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Safe and fair workplaces and communities

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We are focused on improving community wellbeing by ensuring Queensland workplaces and homes are safe, fair and productive.

Advances in technology and innovation are changing the way we live and work. We assist businesses, workers and the community to participate in fair and productive industrial relations, to identify and respond to health and safety risks, to be electrically safe, and to raise industry and workforce competencies and skills aligned to economic and social change. By securing compliance with regulatory requirements and investigating potential breaches of legislation, we provide clear deterrence to non-compliant behaviour while protecting those most at risk.

Through continued partnerships with the community, industry and worker representatives, and fair and balanced industrial relations and workers’ compensation frameworks, we promote a culture of health and safety, productive and inclusive workplaces, economic prosperity and fairness in Queensland.

In 2019–20, we focused on making Queensland the best place to live, work and be active.

Best practice review of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

We have invested $8 million across four years to implement initiatives responding to the 58 recommendations from the Best Practice Review of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland final report 2017.

The development of a 5 Year Strategic Plan for work health and safety in Queensland 2019–2023 focused on 4 priority areas identified in the review:

  • embracing innovation and technology
  • designing healthy and safe work
  • fostering a culture of health and safety
  • regulating effectively.

With a commitment to helping small businesses, engaging industry and a workforce of technical health and safety specialists, we continue to create a safety culture in Queensland workplaces to reduce work related fatalities, injuries and illnesses.

In June 2020 the Queensland Government passed the Community Services Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 2019 to establish a new portable long service leave scheme for community services workers to commence on 1 January 2021. The scheme will allow community services workers to accumulate long service leave by recognising their service with multiple employers within their industry.

Managing risk

We are committed to keeping our industries, homes and communities safe from the risk of serious injury, illness and electrical harm through compliance, enforcement, and advisory and support services.

During the COVID-19 pandemic we supported business and industry to manage risk and stay healthy and safe by developing a Risk Management Protocol for site visits and inspections. This included controls to reduce the risk as much as possible by minimising face-to-face interaction.

Our COVID-19 triaging matrix was used by the Electrical Safety Office and Work Health and Safety inspectorates and advisors prior to conducting any operational activities which involved attendance in the field. During such an uncertain period, the protocol and matrix ensured these officers could continue to undertake this important work with confidence.

Workers’ compensation legislation

Amendments to workers’ compensation legislation primarily focused on improving rehabilitation and return to work outcomes, the claims experience and outcomes for injured workers with psychological injuries. The amendments:

  • provide early intervention treatment for psychological injuries up until a decision is made on a claim
  • align the work-related test for psychological or psychiatric injuries with physical injuries so that employment need only be a significant contributing factor
  • require insurers to provide ongoing rehabilitation and return to work assistance at the end of a claim where required
  • exempt expressions of regret and apologies by employers to injured workers from being considered in assessing liability as part of a damages claim
  • give insurers discretion to accept claims submitted more than 6 months after an injury is diagnosed where a worker has attempted to self-manage their injury
  • extend workers’ compensation coverage to unpaid interns
  • change notification requirements for employers about rehabilitation and return to work coordinators and self-insurers about reporting compensable injuries.

Industrial relations service delivery measures

Industrial Relations service standards

Service: Industrial Relations

Target/Estimate

Actual

Effectiveness measure

Overall client satisfaction with inspectorate's effectiveness and professionalism1

90%

95%

Overall client satisfaction with the services and advice provided on public sector industrial relations2

90%

100%

Efficiency measure

Cost of Industrial Relations services per Queensland worker3

$3.14

$3.18

Cost of public sector industrial and employee relations per Queensland public sector worker4

$6.71

$6.72

Service: Administration of the Industrial Court and Commission system

Target/Estimate

Actual

Effectiveness measure

Percentage of matters resolved at conference5

65%

47%

Efficiency measure

Percentage of matters filed with the Industrial Registry and processed within 24 hours6

95%

95%

Service: Work health and safety services

Target/Estimate

Actual

Effectiveness measure

Overall client satisfaction with inspectorate’s effectiveness and professionalism7

90%

93%

Efficiency measure

Cost of WHSQ services per worker covered by the workers' compensation scheme8

$33.11

$33.58

Service: Electrical safety services

Target/Estimate

Actual

Effectiveness measure

Reduction in the number of reported serious electrical incidents over the year on a 5 year rolling average9

10%

-2.4%

Overall client satisfaction with inspectorate's effectiveness and professionalism7

90% 89%

Efficiency measure

Cost of electrical safety services per person in Queensland10

$4.26

$4.30

Service: Workers compensation services

Target/Estimate

Actual

Efficiency measure

Cost of Workers’ Compensation Regulator service per worker covered by the workers’ compensation scheme11

$9.80

$9.13

Effectiveness measure

Cost per Workers’ Compensation disputation12

$3,100

$3,301

Notes:

  1. The survey measures overall satisfaction of employers and employees who had interactions with an industrial relations inspector. The industrial inspectorate provides compliance and information services on Queensland's industrial relations laws for state and local government, long service leave, child employment, trading hours, labour hire and holidays. The survey is done biennially.
  2. The survey measures overall client satisfaction with the effectiveness and professionalism of the public sector industrial relations team. The team leads and advises on public sector enterprise bargaining and other industrial relations matters on behalf of the Queensland Government. The survey is done biennially.
  3. The cost is calculated by dividing the total cost of service by the Queensland labour force. (ABS Cat 6202.0 Labour Force, Australia). The increase in the 2019–20 Target/Estimate and 2019–20 Actual is due to slower than originally estimated labour force growth over 2019–20.
  4. The cost is calculated by dividing the total cost of service by the Qld State Public Sector Employees series 6248.2 Employment and Earning: Public Sector, Australia. The increase in the 2019–20 Target/Estimate is a consequence of additional resources used to support preparation for sector wide bargaining in 2019–20.
  5. This measures the Industrial Court and Queensland Industrial Relations Commission's effectiveness in resolving matters lodged in Queensland's industrial relations jurisdiction. The variance between the 2019–20 Target/Estimate and 2019–20 Actual is due to a reduction in the number of matters successfully resolved through conciliation conferences. This measure is to be discontinued in the 2020–21 financial year and replaced with a new measure ‘Clearance rate of pending case loads.
  6. The percentage of matters filed with the Industrial Registry and processed within 24 hours is determined by the time the matter is filed via email, post or over the counter to the time that the matter is entered into the Case Management System. This measure is to be discontinued in the 2020–21 financial year and replaced with a new measure ‘Cost of finalisation’.
  7. The primary objective of the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) survey is to assess the satisfaction of persons who had a visit from a Work Health and Safety or Electrical Safety inspector in the previous 12 months. WHSQ Inspectors enforce work health and safety laws, investigate workplace fatalities, serious injuries, prosecute breaches of legislation and educate employees and employers on their legal obligations. Electrical Safety Inspectors provide advisory and enforcement activities, promote compliance with electrical safety laws and standards, information, education and training activities to help reduce the risk of death or injury from electrocution, fire and explosion and improve electrical safety.
  8. The cost is calculated by dividing the total cost of service by the Queensland labour force. (ABS Cat 6202.0 Labour Force, Australia). The increase in the 2019–20 Estimated Actual is due to new funding arrangements based on the Best Practice Review recommendations. Work health and safety annual funding is based on the previous year's growth in Queensland's economic activity. As economic activity grew faster than the Queensland labour force in 2019–20, the 2019–20 Actual came in higher.
  9. This service standard is based on a change in the average number of serious electrical incidents (SEIs) reported. Despite the use of averages, the volatility of small numbers of SEIs has contributed to a marginal increase in the 2019–20 Estimated Actual. This means average SEIs have increased. The Electrical Safety Office continues to educate and enforce compliance of electrical safety within industry and community with a long-term objective to reduce serious electrical incidents rates within Queensland. This measure will be modified in the 2020–21 financial year and replaced with a calculation based on an annual instead of biennial change in averages.
  10. The 2019–20 Target/Estimate has been amended to reflect any potential future spikes in SEIs reported. The cost is calculated by dividing the total cost of service by the population of Queensland (ABS 3101.0—Australian Demographic Statistics). The increase to the 2019–20 Target/Estimate reflects an expected increase in the reporting of serious electrical incidents within industry following an increase in awareness and the ability to report within industry and communities, together with improved processes to capture this data. The Actual for 2019–20 exceeded the 2019–20 Target/Estimate as Queensland's population growth was slower than projected.
  11. The variance between the 2019–20 Target/Estimate and the 2019–20 Actual is due to a decrease in overall funding of Workers Compensation Regulator (WCR) in 2019–20. The cost is calculated by dividing the total cost of running the Review and Appeals units by the total number of review applications and appeals served.
  12. The variance between the 2019–20 Target/Estimate and the 2019–20 Actual is due to a decrease in matters going before the Review and Appeals Unit in 2019–20. This measure is to be discontinued in the 2020–21 financial year and replaced with a new measure ‘Workers’ compensation disputation rate’.

Read the Service Delivery Statements (PDF, 996KB) for further performance information.



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Last updated 12 November 2020