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Annual Report 2016 - 2017

Programs support staff to work safely and stay healthy

OBJECTIVE Supporting our people

New three-year plan delivers a range of wellbeing programs to staff

A new Work Health and Safety Plan to improve staff safety and wellbeing includes:

  • an online safety management system that allows Legal Aid NSW to report on incidents, hazards and risks staff may encounter in their work at offices, courts and outreach places (see below)
  • a new project officer role to develop wellbeing programs and initiatives in consultation with staff
  • a transition to retirement program proposal
  • distributing sit/stand desks to offices throughout Legal Aid NSW
  • expanding the Wellcheck Program to include clinical supervision and support to high risk work groups
  • involvement in the NSW Government Get Healthy Program starting with arranging health checks for Legal Aid NSW staff in June 2017.

Prevention helps identify health and safety ‘hot spots’

A new online safety system was introduced in May 2017 across all Legal Aid NSW offices.

The new system is a cloud based software program that works on all devices, from desktops and laptops to the new hybrid systems and has an off-line module to report issues out of mobile coverage. This allows all staff to report any hazards, incidents or near misses or conduct safety checks on activities that may affect their wellbeing.

With the data collected, health and safety ‘hot spots’ within the organisation can be identified, which will allow us to direct resources to address these wellbeing issues more effectively.

Staff induction, education and training as well as ongoing improvements in the provision of client services can all be better supported as a result of a greater understanding of the health, safety and wellbeing risks faced by all staff.

Workers compensation claims and associated costs

Our workers compensation performance over the last few years has resulted in a refund of $481,103 from our premium.

Ten workers compensation claims were lodged in 2016–2017. Six of these were accepted, one was declined and one remained under investigation as at 30 June 2017. Two of these claims were voluntarily withdrawn after they were lodged.

The cost of new claims was $103,210 compared with $68,538 in 2015–2016, an increase of $34,671.

The number of full time equivalent (FTE) (on average) staff for this year is 1067.90—an increase of 38.95 from 1028.95 in 2015–2016. This equates to an average claim cost of $96.64 per staff member compared to $66.61 per staff member in 2015–2016.

There was an increase in psychological injuries (e.g. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/Anxiety Disorders or Depression) from one in 2015–2016 to four this year. One was withdrawn and declined following investigation. The cost of the psychological claims was $89,515 or 86.7 per cent of the total cost of claims for 2016–2017. There was an increase in the cost of psychological claims by $32,433 compared to last year. This increase is directly related to the increase in the total number of psychological claims lodged for 2016–2017.

The number of accepted claims (includes claims accepted under provisional liability) increased from five in 2015–2016 to six this year. Of those accepted, there were three body stress claims (e.g. repetitive strain injury) and one electrical claim (electric shock) amounting to $21,047 of the total cost of claims.

The total number of reported ‘Incident Only’ Notifications of Injury remained the same—a total of 18. Although 'Journey' claims are no longer compensable, we continue to collect statistics.

Workers compensation claims 2014 to 2017

Type of claims Number of claims for 2014–2015 Number of claims for 2015–2016 Number of claims for 2016–2017




On duty (e.g. at court) 3 1 2
Journey 1 0 0
Recesses (authorised breaks) 1 2 0
Total claims lodged 14 5 10

Workers compensation claims over five years

2012-2013 14
2013–2014 11
2014–2015 14
2015–2016 5
2016–2017 10

Work-related incidents over five years

Type of Injury/Incident Number of reports for 2014–2015 Number of reports for 2015–2016 Number of reports for 2016–2017
Workplace 3 7


On duty (e.g. Court) 7 3 2
Journey 2 6 2
Recesses 3 2 1
Total 15 18 18

Work-related incidents over five years

2012–2013 16
2013–2014 17
2014–2015 15
2015–2016 18
2016–2017 18