Inspection program looks at safety in child care centres
WorkSafe is conducting a proactive inspection program to look at safety issues in WA’s child care centres.
The program will continue until the end of the 2018/19 financial year, and will include government and private child care centres in metropolitan and regional areas of the State.
WorkSafe Director Sally North said today an inspection program was being undertaken in this area because child care was a relatively new work area and had not been closely examined for some time.
“There are now a large number of child care centres, and we have not taken a close look at the safety aspects of the sector for quite a few years,” Ms North said.
“There has been significant growth in the number of child care centres since we last undertook an inspection program in the industry, so we thought it was time to update our knowledge.
“Child care centre workers are often injured in incidents involving manual tasks, and there are a couple of other areas in which risk is elevated, so we need to take a good look at these risks and make sure workers in the industry are aware of them.
“It is important that these workers receive adequate training in and information on recognising the hazards they face as part of their jobs.
“WorkSafe has an extensive schedule of proactive inspection programs concentrating on particular industries or activities and aimed at providing employers and employees with information on how to make workplaces safer.
“The primary focus is to deliver information to employers, but enforcement action will be taken during the program if breaches of the laws are found.”
During this inspection program, inspectors will be concentrating on priority areas including manual tasks, hazardous substances, electricity and slips, trips and falls.
The inspectors will also focus on the procedures the employer has in place for managing violence, aggression and challenging behaviours, including policies, training and investigation of incidents.
Communicable diseases are also an area of concern, and inspectors will be looking at whether childcare workers are being given suitable training and information on the risks involved.
The inspections will be conducted with the aid of a checklist to ensure consistency across all workplaces.
“This inspection program should reveal the latest areas of concern and ensure we are looking at the most relevant issues for today,” Ms North said.
“These proactive inspection programs aim to help employers to comply with workplace safety and health laws, and we firmly believe that raising awareness is the best way in which to lessen the risk of work-related injury and illness.”
Further information on safety and health in child care workplaces and the checklist for this inspection program can be obtained by telephoning WorkSafe on 1300 307877 or on the website at www.worksafe.wa.gov.au.
Media contact: Caroline De Vaney 6251 2363 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only)
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