68. Workplace injury prevention and management
Commitment to a safe and healthy work environment68.1 The department is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all Staff, including providing return to work opportunities for ill and injured Staff, consistent with all legislative obligations. Further information is available in the department’s occupational health and safety (OH&S) policy and agreement, made in consultation with Staff and the Staff’ representative.
Health and life strategy68.2 The department encourages a culture that focuses on the health and wellbeing of Staff, and an appropriate balance between work and personal life. Where possible the department will negotiate discount registration/membership fees for Staff to join fitness or health clubs. Further information is available in the Health and Life Strategy.
Family care rooms68.3 The Secretary will provide access to family care facilities to provide a resource for Staff to carry out aspects of their normal duties while caring for dependants, as an alternative to taking leave.
Facilities for breastfeeding68.4 The Secretary will provide appropriate facilities for mothers to undertake breastfeeding, lactation and associated activities in the workplace.
68.5 Further information is available in the department’s Breastfeeding/Lactation Guideline.
Environmental sustainability strategy68.6 The Secretary will continue to improve the environmental performance of office operations through strategies addressing issues such as improving energy, waste management, and sustainability of major refurbishments.
68.7 Further information is in the department’s Environmental Policy.
Employee Assistance Program68.8 The Secretary will provide Staff and their families with access to confidential, professional counselling to assist with work or personal issues through provision of an external Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
Family care assistance68.9 Where a Staff member is required by the department to be away from home outside the Staff member’s Standard Day, and the Staff member incurs reasonable additional costs for family care arrangements the Staff member will be reimbursed those reasonable additional costs.
School holiday family care subsidy68.10 Where a Staff member with school children has leave refused, has approved leave cancelled or is required to return from leave early because of departmental business requirements during school holidays, the Secretary will reimburse up to $22 per child per day of the amount paid by the Staff member for each school child attending approved or registered care.
68.11 In the circumstances described above, where the Staff member can demonstrate that they would otherwise have taken personal responsibility for caring for other family members during school holidays, the Secretary may reimburse some or all of the amount paid by the Staff member for that family care.
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68.12 The reimbursement will:
- apply only on the days when the Staff member is at work, except in exceptional circumstances determined by the Manager; and
- be net of any government subsidy available to the Staff member.
Influenza vaccinations68.14 The Secretary will, on an annual basis, make appropriate arrangements for the provision of influenza vaccinations to all Staff at no cost.
Hepatitis B vaccinations68.15 The Secretary will make appropriate arrangements for the provision of Hepatitis B vaccinations for Staff who, through the course of their work, are in regular contact with members of the community classified as at increased risk with regard to Hepatitis B.
68.16 Further information is available in the National Health and Medical Research Council Immunisation Handbook.
After hours use of taxis68.17 The relevant Manager may approve the use of taxis by a Staff member for after hours work as part of their overall OH&S responsibility.
68.18 Further information is available in the department’s Use of Taxis for After Hours Work Guideline.
Eyesight testing68.19 The Secretary will provide for eyesight testing and reimbursement for prescribed eyesight correction (where not otherwise reimbursed under Medicare or private health insurance arrangements) to all Staff who, as an integral part of their duties, are required to:
- operate screen based equipment; and/or
- undertake specialised work tasks which require particular visual acuity not normally required for general tasks (eg. microscopy).
68.21 Staff are entitled to retesting at two-yearly intervals unless symptoms occur which indicate that further testing is necessary. Staff applying for testing more frequently than two-yearly intervals should support their applications with medical evidence.
Eyesight testing costs68.22 The Secretary will pay the full cost of the initial testing. If a Staff member is referred by the person conducting the initial test to an ophthalmologist for a condition related to the purpose for which they are being tested, this referral will also be paid by the department.
Reimbursement of eyewear costs68.23 Where spectacles are prescribed specifically for use with screen-based equipment, the department will reimburse up to:
- $100 for single vision spectacles; and
- $165 for bi-focal, multi-focal or tri-focal spectacles.
68.25 Further information on eyesight testing is available in the Eyesight Testing Guideline.
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