture).
      • Takeaway food retailing.
      • Garden equipment retailing.

WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11

The Manufacturing, Transport and Service Industries directorate will continue to focus on
commercial driver fatigue by participating in interagency enforcement campaigns.

There are a number of occasions where the inspection activities listed above, along
with others such as those to be undertaken at horse racing stables and funeral
directors will involve working with the Health Hazards and Plant Safety directorate.

The Manufacturing Transport and Service Industries directorate will be undertaking a
project on Traffic Management which is sponsored by the national forum of the Heads of
Workplace Authorities. This project will adopt a nationally consistent methodology for
undertaking the inspections which will then allow for the results to be analysed for the
purpose of identifying trends in this safety issue on a national basis.

Throughout the year, the Manufacturing Transport and Service Industries directorate
will continue to liaise with a range of key stakeholders including employer and
employee representative bodies. These stakeholder contacts provide the directorate
with the opportunity to influence and shape the approaches taken by industry as well
as to undertake responsive intervention where appropriate; they also ensure that
WorkSafe operates in a manner which is relevant to industry

Our Other Directorates

Business Services

The directorate is made up of four distinct customer teams: the WorkSafe Customer
Help Centre (which is an inbound contact centre); Licencing and Assessor
Registration services; Plant Registration; and Inspector Development and Training.
Each area has a manager who adopts a continuous improvement approach to the
delivery of those services. Those services are primarily directed toward our
customers as even our Inspector development and Training program is designed to
improve the delivery of WorkSafe’s service in Western Australian workplaces.

As the government agency administering the OSH laws in Western Australia a
critical aspect of that role is providing services which empower the community to
understand and meet their obligations. The Business Services directorate has a
front line role in delivering this service to the community through its Customer Help
Centre. These services also contribute to WorkSafe’s understanding of the
commercial environment and the current occupational safety and health issues that
workers and workplaces are encountering. Through that understanding it allows
WorkSafe to be better positioned to understand the commercial environment and
thereby influence and shape that environment.

WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11

The Customer Help Centre provides the community a number of different options for
obtaining that information to meet the individual needs of those needing assistance.
The contact centre receives over 200 contacts a day via phone, email, face to face
and other written correspondence. The Business Services directorate uses the
trends in enquiry patterns as a mechanism for improving its interaction with the
community and will continue to consider improved processes to ensure the
community receives the information it needs.

The Business Services directorate through its Licencing and Registration Centre
contributes to WorkSafe’s enforcement approach through its High Risk Work
licencing and its Plant registration processes. These regulatory mechanisms provide
a platform for ensuring that workers undertaking specific high risk activities are
competent to undertake those tasks and/or the equipment they are using meets the
required standards to deliver a safe and healthy workplace.

With the expected increase in economic activity in Western Australia these regulatory
services are expected to be in high demand in the coming year. The Business Services
directorate anticipates a 7% increase in the 2010-11 year compared to previous periods
and will be implementing strategies to continue to deliver a high level of service to the
community while supporting other affected areas of WorkSafe operations.

The Business Services directorate will continue to be an active contributor to the
development of a world class regulatory environment in relation to occupational
safety and health. Licencing team has presented views on High Risk Work and
Inspector Development and Training issues during the development of the nationally
harmonised approach to occupational safety and health. It has provided input into
the development of the regulatory regime in relation to licencing and has presented
views on the development of training materials as we move toward the process of
implementing the new laws.

Throughout the year, the directorate will continue to provide professional
development and training for newly recruited and current Inspectors through its
Inspector Development and Training (ID&T) program. By ensuring that the
Inspectorate are provided with quality training that enhances their skills, competence
and confidence in the administration of the OSH laws in Western Australian
workplaces, the Business Services directorate contributes to the manner in which
WorkSafe can influence and shape the commercial environment.

ID&T also plays an important role in the strengthening WorkSafe’s capability by providing –
      •   a platform from which Inspectorate skills can develop, and
      •   establishing an environment which assists the organisation to attract and
          retain quality team members

WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11

The ID&T area will play an important role in relation to the preparation of the
Inspectorate and potentially other directorates of WorkSafe for operation in the
environment of harmonised occupational safety and health laws. While the new laws
will not take affect until 1 January 2012 there will be significant amounts of
preparation undertaken in the latter part of the 2010-11 year in relation to training
which will be required by the Inspectorate to ensure their readiness for the
administration of the new laws.

The ID&T area is focused on providing best practise training and development
opportunities for WorkSafe operatives and continues to consider all available options
for delivering that outcome. This involves liaising with Energy Safety, Labour
Relations and Consumer Protection to get a departmental approach in place.

Legal and Special Investigations

The Legal and Special Investigations directorate is made up of three teams: the
Legal and Reviews Team; the Freedom of Information Team; and the Audit and
Special Investigation Team. The directorate’s key functions are to provide WorkSafe
with legal, investigative, and administrative services

The Legal and Special Investigations directorate plays a critical role in WorkSafe’s
administration of the occupational safety and health laws through the process of
undertaking prosecution action for those cases where serious breaches of the
occupational safety and health laws warrant that action.

The directorate plays an important role in ensuring that there is strong integrity in the
system. The Audit and Special investigation team undertakes audits of Assessor’s of
competence for High Risk Work Licences to ensure that there is compliance with those
regulations. This enforcement activity is part of the process for managing the regulation
of dangerous activities by ensuring that licences are only issued when appropriate.

The Legal and Special Investigations directorate also plays an important role in
ensuring that there is a strong capability within WorkSafe to administer the laws
through its involvement in inspector training. Its contribution to inspector training is
intended to provide new inspectors with a solid grounding and to enhance the skills
of existing inspectors with the view to ensuring community confidence in the system.

The directorate will undertake a number of other tasks which also contribute to the
community confidence in the system through its management of Freedom of Information
requests. Ensuring a robust process for meeting any such request is one of the
methods for ensuring that the community has confidence and trust that WorkSafe is
administering the occupational safety and health laws in a fair and just manner.

WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11

Policy and Education

The Policy and Education directorate is comprised of two teams that work together
while also having discrete tasks that each team is required to deliver.

A number of key areas of activity for the Policy and Education directorate during the
2010-11 period are related to the national harmonisation of occupational health and
safety laws. These activities will involve our continued participation in the development
of model laws and codes along with the development of education processes.

Through these activities, the Policy and Education directorate will influence and shape
the environment as the harmonisation processes seek to deliver a world class regulatory
environment. Activities associated with the harmonisation agenda will require the
directorate to work closely with the Commission for Occupational Safety and Health (the
Commission) and other industry and community partners to ensure that workplaces and
workers in Western Australia are prepared for the move to the harmonised regime.
During this national harmonisation process WorkSafe will continue to influence and
shape the commercial environment in Western Australia as well as influence the national
policy agenda. A key element of this is ensuring we learn about and understand our
environment which we will achieve through continued engagement and exchange of
ideas with our stakeholders and the community.

These activities will not always be measureable in a quantifiable manner, but some
aspects of the work where numeric outcomes can be identified include the
preparation of a drafting instructions to achieve the introduction of the WA version of
the model Work Health and Safety Act into Western Australia’s parliament;
contributions to the development of model regulations and national Code material;
presentations to stakeholders; and various communications utilising multiple media
channels to participants in WA workplaces.

In addition to those externally focused activities the Policy and Education directorate
will also be involved in the maintenance and enhancement of organisational
capability with a focus on ensuring all WorkSafe WA staff have the appropriate levels
of information as we move toward the transition to the model work health and safety
laws and codes.

While recognising that the model laws are in the process of being implemented the
directorate is conscious that a key underlying principle to the delivery of positive
occupational safety and health outcomes is ensuring that those in Western
Australian workplaces continue to integrate occupational safety and health into
business practices. Consequently we will be continuing to focus on and build on
strategies that empower business and communities to understand their role in
workplace safety and health and to take charge of delivering that outcome.

WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11

Additionally, we will continue our focus on assisting business to meet their
compliance obligations with targeted educational activities such as those delivered
through the community education programs and the ThinkSafe Small Business
program. Through these and other educational activities the directorate will continue
to contribute to the enforcement of the current occupational safety and health laws.

A critical step in administering the law to achieve full compliance with its
requirements is ensuring that the law is clear and well understood by those needing
to comply with it. The Policy and Education directorate at WorkSafe WA will
continue to understand the needs of the community and to work with stakeholder
groups to produce material that assists those in WA workplaces to understand their
obligations and the way to deliver safer workplaces.

A key platform for ensuring compliance with the law is to ensure that those who need
to comply are fully aware of their obligations and how they can meet them. The
Education and Information Services team has a ‘front-line’ role in delivering this
aspect of the department’s compliance strategy. This will include the delivery of:
      •   Metropolitan and regional forums.
      •   ThinkSafe Small Business Assistance Program.
      •   4Thought sessions.

The directorate will continue to understand and influence the WA workplace
environment through its strategic interactions with a variety of representative groups
across industries where we need to focus our attention based on data demonstrating
high incidence and severity of hazards and risks which have resulted in injury.
These include the farming industry, fishing industry and the construction industry.

One method for achieving this will be through continued close liaison with the
Business Services directorate concerning call centre enquiry patterns and
intelligence to assist in the design and placement of web material. Other targeting
will be achieved through the consideration of information from each directorate within
WorkSafe WA as well as identifiable attendance patterns at educational events

A continuing area of key activity is the support of the Commission and its advisory
groups in its current (non-harmonisation) business. The provision of various aspects
of support assists in the process of influencing and shaping the approaches toward
management of safety and health in WA workplaces, as well as providing a platform
for the development of targeted educational products.

WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11

Snapshot of our 2009-10 activities

It is difficult to provide substantive measures that show the difference that WorkSafe
has made in a year. Improvements in safety are a cumulative measurement that is
best made over an extended period of time. Additionally, because safety outcomes
in workplaces can be influenced by many issues that are outside of WorkSafe’s
control a comprehensive measurement is difficult to attain. However, WorkSafe
believes there is sufficient evidence to suggest that during the 2009-10 period it has
positively influenced workplace safety.

A measure of workplace safety can be taken from workers' compensation claims
data. Consequently, the lost time injury and disease (LTI/D) frequency rate is the
principal measure of safety performance in Western Australia. The frequency rate is
calculated using the formula: Number of LTI/D divided by number of hours worked
multiplied by 1,000,000.

According to the most recent preliminary workers' compensation claims data, the
downward trend continues for lost time injuries and diseases in Western Australia
with a 2.8 per cent reduction in overall frequency rate, from 10.4 in 2007-08 to 9.8 in
2008-09 (preliminary). The total rate of improvement for all injuries and diseases
since the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 came into effect 21 years ago in
1988-89 is 72.1 per cent.

            NB - the preliminary rates in this document are correct at the time of
                 preparation, however, these data are subject to revision which may result
                 in data differences in future publications.

Another measure of workplace safety is work related fatalities, however, due to the
volatility of this data, averages over five years are used to provide clear trend data.
The most recent data shows the average traumatic work related fatality incidence
rate for the five year period from 2005-06 to 2009-10 is 16.8. This is a 14.3 per cent
improvement from the rate of 19.6 for the five year period of 2004-05 to 2008-09 and
indicates a significant downward trend.

These measure show that while the 2009-10 year has been a positive one, there is
still need for further improvement. These positive outcomes have been delivered
through a range of activities including assistance, education, regulation and
enforcement which will be continuing to pursue during the 2010-11 period.

Our Performance

The 2009-10 period again proved to be a very busy one during which WorkSafe
delivered significant outcomes for the community to assist in the delivery of safer
workplaces in Western Australia. The delivery of these outcomes was achieved
through activities undertaken by its structural focus areas.

WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11


During the 2009-10 period WorkSafe Inspectors undertook 10,800 workplace visits.
These arose out of interventions initiated by WorkSafe and also in responses to
investigations that had been requested by others or triggered by some other event.
During those workplace visits, Inspectors issued more than 10,600 improvement
notices and over 700 prohibition notices across a range of industries.

    •   National and State Based Campaigns

        WorkSafe Inspectors completed a number of campaigns either as part of the
        approach under the National Occupational Health and Safety Strategy 2002-
        2012 or as part of locally initiated activities.

        As part of a national intervention approach, WorkSafe participated in targeted
        occupational safety and health education and enforcement drives to improve
        scaffolding safety in the construction industry, and concerning forklift safety in
        the fruit and vegetable and grocery wholesale Industries.

        During the year, WorkSafe completed key intervention campaigns concerning
        mental health facilities, laundries and dry-cleaners, noise management, and
        manufacturing in the Wangara industrial area. There were also a number of
        projects undertaken in various industry sectors including home-based care,
        fish wholesalers, aircraft maintenance and breweries.

        Other projects focussed on hazards relating to powder coating, tilt-up
        construction, overhead cranes, and the manufacturer of aluminium frame
        security products. Newsletters and risk management materials were
        distributed to workplaces to support these projects.

    •   Regional Activities

        As part of a continuing regional focus, we delivered a range of targeted
        occupational safety and health intervention campaigns in line with nationally
        agreed priority industries and priority issues to key regional areas. These
        included –
        -   targeted inspection of construction sites in the South West, Mid-West,
            Goldfields (Kalgoorlie) and Peel regions;
        -   a campaign in the Gascoyne to improve safety in agriculture, commercial
            fishing and sandalwood harvesting; and
        -   inspections throughout the Kimberley region of the infrastructure
            maintenance and service provisions provided to indigenous communities.

        There also were three major enforcement drives in relation to commercial
        driver fatigue with two campaigns completed in Port Hedland and another
        near Merredin.

WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11

Legal and Special Investigations

As noted earlier, the commencement of prosecution action is not an ideal outcome;
however, there are occasions where it is a necessary and appropriate step to be
taken. This strong enforcement action, and the media coverage that can result,
provide a reminder of the implications for failing to take a positive approach toward
delivering workplace safety.

In 2009-10, prosecution notices were signed for 45 new prosecutions. There were 42
convictions recorded during the financial year (Note: A prosecution is counted as a
conviction if at least one charge is successful. Six prosecutions were withdrawn at
Court by the prosecution and four prosecutions were dismissed. During this financial
period, one appeal commenced before the Supreme Court with the decision pending.

Business Services

During the 2009-10 year the Customer Help Centre received in excess of 40,000
phone enquiries. As the table below shows this represented a decrease on call
volumes of the previous period, however, this was partially offset by an increase in
email contacts. The cause of the decrease in telephone contacts may correspond
with the economic downturn or could be linked to customer demographics and
preferences for contact.

                                               2009-10            2008-09
     Telephone enquiries                       40703              42553
     Email enquiries                           3556               2751

It is recognised that email does provide greater convenience for customers to make
enquiries and to conduct their business at a time that suits them rather than relying
on traditional business hours. The level of activity for the 2010-11 year will be used
in some analysis to determine trends and to understand customer needs.

Over the last 12 months, the resource sector has continued to fuel a significant
increase in the volume and diversity of work that is being completed by the WorkSafe
Business Service Centre. This is reflected in two areas of work being Licences for
High Risk Work and Plant registrations.

A total of 46,769 HRW licence classes were issued during the 2009-10 year. The
demand for High Risk Work Licences has also been impacted by move to a
compulsory licence for the operation of fork lifts generated a further workload for
Licencing and Registration Team. Currently Forklift HRW licences make up a little
under half of all classes issued.

WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11

During the 2009-10 year we have undertaken 2,700 plant registrations and 508 plant
design registrations. Thus the work volumes for the Plant Registration team have
not slowed as the result of the Global Financial Crisis, and numbers bucked the trend
and increased slightly, with the promise from industry of higher volumes over the
next three years.

Policy and Education

During the 2009-10 year the Policy and Education directorate continued to provide
support to Government and the Commission. A focus area of the policy work during
that period was the provision of input into the development of nationally harmonised
occupational safety and health laws. This process is on-going and extends to the
development of consistent guidance material.

    •   Education

        Numerous educational activities were delivered during the 2009-10 year. A
        number of these involved utilising the expertise of inspectors to deliver
        information on ‘specialist’ topics. The range of education activities included –
        -   115 information sessions to safety and health representative training
            courses, industry associations, schools and TAFE’s,
        -   50 information sessions to individual workplaces,
        -   25 free lunchtime ‘4thought’ sessions at various locations on a range of
            safety topics, and
        -   The Perth Work Safe Forum at the Perth Convention Centre in October
            2009 which was attended by over 600 delegates.

    •   ThinkSafe Small Business Assistance Program

        The ThinkSafe Small Business Assistance Program promotes the
        implementation of occupational safety and health systems and policies to
        small businesses in high risk industries, not-for-profit organisations and
        indigenous groups. The program delivers free and independent occupational
        safety and health consultancy services to small businesses through a variety
        of formats and at its core is the education of small business operators in the
        identification of hazards and risks with the development of controls
        appropriate for their business to eliminate or reduce those hazards.

        During the year the program continued to experience an increase in demand
        for its services and was delivered to small business in both the metropolitan
        area (69%) and regional centres (31%). During the year the program
        delivered –
        -   678 one-on-one consultations with small businesses,
        -   10 safety and health system seminars to groups of small businesses,
        -   1 group session to small businesses, and

WorkSafe WA – BUSINESS PLAN 2010-11

        -   2 group sessions to remote indigenous communities in the Pilbara and
            the Mid-West.

        The ThinkSafe Small Business Assistance Program was also used to conduct free
        and independent shed safety training and assessments to 30 shearing sheds.
        More than 49 shed owners and 15 shearing team members participated.

        The program also delivered, under a Service Delivery Agreement for the
        Commonwealth Government, free and independent occupational safety and health
        consultations to 28 small businesses on Christmas and Cocos Keeling Islands.

    •   Awards

        During the year we continued to promote the ‘WorkSafe Plan’ which provides
        an assessment process that rates safety management systems and directs
        attention to areas that can be improved. The WorkSafe Plan is promoted to
        help workplaces introduce occupational safety and health management
        systems that support the practices required to establish and maintain safe
        systems of work and provide recognition for success. In 2009-10, seven
        platinum, eight gold and eight silver awards were awarded.

        Additionally, the Work Safety Awards Western Australia were used to recognise
        outstanding occupational safety and health management, solutions and
        innovation in Western Australian workplaces that reduce the risk of work related
        injury and disease.



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