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Annual Report 2021 - 2022

Programs aim to keep staff healthy and safe at work

Mentally Healthy Workplace Policy

In July 2021, we launched our Mentally Healthy Workplace Policy followed by a framework and guide showing our commitment to establishing, promoting and maintaining a workplace that fully values the mental health and wellbeing of staff and actively ensures that our staff are safe and well. The policy is supported by a program of work based on best practice strategies, with a focus on psychosocial risks.

In October 2021, in support of Mental Health month the Safety Health and Wellbeing team won the Mental Health Matters WayAhead Workplace Wellbeing Award for the Mentally Healthy Workplace Program.

Managing psychosocial risks

To support the policy release, psychosocial risk workshops were coordinated with each division to look at mental health and develop psychosocial risk assessments listing hazards, risks and controls. From these workshops we identified four key factors to focus on: emotional demands, work-related violence and aggression, work demands and social supports.

A range of new initiatives were developed to support staff around these four issues, including a package of works on vicarious trauma, a WellCheck trial, a work-related violence and aggression policy, unreasonable client conduct and vicarious trauma champions, working parties, and the expansion of peer-to-peer networks through a social support framework.

Workers compensation claims and associated costs

Staff recorded 149 workplace incidents this year. 148 incidents occurred last year, resulting in a less than one percent increase year-on-year.

Of these incidents, 72.4 percent were related to unreasonable client conduct or threats from clients, which is an increase of 6.28 percent since 2020–2021.

There were 42 injury/illness notifications reported to our insurer, of which eight were cost-impacting workers compensation claims. The total net amount paid for these claims was $44,253.54.

A total of $440,112.82 was spent on active workers compensation claims this year.

  • Four physical injuries were claimable resulting in 13 percent of claims costs, and
  • Six psychological injuries were claimable resulting in 87 percent of claims costs.

Mechanism breakdown for injury/illness notifications

Vehicle incidents and other324
Falls, trips and slips933
Hitting objects with a part of the body11
Being hit by moving objects3
Body stressing793
Mental stress4332

*Two additional notifications were made after the reporting period for 2019–20 but occurred during the financial year.

Year ahead iconThe year ahead

  • We will develop emotional demands prevention tools such as:
    • an employee file trauma tracker – a tool designed for Solicitors in Charge and Practice Managers to allow them visibility of the emotional demands of files assigned to their staff and
    • an emotional demands support framework – a package of supports designed for teams to engage in based around different levels of risk exposure relating to emotional demands.
  • We will finalise work on our social support platform.
  • We will implement an employee wellbeing platform.
  • We will develop a psychosocial risk tool to help managers assess the level of risk their teams may be exposed to – it will cover approximately 12 themes such as emotional demands, work-related violence and aggression, culture and social supports. Teams will then be able to utilise a pre-set package of supports based on the identified risk level.