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Workplace Health and Safety Queensland performance

This information is taken from the Queensland Work Health and Safety Board Key statistical indicators quarterly update 1 2013-14 (PDF, 288.27 KB) .

This information highlights:

  • the number of contacts made to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) and indicators of the quality and timeliness of contact services provided
  • inspectorate capacity as compared with other WHS regulators
  • the quantum of inspectorate activity (proactive and reactive)
  • the areas in which inspectorate resources have been allocated
  • the major campaigns underway within WHSQ
  • the quantum of notices issued by the inspectorate to bring about compliance
  • the extent of the use of sanctions by WHSQ inspectors.

Information for this report has been sourced from a mixture of internal data, derived databases used by inspectors, WHS Infoline contact officers and licensing staff, along with data that is reported in Comparative Performance Monitoring Reports produced by Safe Work Australia.

WHSQ contact

Table 9: WHSQ contact 2011-12 to 2013-14 YTD

Type of contact 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 YTD
Incident notificationsa 6537 4143 623
Complaintsa 4559 5360 1862
Number of occupational licensing transactionsb 87,769 74,012 15,174
Clients accessing information and advisory services, which
is made up of the following four measures:
2,365,802 2 178,209 575,844
  • Number of telephone enquiries to AAA centrec
111,247 112,570 25,807
  • Number of email enquiries to AAA centrec
6111 4755 1161
  • Clients accessing information via regional counter visitsd
9052 3964 548
  • Visits to websitee
2,239,392 2,056,920 548,328
Grade of service (percentage of calls answered in less
than 3 minutes by WHS Infoline)c
75 78 66
Calls abandoned (percentage of incoming)c 8 10 12
Percentage of calls answered without delayc 43 37 50

Sources:
a Source data supplied by BSSU September 2013 (and DG report card for previous periods)
b Supplied by licensing services
c Supplied by AAA centre
d Supplied by regional directors
e Supplied by awareness and engagement unit

Inspectorate capacity

According to the latest Comparative Performance Monitoring Report (CPM) report, for the 2011-12 year (the latest reference year in the report), Queensland, in comparison with the other Australian jurisdictions had the:

  • third highest number of active field inspectors
  • fourth highest number of active field inspectors per 10 000 workers.

Table 10: WHS jurisdictional inspectorate capacity, 2011-12

Jurisdiction NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS NT ACT
Number of active field inspectors 315 240 216 103 93 31 12 23
Active field inspectors per 10 000 employees 1.0 0.9 1.1 1.0 1.3 1.5 1.1 1.7

Source: Comparative Performance Monitoring Report - 15th Edition

Inspectorate activity

Table 11: WHSQ inspectorate activity 2011-12 to 2013-14 YTD

Type of activitya 2011-12 Rate per '000
employing
businesses*b
2012-13 Rate per '000
employing
businesses*b
2013-14 YTD Rate per '000
employing
businesses*b
Total number of workplace visits 31,088 191 30,219 184 6847 N/A
Total number of distinct workplaces visited 14,458 89 14,723 90 3964 N/A
Assessments conducted 22,075 136 23,343 142 5340 N/A
Advisories conducted 4865 30 3047 19 623 N/A
Investigations conducted 1017 6 606 4 47 N/A

Sources:
a Source data supplied by BSSU September 2013 (and DG report card for previous periods)
b Source ABS 8165.0 - Counts of Australian Businesses, June 2007-June 2011
*Number of businesses employing staff in Qld ABS estimate June 2011

Under the new Workplace health and safety response assessment process, events received by each region are triaged to determine the regional response. This response can include a determination to close out the event, create and allocate a response assessment, allocate as an investigation, or an escalation through these responses as required.

According to the latest available Comparative Monitoring Report, for the 2011-12 year, Queensland compared with other Australian jurisdictions, had the:

  • highest number of proactive workplace visits
  • highest number of workshops/presentations/seminars/forums.

Table 12: WHS jurisdictional inspectorate activity 2011-12

Jurisdiction NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS NT ACT
Number of workplace visits:
proactive
6577 21,945 26,091 5228 9201 4442 946 433
Number of workshops/ presentations/seminars/forums:
proactive
1065 u/a 3179 285 345 172 102 218
Number of workplace visits:
reactive
13,652 18,567 2455 4446 9510 3230 2889 1574
Other reactive interventions 26 244 u/a 10,710 17,307 11,869 2276 u/a 0

Source: Comparative Performance Monitoring Report - 15th Edition

Inspectorate resource allocation [8]

The following tables provide two different ways of illustrating the allocation of inspectorate resource to industry groups. Table 13 illustrates proportion allocation of inspector time within particular business groups. Table 14 illustrates the proportion of the total number of activities that have been undertaken within particular business groups.

The presentation of the information using the two tables helps to verify the allocation of resources across the industry groups. The data presented highlights complementary allocation of resources regardless of the data used.

Table 13: WHSQ inspectorate resource allocation by industry, 2009-10 to 2012-13 (as at end September 2012) (per cent of total activities based on time allocation)1

Industry Group 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 YTD
Construction 47% 39% 40%
Transport, postal and warehousing 4% 4% 3%
Manufacturing 14% 12% 11%
Health care and social assistance 1% 2% 2%
Public administration and safety 1% 6% 5%
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 2% 3% 4%
Education and training 1% 3% 3%
Other* 30% 31% 32%
Total 100% 100% 100%

Source:
a Source data supplied by BSSU October 2013
*Includes where industry is not recorded, Mining, and 'other' industries such as 'Accommodation and Food Services', 'Administrative and Support Services', 'Arts and Recreation Services' and 'Professional, Scientific and Technical Services'

Table 14: WHSQ inspectorate resource allocation by industry, 2011-12 to 2013-14 YTD (per cent of field activities based on activity count)a

Industry Group 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 YTD
Construction 38% 47% 46%
Transport, postal and warehousing 4% 3% 3%
Manufacturing 14% 11% 9%
Health care and social assistance 2% 2% 2%
Public administration and safety 7% 2% 1%
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 3% 2% 3%
Education and training 2% 2% 2%
Other* 30% 31% 34%
Total 100% 100 100

Source:
a Source data supplied by BSSU October 2013
*Includes where industry is not recorded, Mining, and 'other' industries such as 'Accommodation and Food Services', 'Administrative and Support Services', 'Arts and Recreation Services' and 'Professional, Scientific and Technical Services'

Major WHSQ campaigns [9]

The following table highlights the activity within major campaigns underway at 30 September 2013. These campaigns are typically run across all regions.

Table 15: WHSQ inspectorate activity as a direct result of major campaigns conducted a

Campaign Type of campaign Campaign timeframe Workplace visits
    2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 YTD Total visits for campaign
Construction housekeeping Compliance October 2010-June 2014 2081 1745 148 3974
Construction falls from heights Compliance October 2010-June 2014 1481 1636 287 3404
Construction mobile plant Compliance October 2010-June 2014 604 386 37 1027
Asbestos Registers Compliance and advisory January 2012-June 2016 465 1530 290 2285
Service stationsb Compliance and advisory January 2012-June 2014 n/a 230 130 360
Quad bikesb Compliance and advisory January 2012-June 2014 n/a 89 17 106

a Source data supplied by BSSU October 2013
b These campaigns were in the planning stage throughout the first half of 2012 calendar year. Workplace assessment site visits did not commence until August 2012.

Please refer to the 'campaigns' paper for detailed information about the current campaigns underway.

Compliance notices

WHSQ inspectors issue a range of notices for the legislation under which they have been appointed as inspectors. Table 16 deals with the notices that are issued that require a compliance action by the person on whom the notice has been issued.

Table 16: WHSQ compliance notices by category, 2011-12 to 2013-14 YTDa

Notice Type 2011-12 Rate per '000 employing businesses*b 2012-13 Rate per '000 employing businesses*b 2013-14 YTD Rate per '000 employing businesses*b
Improvement notices 6986 43 5467 33 1306 N/A
Prohibition notices 1750 11 1349 8 362 N/A
Dangerous goods directivesc 167 1 0 0 0 N/A
Electrical safety protection notices 80 0 57 0 11 N/A
Unsafe equipment notices 0 0 0 0 0 N/A
Total 8983 55 6873 42 1679 N/A

Sources:
a Source data supplied by BSSU October 2013 (and DG report card for previous periods)
b Source ABS 8165.0 - Counts of Australian Businesses, June 2007 - June 2011
c
Dangerous goods directives are no longer issued since 1 January 2012 due to the repeal of the Dangerous Goods Safety Management Act
* Number of businesses employing staff in Qld ABS estimate June 2011

Based on the latest CPM, Table 17 sets out the number of improvement and prohibition notices issued by WHS jurisdictions in 2011-12. This highlights that WHSQ inspectors issued less improvement notices than other jurisdictions but issued the highest number of prohibition notices. Direct comparisons of notices issued cannot be made due to differences in jurisdictional policy about the number of breaches that can be addressed on a single notice.

Table 17: Work health and safety jurisdictional prohibition and improvement notices issued 2011-12

  NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS NT ACT
Number of improvement notices issued 8859 17,907 7030 8212 2295 79 68 282
Number of prohibition notices issued 601 645 1757 401 857 132 72 135

Source: Comparative Performance Monitoring Report - 15th Edition

Sanctions

Infringement notices, prosecutions and enforceable undertakings are the key sanctions available under Queensland work health and safety legislation. Table 18 highlights the application of infringement notices and enforceable undertakings.

There are two reasons for the decrease in infringement notices being issued, firstly under the harmonised laws the number of breaches where infringements notices can be issued against has significantly reduced and also WHSQ is conducting more risk based prosecutions where greater time and resources are required.

Table 18: Infringement notices and undertakings 2011-12 to 2013-14 YTD

Type of sanction 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 YTD
Number of infringement noticesa 207 61 19
Total of infringement finesa $190, 049 $106, 448 $26,672
Total number of electrical safety and work health and safety undertakings accepted by the Director-Generalb 6 17 3

Source:
a Source data supplied by BSSU October 2013 (and DG report card for previous periods)
b Supplied by Program Coordinator, Enforceable Undertakings Program, for last period (and DG report card for previous periods)

According to the latest Comparative Performance Monitoring Report, for the 2011-12 year, Queensland, in comparison with the other Australian jurisdictions (see Table 19) had the second highest number of finalised legal proceedings.

Table 19: Work health and safety jurisdictional application of sanctions 2011-12

  NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS NT ACT
Legal proceedings finalised 84 116 98 54 37 10 4 2
Successful legal proceedingsa 84 100 78 47 36 7 4 1
Number of infringement notices issued 357 n/a 207 n/a n/a 44 0 4

Source:
Comparative Performance Monitoring Report - 15th Edition
a Successful legal proceedings are those which result in a conviction, order or agreement

Please refer to the legal proceedings and enforceable undertakings paper for more information about these types of sanctions.

More information

Previous updates

Related links


Notes:
[8] The resource allocation for the inspectorate (Table 11) has been determined using the time recorded in the Compliance & Investigation System Refresh (CISR) for an inspector to action an event, investigation, assessment or advisory including travel time. The resource allocation for the inspectorate (Table 12) has been determined using the total number of field activities recorded in CISR, to action an event, investigation, assessment or advisory.

[9] Major campaigns listed in this table are those state-wide proactive campaigns that involve the greatest amount of inspectorate resource.

Last updated
28 July 2017

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