The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has rejected the findings of an independent review of a Comcare investigation into several work health and safety issues at ANSTO (see last week's news story).
The review found that there was no evidence to support a denial of procedural fairness to ANSTO in the investigation, however, ANSTO said in a statement that the review panel's findings on procedural fairness did not appear to be sound.
"The review panel report showed no evidence that the review panel made the proper required assessment of procedural fairness principles in coming to its conclusions that ANSTO was afforded procedural fairness," ANSTO said.
The review panel, led by an internal independent professional standards officer, included a senior external regulatory officer from the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) along with an independent technical risk expert.
ANSTO supported the findings of the panel that ANSTO Health's OHS representative was not suspended because he complained about alleged health and safety matters, nor was he physically or psychologically injured in his employment.
The review panel also found that ANSTO did not breach Section 68 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and ANSTO confirmed it did not "underreport safety events to Comcare".
ANSTO also noted that the review panel found that ANSTO was not explicitly advised of the scope of the investigation and that the structure of the report required review.
"ANSTO has placed on record with Comcare its strong concerns with the methods of investigation, lack of consideration of legal advice, and inconsistencies between the findings and the conclusions," said the statement.
ANSTO will implement a number of risk mitigation recommendations made in the original Comcare report.