Amberley O.S.H.C.

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6.3 Workplace Health and Safety

For the protection of children, educators,  management and Amberley OSHC as a whole, Amberley OSHC will ensure that its equipment, facilities and premises are safe and clean in keeping with the requirements of the Work Health and Safety Act, 2011.  See also Policy 7.1 for specific obligations relating to Emergency equipment and facilities. Amberley OSHC promotes health and safety awareness for all people involved in Amberley OSHC.  Policies and procedures are developed and monitored to reflect safe work practices.

Relevant Laws and other Provisions

The laws and other provisions affecting this policy include:

  • Education and Care Services National Law Act, 2010 and Regulations 2011
  • Duty of Care
  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Manual Tasks Code of Practice 2010, Hazardous Substances Code of Practice 2003, Manual Tasks Involving the Handling of People 2001.
  • Electrical Safety Act 2002, Regulation 2002, and Code Of Practice 2010
  • Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990 and Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 (Queensland), Electrical Safety Act 2002.
  • NQS Area: 2.3.2, 2.3.3; 3.1.1, 3.1.2; 3.2.1, 4.2.1; 7.1.1, 7.1.2; 7.2.1, 7.2.2; 7.3.1, 7.3.2, 7.3.5.
  • Policies: 4.4 – Preventative Health and Wellbeing, 6.1 Space and Facilities Requirement, 6.2 – Provision of Resources and Equipment, 8.10 – Employee Orientation and Induction, 10.9 – Risk Management and Compliance.

Procedures

The Nominated Supervisor shall be responsible to act as the Health and Safety Representative for Amberley OSHC, or to ensure that there is, at all times, an educator or other appropriate person in relation to Amberley OSHC who is designated in this position, and who shall report directly to the Nominated Supervisor.

If the Nominated Supervisor or another team member of Amberley OSHC is acting in the role of Health and Safety Representative, the Nominated Supervisor shall ensure that person has adequate time, education/training and resources to ensure that she/he is able to fulfil the role as required by the legislation.

The Health and Safety Representative shall:

  • maintain, in a safe and accessible place, up-to-date, all records and materials required by the legislation and shall be required to provide them to the Nominated Supervosir on request;
    • regularly check the website or other resources of the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney General at http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace;
    • monitor educator practices and ensure up to date information is distributed;
    • make recommendations to management on how to improve current systems;
    • ensure stairs and walkways are kept clear of furniture, equipment and clutter;
    • ensure equipment is arranged with consideration to its purpose and in relation to other areas of play space.

The Educator Handbook and orientation/induction processes shall contain up-to-date information on the legislative requirements for workplace health and safety (Qld only – other States must identify equivalent Occupational Health and Safety Requirements).

Dangerous Substances

The Nominated Supervisor must ensure that:

  • all poisons, disinfectants, corrosive substances and other poisonous and dangerous substances and items are clearly labelled as per manufacturer safety instructions, marked in their original containers, kept out of reach of children and placed in a child proof storage facility.
  • Unused or unnecessary substances are disposed of in a safe manner.
  • All hazardous substances have a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) obtained from the manufacturer which will be kept close to the storage of the product. All hazardous substances are recorded in a register, including a copy of the relevant MSDS.  A MSDS is to be completed immediately when handling or using a new hazardous substance.
  • Storage of medications and service first aid kit/s, are locked and accessible to educators but not to children.
  • Risk assessments will be conducted for all dangerous substances used at Amberley OSHC and all educators trained in their safe usage.

Maintenance

The Nominated Supervisor will be responsible to ensure that Amberley OSCH has adequate heating, ventilation and lighting at all times.

The Nominated Supervisor will ensure that educators remove from use and have repaired or replaced as soon as possible, all equipment that is faulty or broken.

Regular periodic inspections of Amberley OSHC building and surrounding areas will be conducted using environmental checklists and identifying areas such as car parks, gardens and pathways etc.

Regular periodic inspections of all playground equipment will be conducted using the playground maintenance checklist.

Hazards identified from these safety checklists will be bought to the Nominated Supervisor’s attention by the educator.  The Nominated Supervisor will complete a hazard report form and forward it to the relevant authority (school and/or management committee).

Sandpits will be raked prior to use to check for any animal faeces and any potentially dangerous objects.

Facilities and equipment which are assessed to have potential for injury will not be used or action will be taken to allow safe usage.  An entry detailing the problem will be entered into the team communication book and all educators will be instructed on any restrictions necessary on use of equipment or areas.

The Nominated Supervisor shall ensure that an approved earth leakage device is installed and operational.  Educators will be aware of the location of the power board and how to access the circuits used by Amberley OSHC.

In regards to electrical equipment, the Nominated Supervisor will be responsible to ensure that:

  • Specified electrical equipment is inspected, tested and tagged by a competent person at prescribed intervals and immediately withdrawn from use if it is not safe to use; OR
  • Specified electrical equipment is connected to a type 1 or 2 safety switch. The safety switch must be tested at prescribed intervals and withdrawn from use if not working properly.

Educators will be instructed in the safe use and storage of electrical equipment associated with their work.

The Nominated Supervisor shall ensure that all fire safety equipment (extinguishers and blankets) are maintained in accordance with the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008.

Electrical Equipment Safety

Double adaptors shall not be used within Amberley OSHC. Appropriate power boards are to be used.

All power points are to be covered/fitted with child safe covers.

All electrical cords will at times be kept out of reach of children.

Serious Electrical Incidents and Dangerous Electrical Events must be reported and managed in accordance with the Incident Reporting and Investigation Procedure

 Manual Handling

Management will ensure that all team members have adequate training in relation to lifting and manual handling techniques used at Amberley OSHC.  Educators must use lifting equipment (eg hoist) if available.

The Nominated Certified Supervisor will ensure that appropriate lifting and manual handling techniques are practiced by educators and/or volunteers.  Educators must inform the Nominated Supervisor if they have any medical or health issues that may place them at risk of injury when lifting or moving people/objects.

Information regarding appropriate lifting and manual handling techniques will be made accessible to educators through the orientation and induction process.

Ladders and Work Platforms

The Nominated Supervisor must ensure that when a ladder and/or platform is to be used, that all hazards relating to their use be identified and addressed to ensure risks are minimised and effectively managed as much as possible.

The person using the ladder must work in a safe and productive manner to ensure no unnecessary risks are taken.

The person using the ladder must ensure that it is secured firmly when in use, either at or near the top (e.g. clamping the top of the ladder to the roof) or; at or near the bottom (e.g. tying the bottom of the ladder to pegs secured in the ground or someone holding the ladder).

The Nominated Supervisor must ensure that the ladder is only used for the purpose for which it is designed.

Only suitable work platforms must be used (stepladders etc.). Improvised work platforms shall not be used (e.g. chairs or tables).

The work platform being used should not exceed the height of the required task use adjustable settings if possible).

Children should not be present when ladders and/or work platforms are being used. If this is unavoidable, appropriate safety measures such as extra supervision shall be used to minimise the risks.

Ladders and/or work platforms should only be used outdoors when it is safe to do so.

The ladders and/or work platforms shall be cleaned, serviced and maintained so that they are always in a safe working condition.

The ladders and/or work platforms must be stored safely and correctly to prevent accident and injury when not in use.

The storage place for the ladders and/or work platforms should be cleaned and maintained.

Each time a ladder is used, it should be checked out for dangerous insects and arachnids in the outer and the inner workings of the ladder.

In the event of a ladder or work platform being damaged in such a way that it is not safe or suitable for use then it should be repaired as quickly as possible. Damaged ladder or work platform should be isolated and marked with a suitable ‘Do Not use’ sign and a general caution should be delivered to all staff by the Nominated Supervisor (this can be written, emailed or verbal).

Risk assessments on the use of the ladders and/or work platforms should be carried out at least twice annually with regular re-evaluation of the practices.

Sharps/Dangerous Objects

‘Sharps’ refers to any object that can pierce or penetrate the skin easily, including needles and/or broken glass.

As part of Amberley OSHC daily safety checklists, educators may be required to dispose of needles/sharp hazards that are found in playground and sandpit areas as well as clean up broken glass that may be contaminated with blood.

The Certified Supervisor will put together a sharps disposal kit consisting of disposable gloves, appropriate tongs and a strong puncture proof plastic container with a screw top lid.

For the collection and disposal of needles and/or dangerous objects:

  • Place the container (with lid off) on the ground near the hazard;
  • Use gloved hand or tongs to pick up the needle/syringe by the barrel at the end away from the needle. For other dangerous objects, take care when picking them up;
  • Place the needle/syringe sharp end first into the container. Do not hold the container while you do this.  For other dangerous objects, carefully place them into the container.  Replace the lid and seal tightly;
  • Dispose of the container by putting in the wheelie bin or taking it to a public sharps disposal bin.

If you are injured by a used needle:

  • Wash with running water and soap as soon as possible;
  • Apply a sterile waterproof dressing such as a bandaid;
  • Seek medical advice from your doctor, local health centre or Hospital.
  • Follow the safe disposal procedures as above and take the needle or syringe with you to the doctor.

Consultation

Duty Holder Consultation

If more than one person has a duty prescribed under the Act or Regulations n relation to the same matter (ie. two educators who share an area), then each person with the duty must consult, cooperate and coordinate activities with all other persons who have a duty in relation to the same matter.

Management Consultation With Workers

The person conducting the business or undertaking, through the officer, usually the nominated supervisor, shall consult with workers who carry out work for Amberley OSHC who are, or are likely to be, directly affected by a matter relating to work health or safety.

 Consultation Purpose

To ensure that relevant information about the matter is shared with workers.

To ensure that workers be given a reasonable opportunity to express their views and to raise work health safety issues in relation to the matter.

To contribute to the decision-making process relating to the matter.

To ensure that the views of workers are taken into account by Amberley OSHC.

To ensure that the workers consulted are advised of the outcome of the consultation in a timely way.

Amberley OSHC shall determine if a Work Health and Safety Committee is required.

If a committee is required, it shall be formed in accordance with the legislation.

Where no Committee is required, consultation shall be undertaken at each general staff  meeting.

Consultation and discussions on health and safety matters undertaken at each staff meeting shall be documented, including:

  • the names of attendees;
  • the matters raised and discussed;
  • any actions to be taken;
  • who would be responsible for those actions;
  • the due date for completion; and
  • update and finalisation of any matters previously raised.

A copy of the above mentioned document shall be provided to any staff member who was not present at the meeting.

A copy of the above mentioned document shall be available for viewing on request from any member of Amberley OSHC community.

The copy of the document to be made available shall be edited in such a way to have regard to privacy, confidentiality and any matters that may be legally or commercially privileged.

Consultation Will Also Take Place When:

  • Identifying hazards and assessing risks to health and safety arising from the work carried out or to be carried out by Amberley O.S.H.C.
  • Making decisions about ways to eliminate or minimise those risks.
  • Making decisions about the adequacy of facilities for the welfare of workers.
  • Proposing changes that may affect the health or safety of workers.
  • Making decisions about the procedures for:
    • Consulting with workers; or
    • Resolving work health or safety issues at the workplace; or
    • Monitoring the health or workers; or
    • Monitoring the conditions at any workplace under the management or control of the person conducting Amberley O.S.H.C; or
    • When carrying out any other activity prescribed under a regulation.

Health And Safety Representatives

If required, health and safety representatives will be appointed as per the relevant section of the legislation.

Responsibilities

Duty Statements

Duty Statements shall be prepared for each worker.

Duty Statements shall be distributed to each worker and each committee member, if applicable.

Copies of the statements shall be signed by each worker and placed on their personal file.

Person Conducting Business Or Undertaking (PCBU)

The PCBU may be the Approved Provider or a committee member.

The PCBU has statutory obligations under Section 167 of the Work health and Safety Act 2011, to ensure that eh service complies with the Act.

The PCBU has overall responsibility for the health and safety of workers, other persons performing work for the purpose of the business and visitors to the workplace.

The PCBU must also ensure others are not exposed to risks arising from the business activities.

The responsibilities of the PCBU include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Providing and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment;
  • Providing and maintaining safe plant;
  • Ensuring the safe use, handling, storage and transport of substances;
  • Ensuring safe systems of work;
  • Providing information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure health and safety;
  • Monitoring the health of workers and the conditions at the workplace.

Officer

The Nominated Supervisor is the ‘Person In Control’ of the workplace and as such has the following specific obligations under the legislation as the officer:

  • To exercise due diligence that the PCBU complies with any duty or obligation that the PCBU may have under the Act;
  • To maintain an up-to-date knowledge of work health and safety matters;
  • To verify expertise of other supervisors and educators and to ensure their reliance is reasonable;
  • To ensure the risk of injury or illness from a workplace is minimised for persons coming onto the workplace to work;
  • To ensure the risk of injury or illness from any plant or substance provided by the person for the performance of work by someone other than the person’s workers is minimised when used properly;
  • To ensure there is appropriate, safe access to and from the workplace for persons other than the person’s workers.

The officer must ensure that these policies and procedures are at all times adhered to.

The officer must ensure that all persons who enter or impact upon the workplace operate at all times to eliminate or minimise the risks associated with the operation of Amberley OSHC.

More than one person may hold the responsibilities and obligations of the role of ‘officer’.

Workplace Health And Safety Representative (WHSR)

A WHSR is generally not required at a service unless it is requested by workers.

A WHSR must be elected by fellow workers.

If elected by fellow workers, the WSHR has the following responsibilities:

  • Represent workers on health and safety matters at the workplace and convey any health and safety concerns of workers to management;
  • Attend Workplace Health and safety Committee meetings if a committee has been established;
  • Assist in the development, implementation, monitoring and review of agreed workplace health and safety policies and procedures;
  • Conduct inspections of the workplace, participating in the identification and assessment of workplace hazards;
  • Advise the Nominated Supervisor of findings and make recommendations for the control of any identified hazards;
  • In conjunction with the Nominated supervisor, assist in the investigation of workplace incidents;
  • Participate in government workplace health and safety inspections;
  • Help resolve any workplace health and safety issues.

Workers (both paid and voluntary)

The legislation uses the term “worker” rather than “staff member” as this has a much broader scope. Workers can be paid staff or volunteers and as such, both have the same obligations under the Act.

  • To comply with the instructions given for workplace health and safety at the workplace;
  • For a worker to use personal protective equipment if the equipment is provided by the worker’s employer and the worker is properly instructed in its use;
  • Not to wilfully or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided for workplace health and safety at the workplace;
  • Not to wilfully place at risk the workplace health and safety of any person at the workplace; and
  • Not to wilfully injure himself or herself.

It should be noted that these policies and procedures are defined as “instructions given” and as such, failure of a worker to follow these policies is a breach of obligations – effectively breaking the law.

Workers who fail to meet their obligations shall be subject to disciplinary proceedings, including official warnings and in the case of serious breaches, immediate termination of employment.

Risk Management

Hazard Identification

A hazard is defined as “a source or a situation with a potential for harm in terms of human injury or ill-health, damage to property, damage to the environment, or a combination of these” or, more simply, a hazard is something with the potential to cause harm.

At Amberley OSHC, we shall at all times take a pro-active approach to the identification of hazards.

We shall identify hazards of the following types:

  • The obvious hazard is apparent to the senses (e.g. unlocked cupboards, building defects, faulty electrical equipment);
  • The concealed hazard is not apparent to the senses (e.g. electricity, presence of toxic vapours, illness);
  • The developing hazard cannot be recognised immediately and will develop over time (e.g. refrigerator not keeping food cold, cracked or broken toy);
  • The transient hazard is an intermittent or a temporary hazard (e.g. storms, wet floors, visitor to Amberley OSHC).

The process that we use to identify hazards shall be in three main areas:

  1. Strategic risk assessments;
  2. Operational risk assessment;
  3. Specific requirements – creditable emergency.

A strategic risk assessment, incorporating a full walk through of Amberley OSHC, shall be undertaken at least once every three months.

Strategic risk assessments shall also be reviewed immediately that new information or an incident (including a “near miss”) occurs.

The process used for the strategic risk assessment shall be:

  1. Amberley OSHC shall be divided up into equal areas;
  2. Two staff members shall be allocated to each area;
  3. The staff members will examine the allocated area, recording all hazards identified using a “Hazard Reporting Form”.

Operational risk assessments shall be undertaken each day by Amberley OSHC staff.

The process used for operational risk assessment shall be:

  1. Upon commencement each day, each staff member shall examine their workspace and identify any hazards;
  2. Checklists will be used throughout the day for various activities, e.g. cleaning;
  3. Prior to closing Amberley OSHC at night.

Any hazards identified shall be managed in accordance with this policy.

Staff shall also examine the work area during the day to ensure any developing hazards are identified.

Specific requirement risk assessment e.g. fire, first aid, storms, shall be managed in accordance with the policies and procedures contained within this manual.

Development Of Control Measures

Control measures that adequately eliminate or reduce the risk from each hazard shall be developed and recorded on the “Hazard Reporting Form”.

Control measures shall be developed using the “Hierarchy of Controls”:

  • Elimination – can we completely remove the hazard from Amberley OSHC?
  • Substitution – can we replace the hazard with something else that is less risk?
  • Isolation – can we lock up or fence off the hazard?
  • Engineering – can the hazard be redesigned to reduce the risk?
  • Administration – can we introduce rules, policies and procedures to make this safer?
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – can we use PPE to reduce the risk?

In all cases, each stage will be considered before moving down to the next level.

In some cases, it will be necessary to use more than one control measure to manage the risk.

Some control measures that are lower on the hierarchy may need to be used as a short-term solution. For example, a barrier put up around broken glass until it can be safely removed.

Implementation Of Control Measures

Control measures noted on the “Hazard Reporting Form” shall be reviewed by the Nominated Supervisor in consultation with the WHSR for suitability and practicality.

Following the implementation of suitable control measures, the Nominated Supervisor shall determine which of the following measures shall be put in place to ensure that the controls are operational:

  • Developing new or amending current work procedures
  • Communication of the changes to all staff and other stakeholders
  • Providing training and instruction to those effected by the measure
  • Supervision to ensure controls are being implemented
  • Maintenance of any control items to ensure effectiveness.

Monitor And Review

The effectiveness of control measures will be formally monitored and reviewed.

The review process and result shall be noted on the “Hazard Report Form”.

Manual Handling Reference:  Enable Consultation Services Research and Publishing Unit.  Manual Handling and People Transfers for Workers and Other People Movers. 

Sharps/Dangerous Objects reference: Healthy Living NT, Safe Sharps Disposal fact sheet, http://www.healthylivingnt.org.au/content/?action=getfile&id=235

Reviewed and Updated 30 March 2015, Updated 12 May 2015, Updated 30 May 2017


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