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Risk Assessment

Contents

Introduction.

Work safety risk assessment

Health safety Governance.

Policies for safe work environment

Summary.

References.

Introduction to Work Health Safety Assessment

The following case study is about the people working in age cares in Australia and the type of hazards they are exposed to in a risk assessment template to be followed by the agencies or institutions that handle the governance of this particular work force, the relevant policies and a summary in the end.

Work Safety Risk Assessment

Task or scenario

Hazard/s

Associated harm, e.g. what could go wrong?

Existing Risk Controls

Current risk rating

Use the Risk Matrix

Any additional controls are required?[1]

Residual risk rating

Use the Risk Matrix

Stairs non-slip and in good condition

Risk of Fall

Fall

Good condition

Low

None

Low

Internal floors even and not slippery

Risk of Fall

Fall

Good condition

Low

None

Low

Tripping hazards like rugs, boxes, electrical cords and rubbish

Risk of tripping

Tripping accident

Not good

Moderate

Rug removal, electrical cords managed

Moderate

Regular cleaning and sanitising the spills

Risk of Infection

Infection

Good condition

Low

None

Low

Proper Equipment provided for the workers

Risk of infection

Infection

Good condition

Low

None

Low

Hallways have no obstruction and have illuminated exit signs

Fire Hazard

Harm by fire

Good condition

Low

None

Low

Windows in good condition

Exit Hazard

Body Cut when not properly broken during emergency

Good condition

Low

None

Low

Emotional labour

Psychosocial Hazard

Violence and aggression

Poor Condition

High

Training in managing violence and aggression

High

Burnout

Depression (psychiatry Hazard) and Incidents

Self-Harm or possible suicide, Incidents due to tiredness

Poor Condition

High

Reduce work load

High

Role overload

Health hazard

Development of Chronic disease

Poor Condition

High

Reduce work load

High

Ergonomic issues

Musculoskeletal hazard

Musculoskeletal diseases

Poor Condition

High

Reduce work load

High

Violence in the workplace

Psychosocial and psychiatry Hazard

Violence and aggression

Poor Condition

High

Training in managing violence and aggression

High

Bullying

Psychosocial and psychiatry Hazard

Self-Harm or possible suicide

Poor Condition

High

Training in workplace mutual respect

High

(Shea et al., 2015; iAuditor, 2020).

Health Safety Governance

The Victoria State government imply that when working in aged care, the workers should comprehend and apply risk control in their work place. They include common hazards like lifting and moving patients; handling the aged care equipment’s like patient’s beds, their mattresses, trolleys and wheelchairs. The occupation violence is highlighted along with work-related stress and the workers suffering from bullying and harassment as well. They provide the tolls and guide on how a worker can assess and control the particular risks they might be vulnerable to (Victoria State Government, 2020). Consultation with the working places health and safety representative is encouraged as it constitutes the risk management. The employees will be requested to go through the aged care facility and each of them will be assigned specific areas to find the hazards in their workplace, assessing the relevant risk. This is a tedious task and requires a lot of effort both physically and mentally from the health care work force and will end up taking a lot of time by them. That time which can be allotted to take care of the residents of the aged are and other meaningful task but this can be avoided if the aged care where they are working is already providing them with such information. Even after receiving such information, it is up to the employees to perform risk controls, by constant monitoring and reviewing. They should let the managers know if the risk controls placed are working or are not effective enough (Victoria State Government, 2020).

Providing health safety of the workers of the aged care is a legal responsibility of the employees who have to provide the safe working environment and maintain the standards as much as practically possible by assessing all the mentioned hazard risk factors. Their duty is not only to the aged care workers but the support staff as well. The employees need to be briefed on the aged care information, proper instruction and training should be provided along with supervision if necessary. It is the duty of the employer whether they are an individual person, a company or an organisation that that they responsibly care for the workplace safety along with the employees’ health, keeping in mind that their actions can affect other people’s health and safety by what they do and don’t. There needs to be an understanding partnership between the workers and employees to follow all the procedure of occupational health and safety act or regulations and perform their work ethically by not misusing the workplaces equipment’s (Victoria State Government, 2020).

The aged care sector is one of the major places where workplace injuries take place and the WorkSafe's Health Care and Social Assistance (HCSA) Industry Strategy 2020-23. This initiative aims to reduce this as much as possibly making the workplace a safe and happy environment by implementing cultural changes, and also targeting that the injured workers get ample support. The main strategy included in this is the high risk sectors, aged care facilities, and residential care will be focused and the issues that are causing extreme hazard risk to them will be addressed both physical and emotionally along with proper consulting services to be provided. A collaborative effort from the employees and the employers is needed to negate this situation and provide a basis for a safe working environment so the hazards can be identified, a proper plan can be implemented and the risk reduced (Victoria State Government, 2020).

Policies for Safe Work Environment

Multiple polices are needed to maintain a safe work environment. The most basic is that the aged care facility should properly define what every element of the workplace is the hazard associated with them. The policy should mention that the management of the aged care have the obligation to provide safety to the workers in a co-operative manner with the employees by properly following the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Program. Their policies act like a statement from the aged care and should reflect what the stakeholders associated with the aged care aim to accomplish. The policies need to be reviewed and updated if necessary in regular intervals (Village Baxter, 2018). The policies made should have a budget which will address the OHS budget related to everyone working in association with the aged care and others such as maintenance and staff training. The policies should focus on the successful running of the aged care in a timely and cost-effective manner by proper collaboration from the team of managers, organisers, employees focusing on meeting the established and required standards of the OHS and minimise injuries to the workforce as much as possible (Village Baxter, 2018).

The policy focusing on employee consultation, communication and issue resolution should be done in an effective manner with each employee being explained that they play a key role in the working environment and they have the obligation and duty to identify any hazards present and to report them to minimise the injuries caused. The employees of the aged care should be in regular contact with the OHS representative to report any incident that might have occurred, or risk assessment done any them which might involve some hazards and control measures that can be applied to stop them. Following identification of the hazard, the employees and the employers will be briefed about the hazard and the measures taken to mitigate the effect (Village Baxter, 2018). The policies should address the communication, language and cultural issues as well. Effective communication between the workforce and the managements is essential to reduce any OHS injury that might occur. If there are non-English speaking workers then their needs have to addressed as well as workers from different cultural background have to be respected (Village Baxter, 2018).

Policies are there for proper maintenance of the equipment’s for the employees and the aged care resident’s safety to avoid any harm that might occur. This has to be done with regular inspection, and do maintenance if required in a scheduled manner. The repairs if needed should be carried out by proper trained professional and signed off by proper authority. Along with the regular and full time workers, the OHS should be focused on the contractors and temporary personnel as well since they will be unfamiliar with the aged care facility surrounding and environment which might lead to an incident occurring. After that the OHS should focus on visitors and volunteers who are in the same category as the temporary workers and might get exposed to some hazard (Village Baxter, 2018).

Policy should be there, when workspace inspections are done and efforts should be made to preserve the privacy and dignity of the aged care residents. There is a lot of manual handling that takes place in aged care facilities which can lead to the residents suffering and lot of care should be taken by the health workers. Every effort should be made to reduce manual handling manual lifting as much as possible. Policy should be made when workers are handling chemicals, to be kept in a safe manner in complete accordance with regulations set by the OHS and the manufacturer recommendations as well. The machinery, hand tolls and other equipment’s used in the aged care should selected carefully, have proper maintenance and kept in a safe location away from the residents. Other important policies include the building code to be followed according to the relevant Australian standards, proper care of electrical equipment as it is a hazard that can lead to fire, injury or death (Village Baxter, 2018).

Summary of Work Health Safety Assessment

The work health safety assessment of aged care is vast and requires a careful assessment with going over every possible detail that can cause an incident or trying to identify a hazard that can lead to a compromise on the safety of the workers and residents as well. The workplace physical environment is in good shape and doesn’t require any major changes other than regular check-up and maintenance of the equipment’s. The infection controls are sufficient and meet the OHS standards for personnel safety. It is however the working environment which is the biggest hazard, as emotional labour, fatigue, role overload, ergonomic issues, getting harassed and work place violence tops the list. The senior working staff need to be trained in managing their violence and aggressive behaviour towards the junior employees as well the bullying from the management needs to be stopped. This is necessary to prevent the employees from self-harm, possible suicide attempt and developing any chronic disease because of the extra stress.

References for Work Health Safety Assessment

iAuditor. (2020). Digital Elderly Home Safety Checklists. Retrieved from: https://safetyculture.com/checklists/elderly-home-safety/

Shea, T., De Cieri, H., Sheehan, C., Donohue, R., & Cooper, B. (2015). Occupational health and safety issues for aged care workers: A comparison with public hospital workers. Retrieved from: https://research.iscrr.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/474440/occupational-health-and-safety-issues-for-aged-care-workers-a-comparison-with-public-hospital-workers.pdf

Victoria State Government. (2020). Aged care. Retrieved from: https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/aged-care
Village Baxter. (2018). Occupational health & safety policies and procedures. Retrieved from: https://www.villagebaxter.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ohspolicy.pdf

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