Occupational health and safety
The Museum continued to manage occupational health and safety (OH&S) through its OH&S management framework. This includes:
- an OH&S committee
- four designated work groups for OH&S management in different areas of the Museum
- regular training for staff
- staff monitoring
- safety improvements
- incident reporting.
The Museum's OH&S Committee met four times during the year. The minutes of each meeting were made available to staff. The committee comprises the Safety and Risk Manager, management representatives and health and safety representatives (HSRs) from the four designated work groups, as well as representatives from the Employee Relations and People Development section, and Facilities. The committee is chaired by the General Manager, Operations.
The designated work groups are at Acton Administration, Acton Annexe, Acton Front of House, and Mitchell. Each has an HSR and Deputy HSR. There are also trained first aid officers and fire wardens at all Museum sites.
Training is an integral component in achieving and maintaining a high standard of workplace safety, and there continues to be an emphasis on providing appropriate training to meet the varying needs of staff. Training provided during 2004-2005 included:
- courses for managers and supervisors to emphasise their roles and responsibilities in their role within the Museum and their obligations under the Commonwealth OH&S legislation
- OH&S and risk management induction presentations for new employees
- regular awareness training for Visitor Host Teams to emphasise their OH&S roles and responsibilities especially in regard to the public
- confined space entry and elevated work platform training for Facilities staff
- manual handling training for Collections Management staff.
Safety improvements made in the Garden of Australian Dreams have contributed to a reduction in the number of injuries reported over the year compared with the previous year. The Museum continues its approach of identifying, assessing and rectifying safety hazards in a functional and practical way that also takes into consideration environmental aspects.
Staff who work with potentially hazardous substances underwent medical screening during the year. Health Services Australia conducted the screening, and has advised the Museum to undertake two-yearly retesting of staff, rather than annually. No retesting was necessary this year, but will be undertaken in 2005-2006.
Staff, visitors or contractors reported a total of 65 injuries during the year, including four serious personal injuries. The serious personal injuries and two dangerous occurrences were reported to Comcare in accordance with Section 68 of the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991.
There were no fatalities or provisional improvement notices recorded during the period.