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 2016.
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
- Further information
Previous examples of best practice reporting are available for viewing (opens in new window).