Amberley O.S.H.C.

Children are our future, We are dedicated to their success!

6.6 Management of Poisonous Plants and Fungi

Amberley OSHC understands the need to maintain a healthy and safe environment for children and educators whilst at the same time valuing the aesthetic appeal of the natural environment.  A number of plants and fungi are known to be poisonous to people and may pose significant risk if consumed, or in some cases handled.  Amberley OSHC shall endeavour to ensure the environment is free of potentially poisonous plants and fungi.

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
  • Plants and Fungi Poisonous to People in Queensland
  • NQS Area: 2.3.2; 7.1.1
  • Policies: 4.4 – Preventative Health and Wellbeing, 6.1 – Space and Facilities, 6.3 – Workplace Health and Safety.
  • Queensland parks and Wildlife Service derm.qld.gov.au
  • Queensland Health – Plant Identification

Procedures

Amberley OSHC shall maintain a current copy of the Queensland Government Resource “Plants and fungi poisonous to people in Queensland” produced by the Queensland Health Environment Protection Agency.  This resource will be made accessible to and discussed with all members of educators and management.  This resource is available at http://www.health.qld.gov.au/poisonsinformationcentre/plants_fungi/default.asp

Amberley OSHC shall keep in a visually accessible location the number for the Poisons Information Centre 131 126.

Wildlife and plants that shall warrant intervention include:

  • Snakes;
  • Spiders;
  • Cane toads;
  • Bees and wasps;
  • Green ants and Fire ants;
  • Fly, mosquitos and similar insects;
  • Cockroaches;
  • Rats and mice;
  • Poisonous and dangerous plants, including those that pose an allergen reaction for children and adults.

Amberley OSHC shall endeavour to operate proactively in the management of these particular hazards. This shall include:

  • Regular maintenance of screens and doors;
  • Regular professional pest control services shall be utilised;
  • Regular yard and lawn maintenance and inspections;
  • Inspections for infestations shall be conducted on a regular basis.

In the event of a snake being sighted within Amberley OSHC area the following shall be undertaken:

  • Children shall be removed from the area immediately;
  • Under no circumstances will any staff member or other unauthorised person attempt to capture or harm the snake;
  • A licensed snake removal expert shall be contacted immediately and arrangements make for the safe removal of the snake;
  • Children shall only be permitted to return to the area when the Nominated Supervisor is satisfied that the snake has been removed or no longer poses any threat.

Regular inspections of the garden and all other plant life shall be carried out to ensure that:

  • No poisonous plant has self-seeded;
  • Plants have not overgrown and present as a hazard to the children generally or during play;
  • Plants that have matured do not now present as a danger to children e.g. Berries that are poisonous or a choking hazard, thorns etc.; and
  • Plants detected are removed as soon as is practicable.

As a general guide, any plant with a strong smell, milky sap, red berries or self-sown seed could be poisonous and is best treated as such until a positive identification is made.

Consultation with local council or a suitably qualified person should occur before planting new products or on discovery of unknown specimens.

In the event that poisoning by a plant or fungi is suspected IN ALL CASES:

  • Call an Ambulance by dialling 000
  • Contact the Poisons Information Service on 13 11 26
  • Collect a sample of the plant or fungi to aid in its identification, if it can be collected without exposure to further harm.

Detection of any infestation of wildlife shall be managed by the contracting of professional and licenced experts to manage the hazard. In the event of a wildlife bite or sting, each case will be managed in accordance with current “best practice” standards of first aid and care; If there is ever any doubt regarding the condition of a child or staff member following suspected bite or sting, the situation is to be treated as an emergency and an Ambulance called.

Reviewed 30 March 2015


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