Safety first at the City of Stirling

The City of Stirling in Western Australia demonstrates its commitment to the safety and health of its people through significant investment in a number of initiatives.

Over 230 employees participated in an in-depth health assessment and 280 employees received an influenza vaccination in 2012.

During the latter months of 2012, an unprecedented 458 City of Stirling employees participated in the annual skin cancer screening program; an increase in the participation rate of 20 percent on 2011 attendance.

Following this year’s screening service, approximately 80 employees were referred to their GP or specialist for management or removal of lesions. There has also been a dramatic increase in the number of employees who now regularly apply sunscreen and wear their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to decrease their risk of sun exposure. Work schedules and task allocation are regularly reviewed to ensure that wherever possible employees are not working in direct sun in the middle of the day.

As part of the City’s commitment to the general wellness and health of the general public, as well as its employees, the City has worked with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service to carry out a blood donation service on the City’s premises. As a result, the City of Stirling was recognised in the annual 2011 Corporate Group Winter Challenge as gaining fourth place in the 500+ employee participation category.

Over the last four years, the City has been able to reduce the number of workers compensation claims by 18 percent; the number of days that an employee is not able to work by 28 percent; and the frequency rate by 25 percent.

This has been achieved by the joint effort of supervisors and managers with the support of the Occupational Safety and Health (OS&H) team. The worker’s compensation advisor, in consultation with the claims team at Local Government Insurance Services (LGIS), works closely with all injured employees to provide the best possible outcome for a claim and an early return to meaningful duties for the employee.

The City of Stirling also embarked on a three-year program with its neighbouring authorities — the cities of Joondalup, Swan and Wanneroo — to engage the services of a strategic OS&H service provision through LGIS.  A high level resource was provided to assist in the shaping of the Occupational Safety and Health strategy for the City and to develop a shared resource and strategy approach to safety and health across local governments.

This program has seen a number of improvements in the way safety is managed and recorded and has seen the implementation of a systematic approach to the roll out of safe work method statements across the participating authorities.