Work Health and Safety Policies

Work Health and Safety Policy

Everyone has a right to be safe at work. Our Service is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for educators, staff, children, families, and visitors. We ensure that educators and staff are aware of and meet their legal and ethical responsibilities as clearly documented in current National Regulations and Work Health and Safety laws. Our Work, Health and Safety policy, procedures, and practices ensure that management fulfills its responsibility to provide a safe workplace, without any negative impact on the health and wellbeing of employees; employees meet their health and safety obligations and are safe in the workplace; and the work environment supports quality early education and care.

Aim

Our objective is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of children, families, educators, and visitors within the Service adhering to moral and legal obligations outlined in Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws. We aim to go beyond compliance with all relevant legislation and work towards best practice to ensure a safe work environment. Our Service is committed to continuous improvement in all areas of workplace health, safety, and wellbeing.

Legislative Requirements

National Quality Standards (NQS)

Quality Area 2: Children’s Health and Safety 

2.1.              Health – Each child’s health and physical activity is supported and promoted

2.1.1.           Wellbeing and comfort – Each child’s wellbeing and comfort is provided for, including appropriate opportunities to meet each child’s needs for sleep, great and relaxation

2.1.2           Health practices and procedures – Effective illness and injury management and hygiene practices are promoted and implemented

2.1.3.          Healthy Lifestyles – Healthy eating and physical activity are promoted and appropriate for each child

2.2.             Safety – Each child is protected

2.2.1           Supervision – At all times, reasonable precautions and adequate supervision ensure children are protected from harm and hazard

2.2.2.         Incident and emergency management – Plans to effectively manage incidents and emergencies are developed in consultation with relevant authorities, practiced and implemented

2.2.3          Child Protection – Management, educators, and staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities to identify and respond to every child at risk of abuse or neglect

Education and Care Services National Regulations

168.            Policies and procedures are required in relation to health and safety

171.             Policies and procedures to be kept available

182             Tobacco, drug and alcohol-free environment

 

Who Is Affected?

  • child
  • educators
  • staff
  • management
  • families
  • visitors

Policy Implementation

We believe that the provision of a safe working and learning environment for children, families, staff, and visitors is an integral and essential responsibility during the Service operation.

Work Health and Safety regulations require the Approved Provider to eliminate risks in the workplace or if that is not reasonably practicable, minimise the risks so far as is reasonably practicable.

Our Service has a duty to consult with staff, visitors and families about work health and safety requirements and develop comprehensive policies and procedures to manage risks and hazards appropriately and effectively.

All employees have a duty to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and to not adversely affect the health and safety of others.

Ohana Early Learning accepts primary responsibility for ensuring a safe and healthy working environment for all its employees and visitors.

 

Legislation

In New South Wales we are legislated by Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and Work Health (NSW) and regulated by SafeWork NSW.

 

The Approved Provider and management are committed to:

  • providing all employees with a safe and healthy work and learning environment so far as reasonably practicable
  • ensuring the health and safety of children in attendance at the Service so far as reasonably practicable
  • ensuring the health and safety of visitors, including contract workers and volunteers, whilst at the Service so far as reasonably practicable
  • providing and maintaining an environment free of risks or hazards to health and safety so far as reasonably practicable
  • ensuring the provision of adequate facilities to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety including access to adult toilets, provision of hand hygiene resources (soap and water, alcohol-based hand sanitiser, paper towel).
  • implementing a proactive process of risk management facilitating continuous improvement
  • ongoing consultation, collaboration, and communication with all staff throughout the risk assessment process
  • implementing a strategic approach to health and safety by using measurable objectives to monitor performance
  • meaningful consultation with employees regarding work, health, and safety issues
  • ensuring Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are provided for all hazardous chemicals used at the Service
  • supporting and promoting the health and wellbeing of all employees
  • promoting dignity and respect within the Service and taking action to prevent and respond to bullying in its workplace
  • providing a return to work programs to facilitate a safe and sustainable return to work for employees
  • providing staff with appropriate information, training, and guidance to facilitate a safe and productive work and learning environment
  • notifying the regulatory authority within 24 hours of any incident, situation, or event that has occurred and presented an imminent or severe risk to the health, safety, and/or wellbeing of any person present at the Service or if an ambulance was called in response to the incident/situation (not as a precaution).
  • investigating and managing any incident or accident to prevent further reoccurrence
  • providing a program of continuous improvement through engaging with industry and new technology and reviewing and updating policies and procedures
  • implementing safety management systems/procedures
  • keep up to date about current health risks and implement risk minimisation measures to reduce the risk of transmission of viruses such as coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • maintain accurate records of all WHS issues and maintenance

 

A Nominated Supervisor and Educators responsibilities

Educators and other staff must ensure:

  • the health and safety of children, families, and visitors of the Service is paramount
  • policies and procedures are being followed and adhered to at all times
  • that they observe, implement, and fulfill the responsibilities under the current Work Health and Safety Act and National Regulations
  • they participate in the review of WHS policies
  • they take practical steps and responsibility for their own health and safety and of others affected by their actions at work
  • risk assessments audits are conducted to ensure the Service is maintaining a safe environment for children, families, staff, and visitors
  • appropriate resources and processes are in place to identify hazards, eliminate or minimise risks and achieve work health and safety compliance
  • they know the location of fire extinguishers, blankets or other safety devices and know how to use them
  • identified risks are assessed and controlled
  • that any potential and actual hazards in the workplace are reported to the Approved Provider/Nominated Supervisor or Health and Safety Representative (HSR)
  • management and/or the HSR is notified of any incidents and accidents in the workplace as soon as practicable
  • workplace incidents are reported and investigated to ascertain the circumstances of the incident or accident and appropriate action is taken to prevent further incidents from occurring
  • correct record-keeping procedures for incidents and accidents are located in iAuditor
  • compliance with any reasonable instruction or lawful direction, including wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) supplied by the employer as required
  • areas identified for improvement are included in the Quality Improvement Plan (QIP)
  • they participate in training and consultation with the support of management
  • they follow the correct manual handling procedures
  • that work areas are safe, and they will help reduce accidents to themselves and others
  • all safety checklists are implemented as required on a regular basis
  • children’s equipment is regularly checked for safety
  • that children are supervised at all times
  • all dangerous chemicals are stored appropriately
  • children are kept out of kitchen areas
  • all power points have safety plugs
  • no hot drinks are around children
  • gates are closed after entry/exit
  • all spills are cleaned up immediately (to prevent slipping), following the correct cleaning procedure

 

Families and visitors are to:

  • take reasonable care of their own health and safety whilst visiting the Service
  • report any health and safety issues to management
  • participate in consultation in WHS issues affecting them
  • take reasonable care to ensure they don’t affect the health and safety of other people (eg: Health Declaration for infectious diseases)
  • comply to Service policies and procedures in relation to WHS including actions to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases or illnesses such as physical distancing (if recommended by Australian Government Department of Health) personal hygiene practices and exclusion if children and visitors if unwell

Roles and Responsibilities

A workplace health and safety representative will cooperate with management to:

  1. Encourage employees to fully support injury and illness prevention.
  2. Assist staff to identify and assess hazards.
  3. Consult with staff to eliminate or control these hazards.
  4. Conduct health and safety inspections.
  5. Investigate workplace injuries, accidents or illnesses.
  6. Liaise with the Director to resolve workplace health and safety issues.
  7. Remain well informed about workplace health and safety performance.
  8. Consult with staff about changes in the workplace that may affect the health and safety of employees.
  9. Undertake monthly workplace inspections and convene regular WHS meetings.

Employee Consultation

Because of their daily contact with the workplace, employees have the most detailed knowledge of the work processes and the potential hazards in the workplace.

To identify and eliminate potential workplace hazards Ohana Early Learning will encourage employees to report any matters in respect of workplace health and safety to their Authorised Provider/Nominated Supervisor and the Health and Safety representative.

To facilitate the exchange of information, the health and safety representative will review, at the regular staff meeting, the health and safety performance of the service and raise any matters or issues on behalf of employees.

Staff Awareness of Work Health and Safety

Ohana Early Learning will ensure that all its employees have a sound knowledge and awareness of the principles and practices of Work Health and Safety.

To Achieve This Outcome, Ohana Early Learning will:

  1. Inform all new employees of Ohana Early Learning’s health and safety policy as part of their induction process;
  2. Provide opportunities for staff to attend Work Health and Safety training and
  3. Provide opportunities for the health and safety representative to obtain training to increase his/her knowledge of Work Health and Safety.

Procedures for Identification and Assessment of Workplace Hazards and Risks

Ohana Early Learning expects all its employees to take an active role in identifying situations with the potential to cause harm or injury in the service. Ohana Early Learning through its Authorised Provider/Nominated Supervisor will assist employees to identify potential hazards by:

  1. Encouraging all employees to read publications and visit websites, including relevant codes of practice;
  2. Requesting the health and safety representative or his/her deputy to periodically check records of injuries and accidents which have occurred in the workplace, and disseminate this information to all Ohana Early Learning’s employees; and
  3. Ensuring that a report is prepared after an inspection, which identifies any issues indicating a lack of a safe system of work or the need for more attention to the way health and safety is managed. This report is to be tabled at the monthly staff meeting.

Procedures for Elimination and Control of Workplace Hazards

Where a health and safety inspection has identified a potential hazard, the health and safety representative with the Authorised Provider/Nominated Supervisor may take immediate remedial action to eliminate or control the hazard. Where possible, the decision on what to do about a potential hazard should be made in consultation with the employees concerned. Such remedial actions are to be detailed in the inspection report.

Responsibilities of Employees

Whilst the Authorised Provider/Nominated Supervisor has a responsibility for ensuring a safe and healthy working environment for its entire staff, all employees are expected to assist in ensuring that the health and safety management system operates effectively. All employees are expected to take reasonably practicable steps to:

  1. Use safe work practices and procedures;
  2. Use appropriate safety devices, safeguards and equipment provided in the interests of health, safety and welfare of Ohana Early Learning employees;
  3. Co-operate in all activities aimed at prevention of workplace accidents, injuries and illnesses;
  4. Report unsafe or defective equipment and work arrangements to the health and safety representative;
  5. Report all accidents, injuries and illnesses occurring in the workplace or occurring whilst travelling to or from the workplace to the health and safety representative or his/her deputy;
  6. Where an incident or a near-miss has occurred, the employee will immediately notify the Authorised Provider/Nominated Supervisor and complete the relevant reporting.

Other Policies relating to Workplace Health and Safety in this service include:

  • Administration of First Aid Policy
  • Emergency and Evacuation Procedures Policy
  • Equipment Policy
  • Hazardous Plants Policy
  • Maintenance of Building Policy
  • Minimising Use of Toxic Products Policy
  • Road Safety Policy
  • Water Safety Policy
  • Lock Down Policy
  • Sandpit Policy
  • Use and Storage of Dangerous Goods Policy

Policy Review

Policies are reviewed regularly by management, employees, parents and any interested parties to ensure that they comply with Laws, Regulations and Guidelines.

Change Date
Policy created. February 1, 2016
Policy reviewed. October 2, 2017