Are you in breach of your health and safety obligations?

As advised by LASA, WorkSafe Victoria is focusing on aged care providers this year.

WorkSafe is planning to conduct approximately 800 workplace visits during 2016 to audit manual handling and occupational violence. It will also consider behaviour management strategies and notifiable incidents involving residents.

Those of you who subscribe to our products will be aware of this incident reporting requirement. For all others, it is timely to review your procedures and practices.

A great place to start is the ‘Reporting an Incident’ page on WorkSafe’s website: http://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/safety-and-prevention/health-and-safety-topics/incident-notification/reporting-an-incident

There are five main points to note:

  1. Employers, occupiers and persons in charge must report incidents to WorkSafe Victoria at 132 360. Deaths and life-threatening injuries (e.g. amputations) must be reported immediately.
  1. Other serious incidents should be reported as soon as the employer is aware of the incident. When we contacted WorkSafe about this a few years ago, they likened it to schools being required to report injuries to students. In other words, this situation includes incidents that:
  • require medical treatment by a doctor (e.g. fractures or serious lacerations)
  • necessitate immediate treatment as an in-patient in a hospital
  • involve exposure to a substance or induce an electric shock
  • cause injury to the head, eye, spine
  1. Once the incident has been reported, the employer has an obligation to cordon off the incident scene to ensure it is not disturbed until an inspector arrives. But there are exceptions to this rule. Staff may re-enter the incident scene if they need to:
  • protect a person’s health or safety
  • help someone who is injured
  • make the site safe
  1. When reporting incidents, it is advisable to ask WorkSafe what you are required to do to ensure the incident scene is not disturbed for the investigator.
  1. Know your legal duties and what you need to do to discharge them appropriately. Go to the ‘Health and Safety Incidents’ page on WorkSafe’s website to learn more: http://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/safety-and-prevention/health-and-safety-topics/incident-notification/your-legal-duties/health-and-safety-incidents

We can assist you with health and safety training and audits, our No Occupational Violence, Aggression and Abuse Program and procedure reviews. Call us on 03 9527 2088.