It pays to speak up about WHS

Posted on
July 13, 2023
Aged Care Sector

Health and safety is everyone's business

Recently HACSU members told us about some really serious safety issues at Yaraandoo where a resident had been given access to the door codes for the cleaning closet.

The resident enjoyed helping cleaners by vacuuming and changing bin liners in the facility.

Workers appreciate that it’s important for residents to maintain an independent lifestyle and do activities they enjoy, but having access to staff only areas is a solid no. Being able to get into the cleaning supplies placed this person, other residents, and workers at risk of serious injury.

HACSU suspected that this was a contravention of the health and safety act, and we were able to investigate by entering with a WHS permit.

When we saw the cleaning room, it was fairly obvious this was not a place for residents. There were dangerous chemicals that require training to use, master keys to other staff areas, potential hazards and other confidential information.

We brought this to management’s attention, and they agreed it was unacceptable for a resident to be somewhere that requires training about chemicals and other items.

Because of this we got SCC to change the codes immediately and set up a non-hazardous area where the resident can still enjoy their independence without putting themselves or others at risk.

This is the power of your work health and safety officers and HSRs. Congratulations to those that spoke up and prevented an accident waiting to happen – safety is everyone’s business!

If you’re interested in learning more about work health and safety or being a HSR in your workplace, please contact HACSUassist so we can point you in the right direction.

For more information about this or any other industrial matter, members should contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email or complete our online contact form

Aged Care Sector