Letter to the CEO of CASA

22 December 2020
Shane Carmody,
CEO and Director of Aviation Safety
Civil Aviation Safety Authority
GPO Box 2005, Canberra ACT, 2601.

By email: Shane.Carmody@casa.gov.au


Dear Mr Carmody, 

We refer to our letter dated 17 December outlining Professionals Australia’s concerns following inspections by our staff in Sydney and Adelaide offices of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Professionals Australia is of the view that CASA have created a situation that is an imminent threat to the health and safety of workers at CASA, and that CASA has failed to take immediate steps to rectify this risk. 

CASA has yet to respond to our letter dated 17 December with the requested documents as at 12pm today, despite promising to do so.
 
Given the recalcitrance of CASA in failing to act after our correspondence and after further discussions with staff, we now believe that CASA has failed in the primary duty of care owed to employees under 19 (1), (2) and (3 c, e & f) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.   Specifically we have evidence that CASA has created an unsafe system of work through the introduction and implementation of the EAP software package and the ‘Regulatory Services and Surveillance transformation process’.  CASA further appear to have not taken any steps to mitigate this harm and risk identified by us despite our writing to you about these serious concerns.

We have collected evidence that in combination the implementation of these two systems are causing:

confusions and lack of clarity around roles and responsibilities;
a loss of control and oversight of workloads (including managers);
double handling of work;
real risk to the aviation industry;
massive change to the way work is done; and
unreasonable expectations on staff in terms of both workload and staff members’ experience or expertise.

These have caused both a feeling of mistrust of management, but more importantly real unreasonable stress and harm to psychological and mental health of staff, which is ongoing.

We have seen and heard evidence to confirm our view that the harm is real, ongoing, and that CASA has not taken adequate steps to mitigate this risk.

As a result Professionals Australia is informing CASA of the following actions by us:

We are seeking the urgent assistance of CommCare as the regulator to assist in resolving these risks;
we are writing and advising members that we believe the use of the EAP software package in its current form is an imminent threat to the health and safety of workers, and that they can refuse to work on the unsafe system;
we further advising members that they may refuse to complete any assigned work from the guidance centre where it is causing further harm or risk in relation to their health and safety;
we are advising staff to seek medical attention where the harm is ongoing; and
we will be advising affiliates unions in the aviation industry and the ACTU of this risk to health and safety of workers so they can take steps to protect their members.

Please advise what steps CASA will be taking to render these systems and processes safe so that CASA ceases harming its own workforce and becomes compliant with the act.

Please do not hesitate to contact either of us if you wish to further discuss.


Regards, 

       
Adrian Catt                 Kimberley Rowney
Senior Organiser NSW Senior Organiser SA
Professionals Australia Professionals Australia
acatt@pa.org.au                               krowney@pa.org.au
0425 362 917                                                0421 969 545