Council is committed to providing a workplace that is safe and without risk to the health and safety of all employees, contractors, volunteers, work-experience students, visitors and members of the public.
Council recognises the importance of developing and maintaining healthy and safe working conditions in all workplaces and the importance of keeping the work health and safety practices in these workplaces under constant review.
Council’s work health and safety duties are achieved through the adoption and promotion of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 provisions and its associated regulation, codes and standards. Additionally, Council places significant importance on the areas of hazard and risk management as well as injury prevention strategies. To assist in meeting these requirements Council has developed a safety management system known as “Safeplan”.
Workplace Incidents and Injuries
Statistics relating to incidents and injuries during the 2013/14 and 2014/15 financial years are as follows:-
On 20 May 2013 a Council front end loader at the commercial waste tipping site at the Kingaroy Waste Disposal Facility reversed into a stationary skip bin truck owned by a private company seriously injuring the driver of that vehicle.
Council is genuinely committed to the health and safety of its employees and people visiting its workplaces and sincerely regrets that this incident occurred and the injuries it caused to the individual.
As a result of the incident legal proceedings were launched against South Burnett Regional Council and on 26 June 2015 Council entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.
Enforceable Undertakings take the form of a written, legally-binding commitment to implement effective health and safety initiatives. These initiatives are designed to deliver tangible benefits for workers, industry, and the community as a whole. The initiatives relating to the Enforceable Undertaking are as follows:-
- The installation of reversing cameras and proximity sensors on selected high risk mobile plant owned by Council.
- An upgrade of Council’s workplace health and safety management system plan.
- An annual audit of Council’s workplace health and safety management system over the next three years.
- A work health and safety awareness program for the approximately 400 commercial users of the Nanango, Kingaroy, Wondai and Murgon waste disposal facilities.
- An agreement with the University of Queensland to sponsor a Recognition Award for the highest achieving undergraduate student studying the Bachelor of Occupational Health and Safety Science in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
- Providing an annual vocational internship to selected University of Queensland students studying the Bachelor of Occupational Health and Safety Science.
- Payment of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland costs associated with the enforceable undertaking.
To ensure Council fosters a climate of mutual understanding and confidence between itself and its employees, a Health and Safety Committee was established. This committee meets on a quarterly basis and is comprised of management representatives, specialist staff and health and safety representatives and advisors.
Additional work health and safety consultation is also promoted by involving staff in risk assessments, workplace inspections and incident investigations.
Training and Staff Induction
Training continues to underpin Council’s safety initiatives with the majority of employees undertaking work health and safety training or induction through the year. Training was conducted for first aid, confined space entry, traffic management, working at heights and fire safety.
Training and induction statistics for the 2014/15 financial year are as follows:-
100% of existing and new staff received a safety induction
343 employees attended WH&S training
Healthy Workers - Healthy Lives Program
In February 2014, with the aid of funding from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, Council commenced a program to increase the health and wellness of its field staff. The program included health and skin cancer checks, advice on healthy eating and fitness, mental health awareness, fitness challenges and assistance to employees who wished to quit smoking.
The program now includes office as well as field staff. Upcoming initiatives include providing motivation and information on increasing fitness and healthy eating through the “Stepathlon” program as well as skin cancer and health checks.
Employee Assistance Program – EAP
Council provides access to an Employee Assistance Program for all employees and their immediate family who experience work-related, personal or health problems.
Providing this support not only assists employees and their immediate family in times of stress or illness but may also reduce the risk of injury or poor work performance occurring at the workplace.