Today is World Day for Safety and Health at Work, a day used to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. At Accept Care, we take health and safety very seriously and treat our staff and clients' wellbeing with the utmost importance. To keep everyone healthy and safe, we have various measures in place to make sure our staff feel confident and safe in their roles and are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed at work every day.
Firstly, all new staff complete an induction with our friendly and knowledgeable HR team at the start of their employment. Our comprehensive induction provides an overview of Accept Care’s history, company structure and services and explains important policies and procedures. The responsibilities and expectations of the home support worker role are explained thoroughly so that they know relevant safety information and can work in a safe manner from day one.
Clearances and Certificates
All staff must have up-to-date clearances and police checks when they start working with us, and our home support workers must additionally have current first aid, CPR and manual handling certification. These clearances and certifications must remain current throughout employment, and we pay for our staff to renew them.
In addition to other leaders available for home support workers, we have the specific role of direct care supervisor to oversee and support our home support workers and their safety awareness. New home support workers receive buddy shifts to ensure they are confident in the role, and on-the-job competency assessments are carried out with existing home support workers which helps them to follow the highest possible standards of practice and to identify any areas where further training may be required.
Employee Assistance Program
We provide our employees with access to our Employee Assistance Program through Relationships Australia should they need. This program is free-of-charge to employees and allows them to call and have confidential discussions with experienced counsellors. We also offer our in-house counsellor to our staff as another source of assistance if they wish. Should an incident occur at work, our leaders ensure they follow up with staff to see how they are doing and to check if they need any further support.
Our staff have access to continuous online learning modules via online training platforms, such as AusMed, Qintil, Centro Assist and Dementia Australia.
Quarterly staff meetings are held for home support workers to provide a forum in which to get to know their colleagues and managers and to build connections for a healthier work life. The sharing of up-to-date and important information is also a feature of the meetings, so that staff feel better equipped to safely engage with various service scenarios.
We remain compliant in NDIS Quality and Safety Standards and Aged Care Commission Standards at all times, with our managers and HR team daily operating to maintain this status as an organisation. We recently undertook an external NDIS Quality audit in December 2022 to ensure our practices align with NDIS Practice Standards and guidelines and to renew our registration as an NDIS provider. We were successful in this process and scored “best practice” in the majority of our operational areas.
Our customer service team is available during office hours to assist clients and staff with any queries or concerns they may have. Our emergency on-call after hours phone is also available 24/7 for clients and staff who require urgent assistance.
Personal Protective Equipment
We provide all our home support workers with the necessary PPE for their roles, including gloves, gowns and face masks. Upon commencement of employment, each worker receives a safety device called an RCD (Residual Current Device) to use in clients’ homes when using any electrical equipment. This device prevents fatal electric shocks by switching off electricity automatically should there be a fault.
These are just some of the ways that we keep our staff safe and healthy at work, but everybody must play a part in workplace health and safety. We must all remain vigilant and proactive and look after one another. Happy World Day for Safety and Health at Work!