WHS Communique 4

ACT Work Health and Safety Council - Communique

Meeting number 4

18 August 2020

The Work Health and Safety Council is established under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to advise the Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety on matters relating to work safety, workers’ compensation and activities of the work health and safety regulator. The Council meets quarterly and includes representatives from government, industry, and unions.

Summary of discussions

The Chair opened meeting and acknowledged the traditional custodians of the land. The Chair acknowledged the resignation of Valdis Luks from the Council.

Council Members discussed the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on workplaces, WHS matters and workers’ compensation, and discussed planning that is underway to deal with the potential of a second-wave of COVID-19 cases in the ACT.p

Jacqueline Agius, ACT Work Health and Safety Commissioner provided Members with an update on the achievements within the first 100 days in office; the implementation of recommendations of the 2018 independent review of the ACT’s work safety compliance infrastructure, policies and procedures; and a presentation on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health in the workplace. A suite of draft documents were presented; Enforcement Policy 2020-2024; Strategic Plan 2020-2023; and Statement of Operational Intent 2020-2021, seeking comment and input from the Council by the end of August.

Council Members endorsed membership of the Extreme Weather Conditions Advisory Committee, with meetings to commence at the end of August on a 6-weekly basis. The emerging issue of silicosis was discussed and the Council agreed to establish a sub-committee to establish recommendations for addressing silica dust exposure in the workplace.

Council Members noted the Annual Review of the Workers’ Compensation Private Scheme and the injury trend data report.

The meeting was closed by the Chair.

Jason O’Mara
Chair, WHS Council


For information about the ACT Work Safety Council please email ACTWorkSafetyCouncil.Secretariat@act.gov.au

If you are experiencing problems accessing the information in the Trend Report - Lost time injuries PDF, please email WorkInjuryReporting@act.gov.au and we will endeavour to provide the information in an alternative format.