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Annual Report 2017 - 2018

Programs support staff to work safely and stay healthy

OBJECTIVE Supporting our people

Supporting our staff through health, safety and wellbeing initiatives

Our new Online Safety System (OSS) which was introduced in May 2017 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.

In 2017–2018 the OSS recorded total of 161 incidents compared to 64 incidents in the previous 2016–2017 year, an increase of 152%. The increase is due to the enhanced reporting capability of the OSS during the year.

We further developed the OSS to record additional WHS information for:

  • safety hazards
  • safety observations
  • risk assessments including outreach safety assessments
  • office inspections
  • safety data sheet and electrical equipment information
  • first aider and emergency warden information

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.

To promote a safe and healthy workplace in 2017-2018 we:

  • Reviewed our Risk Management Guidelines and updated currency and responsibilities for WHS.
  • Developed an online safety system resource page to support staff.
  • Conducted training for staff at all 24 Legal Aid NSW offices about online safety system and POD initiatives
  • Created a protocol for staff to respond to Serious Client Incidents.

Workers compensation claims and associated costs

There were 27 workers compensation claims lodged in 2017–2018. 13 of these were accepted and 14 identified as notification only. 18 claims were finalised and nine remained under investigation as at 30 June 2018.

The cost of new claims was $70,638.18 compared to $167,645.44 in 2016/2017, a decrease of $97,007.26.

Of the accepted claims in this reporting period, 11 were physical injuries and three were muscular stress claims (e.g. lifting heavy objects). Physical injuries amounted to $47,892.76 of the total cost of claims of $70,638.18.

There was a decrease in psychological injuries (e.g. workplace related harassment and bullying / Anxiety Disorders or Depression) from four in the 2016-2017 reporting period to two this year. One psychological claim was accepted and one was finalised. The cost of psychological claims was $22, 745.42, a decrease in the costs from last year of $123,852.7. This decrease is directly related to the reduced number in psychological claims lodged for the reporting period.

The total number of reported ‘Incident Only’ Notifications of Injury remained the same, equating to a total of 14.

Workers compensation claims 2015 to 2018

Type of claimsNumber of claims for 2015–2016Number of claims for 2016– 2017Number of claims for 2017–2018
On duty (e.g. at court)121
Recesses (authorised breaks)201
Total claims lodged51013

Work-related incidents over three years

Type of Injury/ IncidentNumber of reports for 2016–2016Number of reports for 2016–2017Number of reports for 2017–2018
On duty (e.g. Court)324