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Making the Museum accessible and safe

The Museum recognises the importance of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. Compliance with the Act helps to identify and remove barriers that might prevent people with disabilities from accessing Museum programs, services and employment opportunities. The Museum meets its obligations under the Act by implementing the Commonwealth Disability Strategy and the Museum's Disability Action Plan. Details of the Museum's performance during the year in implementing the Commonwealth Disability Strategy are set out in Appendix 10.

Educational and developmental opportunities

The Museum continued to be a sought-after venue for secondary and tertiary students seeking work experience, with 18 students undertaking work experience placements, primarily in our Visitor Services team, during the year. The Education section hosted 32 undergraduates from the University of Canberra, who were completing a Professional Community Day as part of their teaching program.

Interns from The Australian National University's Museums and Collections program, which is coordinated jointly between the Museum's Centre for Historical Research and the university, were also hosted at the Museum.

Promoting a healthy and safe workplace

The Museum continued to manage occupational health and safety (OHS) for all staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors during 2009–10. This was achieved with its well-established framework for OHS management that includes:

  • a dedicated Safety and Risk Manager who represents the Museum at various forums including the Commonwealth Safety Management Forum
  • quarterly OHS Committee meetings
  • five designated work groups for OHS management in all areas of the Museum
  • health and safety representatives and deputies in each of the five designated work groups
  • regular training for staff
  • targeted safety improvements
  • incident reporting and investigation
  • provision of timely information to employees via a dedicated intranet website.

The Museum recognises that training for staff and volunteers plays a key role in achieving and maintaining a high standard of workplace safety. Training provided during 2009–10 included:

  • online OHS training courses for all new employees
  • training courses focusing on the OHS obligations of managers and supervisors
  • customised manual handling training for collections management staff
  • manual handling training for staff who work in Facilities, the Museum Shop, Multimedia and Public Programs
  • training for staff members to gain licences for forklift and other plant operation, where required.

Ongoing recruitment and training of wardens, first aid officers, and health and safety representatives also took place to replace staff members who have vacated those positions. The Museum makes extensive use of contractors, and hence continues to focus on ensuring that all contractors working on Museum sites receive a site induction prior to commencing work to make them aware of their OHS obligations. The Museum continued its approach of identifying, assessing and rectifying safety hazards in a functional and practical way, which also takes environmental and aesthetic aspects into consideration. The Safety and Risk Manager continues to actively provide OHS input into exhibition creation and gallery development, from design through to installation phases.

In an effort to increase staff awareness of their own health and wellbeing, annual influenza vaccinations and voluntary health assessments were made available for all staff and volunteers. Furthermore, additional H1N1 influenza vaccinations were made available during 2009 for staff and volunteers.

There were a total of 90 injuries reported by staff, visitors or contractors during the year. This included one serious injury. There was also one dangerous occurrence. These were both reported to Comcare in accordance with Section 68 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991.

The statistics show a slight increase in the number of reported minor injuries compared with the previous year but there was a decrease in the number of serious injuries and dangerous occurrences.

There were no fatalities or provisional improvement notices recorded during the year. Minor injuries are those that require no medical treatment, or only first aid treatment. Serious injuries require emergency medical attention by a doctor, in a hospital or in an ambulance. Dangerous occurrences are incidents that could have, but did not, result in serious injury or death.

Category of person injured or involved in dangerous occurrences,
A doughnut chart indicating the category of person injured or involved in dangerous occurrences, 2009–10. Visitors 61 per cent, Contractors 6 per cent, Staff and volunteers 33 per cent.
Cases of injury or dangerous occurrences, 2005–10
A vertical bar chart set against a background of coloured bands. The bands alternate between biege and darker biege. The vertical bars are light green, darker green, light purple, darker purple and grey. The vertical bars are in six groups. Each group is labelled at the bottom; the labels are 'Falls Slips Trips', 'Body Stressing', 'Hitting Objects', 'Being Hit By Objects', 'Heat Radiation Electricity' and 'Other'. In the top right hand corner of the chart are five different coloured dots with text next to each dot. From left to right, the dots are: light green, with 'FY05-06'; light purple, with 'FY06-07'; grey, with 'FY07-08', dark green, with 'FY08-09; and dark purple, with 'FY09-10'. At the left side of the chart are numbers, starting with zero at the bottom and ending with forty at the top.

Category and number of reported incidents, 2005–10

Year Minor injuries Serious injuries Dangerous occurrences
2005–06 91 1 1
2006–07 63 0 4
2007–08 60 3 5
2008–09 85 6 3
2009–10 89 1 1


During 2009–10 the Museum's Security section continued to maintain a safe and secure environment for visitors, staff, contractors and collections, including the National Historical Collection, and all Museum buildings and infrastructure.

Upgrades to security infrastructure undertaken during the year included:

  • an upgrade to the security camera controller to replace outdated, end-of-life technology with new digital equipment. This included new software, the replacement of outdated analogue components with digital hardware and new LCD monitors
  • installation of additional cameras and electronic door locks to provide enhanced security to the Museum's building assets.

Indemnities and insurance

In accordance with Section 16 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders 2008, which requires reporting on indemnities and insurance premiums for officers, the Museum confirms that it has:

  • director's and officers' liability insurance cover through Comcover, the Commonwealth selfmanaged fund
  • not entered into any deeds of indemnity in relation to director's and officers' liability.

As part of its annual insurance renewal process, the Museum reviewed its insurance coverage to ensure that it remained appropriate for its operations. The Comcover Risk Management Benchmarking program recognised the ongoing positive impact of the Museum's risk management strategies and activities by awarding the Museum a discount on its 2009–10 insurance premium.