The Workplace Safety Management Practices scheme is designed to recognise those employers who have established an acceptable benchmark for health and safety and injury prevention in the workplace and continuous improvement of workplace health and safety systems. Participation is optional. Injured employee entitlements are not affected, they are as provided under ACC WorkPlace Cover.
If you meet the requirements of a safer work environment you may qualify for a premium discount of 10%, 15% or 20% on your ACC WorkPlace Cover premium. The level of discount depends on the extent to which your workplace meets the requirements. Workplaces are graded on three levels:
Primary: conformance to the basic specified requirements of the audit standard (10% discount)
Secondary: conformance beyond the basic specified requirements of the audit standard (15% discount)
Tertiary: conformance meeting the full requirements of the audit standard, and showing continuous improvement (20% discount).
ACC will make the final decision on whether a discount is awarded, based on the recommendation of the independent auditor's report. Discounts apply for two years (the premium year in which the audit is undertaken and the following premium year). To qualify for a further discount, you must reapply after two years. Discounts are backdated to the beginning of the premium year, no matter when the successful audit is undertaken and reported during that year.
To qualify for a discount through ACC Workplace Safety Management Practices, there is a two-step assessment process to go through.
- Step one: Self-assessment. You assess your own workplace, using the ACC Self Assessment Guide provided to guide employers through the self-assessment process. At least one senior management and employee representative should undertake this self-assessment. The Self Assessment Guide allows you to measure the safety standards in the workplace and helps you assess whether you will pass an independent workplace audit. When the self-assessment is completed, you send your application to ACC. ACC will then notify you if your workplace qualifies for the next step: the independent audit.
- Step two: Independent audit. ACC will notify employers by letter about their application. If you qualify, you then select an independent auditor from the list provided by ACC or refer to our list of Telarc ACC Approved Auditors.
Telarc will agree on an audit date with you. This needs to include the sites to be audited (as advised by ACC in their approval letter) and the participation of staff in the focus group interviews. The auditor will assess whether the workplace meets the requirements to qualify for a premium discount, and if so, to what level (primary, secondary or tertiary). The audit includes a systematic review of workplace safety systems and processes, site visits and interviews with staff and management.
If you do not meet the standards of the audit, but the problems are deemed by the auditor to be minor, you will be given 30 days to address the problem and have it verified by the same auditor. Within that period, the auditor will complete the report and advise ACC of their recommendation accordingly. If the problems are more extensive, you will not qualify for a discount in the present year and will need to wait for a further 12 months before making a fresh application.