27 June 2017
Work, Health & Safety: Interchange Australia’s Initiatives
– By Interchange Australia Consultant, Wendy Hughes
Work Health and Safety is a major consideration for Interchange Australia. The Commonwealth and every State and Territory have legislation that governs health and safety practices in our workplaces.
The legislation sets the parameters for specific responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of the workplace, its employees, visitors and other stakeholders. While the main features of Workplace Health and Safety are similar across each State and Territory in Australia, the laws of each have their own minor differences and procedures.
While management carries the responsibility for the health and safety of staff in the workplace, it is noted in the Act that employees also have a responsibility to take reasonable care of themselves and others, and to cooperate with the organisation in matters of health and safety.
Interchange Australia has incorporated a strong focus on Work Health and Safety into all aspects of our business. We have developed initiatives which provide the framework for our employees to ensure a safe workplace. These initiatives commence from the time of the initial interview and continue through every stage throughout their employment.
A summary of the initiatives include:
- Application for Employment
The initial Application for Employment forms are designed to provide an overview of the applicant and to establish specific information related to work health and safety including background information, health status and any other relevant issues we should be aware of.
A number of work health and safety discussions and questions are introduced throughout the interview process.
The orientation provides the framework for Interchange Australia’s commitment to WHS. The orientation covers a broad range of areas such as Safe Home Visiting, hygiene topics and several more with a WHS focus.
- Safe Work Method Statements
The Interchange Safe Work Method Statements are an integral part of each employee’s introduction to the organisation and set the specific guidelines for relevant work health and safety topics.
- Client Care Provision forms
Interchange Australia’s Care Provision forms are a useful tool to gather WHS information to ensure a safe environment for the client and for the employee. There is a simple risk management component for the Support Worker to complete which provides the organisation with information to allow monitor the conditions and provide an opportunity for staff to identify risks in the workplace.
- Buddy System
The Interchange Australia buddy system provides shifts to the new support worker with staff already trained and providing services to clients. This enables the new employee to be ‘trained on the job’ and provides a hands-on approach allowing the new employee to understand their responsibility for themselves and the clients in their care.
Interchange Australia provides a range of training including in-house, industry and on-line training in a range of areas including work health and safety topics.
This overview of Interchange Australia’s initiatives in regard to work health and safety reinforces our commitment to providing a safe and effective workplace for our employees and in the provision of services to our clients.