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Annual Performance Statement

Statement of preparation

I, Michelle Baxter, as the accountable authority of Safe Work Australia, present the agency’s 2018–19 annual performance statement, prepared for paragraph 39(1)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (Cth) (PGPA Act). In my opinion, the annual performance statement is based on properly maintained records, accurately presents the agency’s performance in the reporting period 2018–19 and complies with subsection 39(2) of the PGPA Act.

Michelle Baxter, signature

Michelle Baxter
Chief Executive Officer
Safe Work Australia

16 September 2019

Performance reporting framework

The agency’s performance is assessed with reference to the Safe Work Australia Act 2008 (Cth) functions (section 6), Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) 2018–19, the Safe Work Australia Corporate Plan 2018–2022 (corporate plan), the Safe Work Australia Operational Plan 2018–19 (operational plan) and the targets in the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022 (the Australian Strategy).

The 2018–19 PBS for Safe Work Australia outlined a single program structure with the outcome statement:

Healthier, safer and more productive workplaces through improvements to Australian work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements.

Deliverables against this outcome are identified in the PBS and were developed with reference to the Safe Work Australia Act 2008 (Cth), the strategies in the corporate plan, the activities in the operational plan, and the Australian Strategy, and included:

  • review, evaluate and, if necessary, revise the model WHS laws to address issues impeding the effective and efficient operation of the laws and improve safety outcomes
  • implement the Members’ response to the findings of the mid-term review of the Australian Strategy and coordinate and report on activities undertaken to assist in the achievement of the Strategy’s outcomes and targets
  • develop and implement national education and communication strategies and initiatives to build awareness and knowledge of WHS and workers’ compensation and promote consistency in arrangements
  • collect, analyse and report on relevant data and undertake and disseminate research to identify new priorities and provide evidence for the development or evaluation of policies and supporting strategies
  • develop policy proposals and supporting strategies to improve workers’ compensation arrangements, with a particular focus on return to work, and
  • work with other national and international bodies to share data, information and/or knowledge, and represent Australia as appropriate, to improve Australian outcomes.

The agency measured its performance against these deliverables using two criteria:

  • Activities in the operational plan are delivered to the expected quality, on time and within budget.
  • Reductions in the incidence of work-related death, injury and illness through:
    • an improved and reformed WHS framework
    • increased WHS awareness and skills
    • developing and maintaining an evidence base which informs policy and practice
    • reduced exposure to work-related hazards causing injury and illness, and
    • improved quality of workplace controls.

The targets for these criteria were:

  • 80 per cent of Members and the Chair are satisfied with the agency achievements.
  • By 20221:
    • reduce workplace fatalities due to injury by 20 per cent or more
    • reduce the incidence rate of serious workers’ compensation claims by 30 per cent or more, and
    • reduce the incidence rate of serious workers’ compensation claims for musculoskeletal claims by 30 per cent or more.

These criteria and targets point to both the short and long-term performance of the agency: short-term being achievements against the operational plan (the reporting year), and long term being achievements against the Australian Strategy.

  • 1 Reductions in fatalities are calculated using a three-year rolling average, and are measured against a baseline figure of the average number of fatalities over the four calendar years from 2007 to 2010. Reductions in the incidence rate of workers' compensation claims are calculated each financial year, and are measured against a baseline figure of the average incidence rate over the three financial years from 2009–10 to 2011–12. More information on the methodology can be found in the Australian Strategy's Measuring Progress Towards Targets Guide.

Performance results

Targets for performance criterion 1

Performance criteria

Activities in the operational plan are delivered to the expected quality, on time and within budget.

Target

80 per cent of Members and the Chair are satisfied with the agency achievements. 

Result 

Achieved

Targets for performance criterion 2

Performance criteria

Reductions in the incidence of work-related death, injury and illness through:

  • an improved and reformed work health and safety framework
  • increased work health and safety awareness and skills
  • developing and maintaining an evidence base which informs policy and practice
  • reduced exposure to work-related hazards causing injury and illness, and
  • improved quality of workplace controls.

Target

By 2022:

  • reduce workplace fatalities due to injury by 20 per cent or more
  • reduce the incidence rate of serious workers’ compensation claims by 30 per cent or more, and
  • reduce the incidence rate of serious workers’ compensation claims for musculoskeletal claims by 30 per cent or more.

Result

On track

Performance analysis

Performance criterion 1

Activities in the operational plan are delivered to the expected quality, on time and within budget.

Performance criterion 1 relates to Safe Work Australia’s ability to deliver on the activities identified in the operational plan.

Under section 4 of the Safe Work Australia Act 2008 (Cth), the agency is required to prepare an operational plan outlining the activities that are to be undertaken to achieve its outcomes for the year. An agency work plan is also prepared which details the specific projects that will be undertaken in support of the operational plan activities. Both plans are prepared in consultation with Safe Work Australia Members.

Reports against the plans are prepared and provided to Members throughout the year via the Members’ project dashboard.

By working with our Members to agree the plans, and providing them with ongoing oversight, we ensure Members are across the activities of the agency and their expectations are managed accordingly.

As part of the 2018–19 annual performance reporting cycle, a survey of Safe Work Australia Members and the Chair was undertaken. They were asked to rate their level of satisfaction in relation to the agency achieving the activities outlined in the operational plan. Of responses received, all indicated they are either satisfied or very satisfied with the agency achieving the activities outlined in the operational plan.

Performance criterion 2

Reductions in the incidence of work-related death, injury and illness through:

  • an improved and reformed WHS framework
  • increased WHS awareness and skills
  • developing and maintaining an evidence base which informs policy and practice
  • reduced exposure to work-related hazards causing injury and illness, and
  • improved quality of workplace controls.

The second performance criterion relates to Safe Work Australia’s ability to bring about a reduction in the incidence of work-related death, injury and illness. The agency does this by implementing the strategies identified in the corporate plan and completing the activities detailed in the operational plan. The targets for this criterion mirror the national targets outlined in the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy.

The guide Measuring progress towards targets: reducing the incidence of work-related death, injury and illness explains how progress on the strategy’s targets is measured. Given the nature of the datasets and the processing of workers’ compensation claims, these data generally have a two- to three-year lag.

The latest available data demonstrates:

  • 36 per cent decrease in the number of traumatic injury fatalities, from 270 fatalities in the base period to 173 in 2016–18. The target for work-related fatalities was met in 2012–14, and the number of fatalities has continued to fall each year since then. If current trends continue, the reduction in work-related fatalities will exceed the reductions required to meet the target of at least a 20 per cent reduction by 2022.
  • 26 per cent decrease in the incidence rate of serious claims between the base period and 2016–17. The current rate is 9.3 serious claims per 1,000 employees down from 12.5. This decrease is on track to meet the target of at least a 30 per cent reduction by 2022.
  • 32 per cent decrease in the incidence rate of musculoskeletal claims between the base period and 2016–17. The current rate is 5.1 claims per 1,000 employees, down from 7.5. Progress against this target is on track for a reduction at least 30 per cent by 2022.

Further details of the activities that have contributed to the agency achieving its outcomes for the reporting period can be found in  Part 4—Our achievements.

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Last modified on Thursday 16 January 2020 [10949|93184]