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Flashcards in Work practices Deck (68):

What 5 things can risk management strategies/procedures do?

Identify, assess, control, minimise or eliminate risks



Written documents that state the principles and practices for the ongoing management and administration of a workplace.

Policies are statements that highlight broad guidelines on action to be taken to achieve a purpose. (Eg: a safe and healthy workplace, managing stress, back care and manual lifting.)


What do they outline?

Explain how to perform tasks and duties. They are the written instructions for a task or activity that outline the preferred (and often the safest) method for completing the task (and sometimes, who is responsible)

A safe work procedure outlines hazards, risks and associated control measures to be applied to ensure that the task is conducted in a way to reduce the risk of injury.



Any object or situation with the potential to cause injury or illness, damage property/environment or disrupt productivity.



Likelihood of an incident, accident or near miss occurring as a result of the hazard.


Some (7) ways to identify hazards:

Inspect the work environment;
Discuss previous issues with supervisor;
Talk to WHS representative about task-specific hazards;
Talk with colleagues about proven ways to deal with known hazards;
Read and use info about clients and equipment;
Consider how equipment is used and whether it's appropriate;
Look at whether clients have opportunity to access hazardous or risky areas.


Some (7) examples of WHS forms:

Hazard Report
Injury/Accident Report
Risk Identification Checklist
Critical Incident Report
Near Miss Report
Workers Compensation Form
Record of equipment in need of repair.


What (4 things) does evidence reported to Worksafe Queensland need to demonstrate?

Accidents and incidents are recorded and acted upon;
Adequate training, first aid supplies and personal protective equipment are provided;
All consultation mechanisms are in place;
Records are adequately maintained.


Seven principles of effective injury management:

Plan (and communicate);
Raise awareness at management level;
Ask for feedback (from injured staff after claim closes);
Foster an early intervention culture;
Communicate with all relevant parties;
Think outside the box (for different ways to deliver training);
Find and support OHS and injury management champions within your business


List some (5) client-related risk factors you may need to be aware of:

Manual handling;
Behaviours of concern (e.g. client violence);
Slips, trips and falls;
Home visits (client’s home are unstructured, unregulated environments that pose risks)


What is a "behaviour of concern"?
A behaviour of concern may...(3 points)

Any behaviour that causes physical harm;
or property destruction that results in the risk of harm to any person.

A behaviour of concern may:

Endanger the safety of the person exhibiting the behaviour or other people;
Result in denied or limited access to facilities;
Be frequent, intense or enduring


When reporting client-related risks and behaviours of concern, a report should have:

A clear description of the risk or behaviour of concern;
Measurable and observable data;

The report should include:
Exactly what the person does ("TJ can kick people in the legs with his right foot");
How often/frequently the behaviour occurs ("about eight times a day");
How long/duration the behaviour lasts for ("for up to 10 secs");
The (intensity of) harm or risk of harm that results ("with enough force to cause injury")


Areas (9) which may require a policy or procedure:

Safe task design;
Safety induction and training;
Hazard reporting;
Risk assessment and risk control;
WHS consultation and committees;
Driver and travel safety;
Purchasing guidelines;
Emergency procedures;
Hazardous waste disposal.


Manual handling:

Any activity requiring the use of force exerted by a person to lift, lower, push, pull, carry or otherwise move, hold or restrain any animate or inanimate object.


Injuries that incorrect manual handling can cause:

Muscle sprains and strains
Injuries to muscles, ligaments, vertebral disks and other
structures in the back
Injuries to soft tissue, nerves, ligaments and tendons in
the wrist, arms, shoulders, neck or legs
Abdominal hernias
Chronic pain.


Safe manual handling practices:

Use common sense and don't take unnecessary risks
with large or heavy objects;
When moving more than 15kg, ask for assistance;
Obtain correct manual handling and lifting/back care
Follow workplace policies and procedures;
Identify manual handling hazards/risks and report them to your supervisor


Examples of manual handling tasks:

Lifting objects/equipment;
Moving objects/equipment;
Carrying objects/equipment/chairs;
Pushing wheelchairs, prams or trolleys;
Supporting a person to sit, stand or lie down


Assess the manual handling task:

Learn how to lift safely.
Ensure the weight is safe to lift.
Two people are required to lift bulky items.
Use mechanical aids if available.
Clear a path prior to lifting and moving.
Wear protective clothing if necessary e.g. gloves if the
object has sharp edges.
Position yourself close enough to the load.
Hold the item close to your centre of gravity.


Think before you lift:

Balance yourself and relax muscles.
Position yourself close to the load.
Keep your feet slightly apart.
Bend your knees, not your back.
Grasp the load with your palms.
Keep your head up and chin in.
Keep your back as straight as possible.
Use your leg muscles.
Change your grasp during the lift if necessary.


Applying control measures means:
6 ways to control or manage a risk:

identifying and assessing hazards that may cause injury or illness, then managing the risks.

Some ways you can control or manage a risk include:
Ensuring policies and procedures are followed
Following instructions for lifting and using equipment
Reducing the frequency of the task
Requesting training in using equipment or lifting
Using signs as a reminder
Regularly discussing WHS, including the various manual handling tasks you undertake, with your supervisor.


4-step process for applying control measures

1) Identify the hazard

You might notice a hazard when working with clients,
setting up equipment, when an accident/near miss
occurs, or when a safety audit is conducted.
Example: a client becoming less mobile needs greater
assistance to move from a chair to their bed.
You can identify hazards:
On a daily basis, as part of your regular activities
By gathering feedback from environments you are
working in (conversations with work colleagues/clients,
observations, accident and incident reports etc)
By regularly using checklists e.g. manual handling risk
assessment checklist.

2) Assess the risks

How much of a risk of injury is there? Is it low, medium or
high level? Is it something that must be fixed
immediately or is it something that you, work
colleagues or clients should be aware of as a possible
danger? Also assess the consequences of a risk.
Example: a wheelchair is difficult to load into a new
vehicle, the movements required to place the
wheelchair in the vehicle mean that there is a high risk
of a worker damaging their back.

3) Control the risk

Put control measures in place. How can the hazard be
dealt with most appropriately? (eg a client with difficulty
maintaining his balance has an electric radiator in his
home. Client also wears clothing that is not fire
resistant. You move the heater to a place where client
is unable to come in contact with the heater elements.
Hazards are controlled by using a hierarchy of control. This is:
Get rid of the hazard
Replace the hazard with something else that presents
a lower risk
Separate the hazard from the person or the person
from the hazard
Make changes to the workplace or design of
workplace equipment
Make changes to the way work is organised or ask
for/arrange training to improve practice
Use PPE or appropriate equipment to minimise risk e.g.
use a hoist for lifting clients.

4) Review

Check that the control measures are working or whether
they need further thought and review. Once control
measures have been implemented, they need to be
monitored and reviewed to ensure that they are
effective. This could be daily, weekly, monthly or yearly.



Caused by pathogens ('bugs') such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa or fungi, getting into or onto the body.
It can take some time before the microbes multiply enough to trigger symptoms of illness, which means an infected person may unwittingly be spreading the disease during this incubation period. Infection control in the workplace aims to prevent pathogens from coming into contact with a person in the first place


Website for up-to-date detailed information about diseases and infection prevention
(Qld health website)



Infection Control Management Plan:
a documented plan to prevent or minimise the risk of infection in relation to declared health services for:
persons receiving services at the facility
person employed or engaged at the facility
other persons at risk of infection at the facility


An ICMP for a health care facility must state:

The infection risks associated with the provision of
declared health services;
The measures to be taken to prevent or minimise the
infection risks;
How the operator is to monitor and review the
implementation and effectiveness of the measures;
Details about the provision of training in relation to the
ICMP for persons employed or otherwise engaged at
the facility
How often the ICMP is to be reviewed (the effectiveness
and implementation must be reviewed yearly, if not
more often)
The name of any person who is responsible for
providing advice about and monitoring the
effectiveness of the ICMP.

The ICMP must be written in a way likely to be easily understood by persons employed or otherwise engaged at the facility.

The operator of the facility must:
sign and date the ICMP; and
sign and date the ICMP each time it is reviewed.


Standard precautions for preventing infection:

Always use good hygiene practices, (wash hands etc);
Use PPE, including gloves;
Handle and dispose of sharps and other infectious
waste appropriately;
Clean and disinfect contaminated items appropriately;
Keep wounds covered with a water resistant dressing;
Wear footwear appropriate for the activity you're


Hand washing techniques:

Front and back;
Between fingers (with each hand taking a turn on top);
Fingertip hook (fingers curved in, 1 palm down and 1 up);
"Tickle" palms with fingertips;
Avoid touching tap with hands;
Rinse well;


Personal hygiene infection control:

Thoroughly wash hands for at least 15 seconds after
visiting the toilet, before preparing food, and after
touching clients or equipment. Dry your hands with
disposable paper towels.
Use correct "cough ettiquette" (tissues or elbow, wash
hands after)
Cover any cuts with waterproof dressing. Intact and
healthy skin is a major barrier to pathogens.
Wear gloves if handling body fluids/equipment
containing body fluids, touching someone else's
broken skin or mucus membrane, or before any other
invasive procedure. Wash hands between each client
and use new gloves for each client where necessary.
Don't share towels, clothing, razors, toothbrushes,
shavers or other personal items.


Food preparation infection control:

Wash hands before and after handling food;
Avoid touching hair, nose or mouth;
Keep hot food hot and cold food cold;
Use separate storage, utensils and preparation surfaces
for cooked and uncooked foods;
Wash all utensils and preparation surfaces thoroughly
with hot water and detergent after use.


Workplace cleanliness infection control:

Regularly wash floors, bathrooms and surfaces such as tables and bench tops with hot water and detergent;
Wash walls and ceilings periodically;
Mops, brushes and cloths should be thoroughly washed
and dried after every use. Drying is particularly
important: many pathogens rely on moisture to thrive.;
Use disinfectants to clean up blood/other bodily fluids;
When using disinfectants, always wear gloves, clean the
surfaces before using the disinfectant, and always
follow the manufacturer's instructions exactly
Spot clean when necessary


Dealing with bodily fluids infection control:

Isolate the area;
Wear PPE (gloves, plastic apron, and eye protection);
Soak up fluid with disposable paper towels, or cover
with a granular chlorine-releasing agent for a minimum
of 10 minutes. Scoop up granules and waste using a
piece of cardboard (or similar), place in a plastic bag
and dispose of appropriately;
Mix bleach 1:10 with water and apply for 10 minutes (NOT
TO CARPET. Clean carpet with detergent and warm
water, then steam clean);
Wash with hot water and detergent (steam clean carpet);
Dry the area;
Dispose of paper towels/gloves etc appropriately;
Rinse any contaminated clothing in cold running water,
soak in bleach solution for 30 minutes, then wash
separately with hot water and detergent;
Wash your hands (while clothing soaks, for example).

Don't vacuum carpet during cleaning of contamination, as this can spread the virus.


Infectious waste infection control:

Wear heavy-duty gloves;
Place in plastic bags marked "infectious waste";
Dispose of in accordance with EPA regulations.


Handling sharps infection control:

NEVER attempt to re-cap or bend used needles;
Handle by the barrel;
Place in an appropriate puncture-proof container, which
is yellow and labelled 'Danger contaminated sharps'
and marked with a black biohazard symbol (carry
container to sharps, not sharps to container!)


When to use additional infection control procedures:

When you observe/are notified that a client or work
colleague has symptoms of illness.
Whenever you observe any of these signs you must
apply additional infection control procedures and
report the symptoms to your supervisor.
Additional infection control precautions are also
essential when vulnerable clients are involved e.g.
elderly, ill or very young clients.

Additional precautions are not necessary for blood-borne diseases, unless there are complicating infections, such as pulmonary tuberculosis


Some signs of illness (cue to use additional infection control measures):

High temperature/fever;
Out-of-character behaviour (eg active person becomes
Diarrhoea or bowel movements that contain blood or
are pale or grey. Dark yellow urine;
Discharge from eyes or ears;
Rashes, blisters, weeping/crusty sores;
Loss of appetite;
Headaches/stiff neck;
Joint or muscle pain;
Difficulty breathing;
Sore throat/prolonged cough;
Dilated pupils;
Swelling of body parts


Transmission methods of common illnesses:

Contact: (eg impetigo, scabies);
Droplets(cough): (eg mumps, whooping cough [pertusis],
scarlet fever, diptheria);
Airborne (measles, chicken pox, tuberculosis)


Techniques/equipment for additional infection control:

Masks (eg disposable masks);
Gowns (eg disposable gowns);
Protective eyewear (eg goggles);
Isolation (eg removing client from contact with others);
Visitor restriction and signage (eg notifying visitors of
outbreak such as whooping cough);
Closure of the area, facility or part of the facility.


Precautions for additional infection control:

Allocation of a single room with ensuite facilities;
A dedicated toilet, to prevent transmission of infections
that are transmitted primarily by contact with faecal
material (eg for clients with infectious diarrhoea or
Special ventilation requirements;
Additional use of personal protective equipment;
Rostering of immune workers to care for certain classes
of infectious clients (eg chickenpox);
Dedicated client equipment;
Restricted movement of both clients and Allied Health


Reporting risks of infection:

Each workplace will have policies and procedures regarding this.

Queensland Health has a range of notifiable conditions .
These are health conditions which, when diagnosed,
must be reported to a Queensland Health Public
Health Unit by phone or fax. Your workplace will have
a policy and procedure for dealing with notifiable
Specific requirements for when/how to report vary by


First step to contributing to WHS?:

Be observant and raise issues and concerns with the relevant people (supervisor, WHS representative).
This is part of our duty of care.


9 ways to identify and raise WHS issues:

Become familiar with employer and employee
Know policies and procedures;
Be aware of and use equipment and PPE appropriately;
Ensure your behaviour doesn't put anyone else at risk;
Speak up immediately if you think someone's
health/safety is at risk;
Report and document incidents/accidents/hazards to the
appropriate people with the appropriate form/s;
Alert your supervisor and workplace managers to WHS issues by completing:
Hazard alerts
Memos or emails
Surveys or checklists
Suggestion boxes.
Participate in workplace meetings:
informal discussions
with work colleagues (esp health and safety reps);
1-on-1 meeting with your supervisor;
suggest items for discussion during staff meetings;
attend meetings with WHS and employee reps;
join consultative/WHS committee meetings.
Workplace processes:
Contribute to workplace inspections/safety audits
Complete hazard identification and risk assessments;
Participate in formal WHS issue resolution processes.


Participate in WHS activities by:

Joining the WHS committee;
Being a spokesperson for work colleagues;
Being the WHS rep at management meetings;
Undertaking safety checks + recognising safety needs;
Raising issues and sharing concerns with WHS reps and
at staff meetings;
Actively implementing and following WHS procedures to
help recognise where improvements could be made.


WHS policies and procedures are developed:

By management committees and licensees/owners
In consultation with relevant professionals
With contribution from work colleagues and clients.


5 roles of a WHS committee:
Who the committee is comprised of:

Assist in developing and reviewing policies and
Discuss and resolve WHS issues specific to your
Monitor and review WHS performance;
Identify WHS trends;
Co-operate to develop and implement measures that
ensure health and safety of staff and clients

comprised of employee and management members whose role it is to assist in the development and review of workplace health and safety policies and procedures.


Why is development of WHS policies and procedures is a continual process?

What is involved (in a review)?

To ensure that they align with the current legislation and regulations and meet workplace needs (which can change)

Reviews can be done in different ways; however, gathering feedback from a range of people and services that are part of the Allied Health setting will ensure that an informative review is completed. Once feedback is analysed, an evaluation is made to see if any changes are required.
Every review of a policy or procedure MUST take into account any changes in the regulations and legislation.
When a new or revised policy is finalised it should be made available to all staff and families with a date of commencement.


Ideas for reviewing policies and procedures:

Encourage feedback from clients by including policies and procedures in a newsletter, conducting discussions or placing questions about the policy on a noticeboard.

Display policies and procedures on a notice board where clients can add their comments.

Take some time to review them yourself and give your feedback to your supervisor.

Discuss changes to policies and procedures at staff meetings.


Successful WHS management can only be achieved:

with commitment from all levels of the organisation.

It requires a structured and planned approach.


5 key elements for a good WHS management system:

Policy - continuous improvement in all aspects of WHS, and complying with legal requirements
Organisation - structure and arrangements in place to ensure the policy can be delivered. Requires all staff understand responsibilities and are motivated and empowered to work safely.
Planning - how to implement. Where does action need to be taken? Allows prioritisation and focusing of resources
Measuring Performance - against pre-determined standards. Enables identification of areas requiring improvement
Audit and Review - Systematic review assessing against objectives, performance indicators, and strategy


4 key characteristics of a successful WHS management system:

Positive Health and Safety culture;
Involvement of all stakeholders;
Effective audits;
Continual improvement


Principle benefits of a good WHS management system:

Much easier to achieve and demonstrate legal compliance;
Ensures WHS is given the same emphasis as other business objectives;
Enables significant WHS risks to be addressed in a systemic way;
Illustrates a genuine commitment to health and safety throughout the organisation


Reviewing your work practices helps you to:

Identify what you do well and where you need skill
development or training.
Improve your work practices.
Keep up with changes in the industry.
Always try for best practice as an Allied Health assistant.


(15) Ways to review/maintain safe work practices:

Be aware of what you do and say and then judge yourself objectively (eg I handled that lift really badly. Next time I need to … or, That client visit went well. I must remember to do that again next time.)

Talk to your supervisor about how you can improve your safe work practices.

Watch others work/how they do things

Ask questions

Read professional info (journal articles, newsletters etc)

Ask for help

Attend training

Share experiences and ideas

Know your job description well

Be aware of the roles and responsibilities of other staff

Be aware of the equipment and resources that are available for you to use.

Plan ahead for activities and tasks to be completed on time.

Arrive at work on time and be ready to start work when you get there.

Do not take on other people’s work if your own is not complete.

Recognise when you have too much to do and raise this with your supervisor.


Three techniques to review effectiveness:

Self-evaluation based on feelings and impressions:
"that activity in the kitchen went really well today, everyone was safe and the clients really enjoyed it."

Self-evaluation based on facts:
reflecting on why the activity was safe e.g. Was it well organised? Was it the choice of resources?

Discussions with your supervisor to review areas where health and safety issues can be improved.


Setting realistic goals:

supports you to complete work in a healthy and safe manner (not rushed).

Make sure your goals are SMART:

Specific: (Clean all broken equipment from the store cupboard by Friday afternoon)

Measurable: (By Friday afternoon all broken equipment is removed and disposed of in rubbish collection)

Attainable or achievable: (There is enough time and resources to complete the clean out by Friday afternoon)

Realistic: (The store cupboard clean out is something that you are both willing and able to do.)

Timely: (Friday afternoon is a reasonable time frame to complete the task.)


Stress and fatigue:

Stress can influence your judgement and responses. Recognising your levels of stress and fatigue as well as being aware of the symptoms and ways to minimise them, means you will be able to work healthily and more effectively.

Ongoing exposure to difficult situations that are not addressed or resolved can lead to conflict and high stress levels. High stress levels may also result in workplace accidents.

One of the most disturbing results of Allied Health assistants becoming stressed is the negative effects on the client. When Allied Health assistants are under pressure they can become insensitive and unresponsive to the needs of the clients. Stress can also reduce the capacity of Allied Health assistants to care for and educate their clients, and affects the quality of their practices and relationships with clients


Work-related stress:

Work-related stress describes the physical, mental and emotional reactions of workers who perceive that their work demands exceed their abilities and/or their resources (such as time, help/support) to do the work.

It occurs when they perceive they are not coping in situations where it is important to them that they cope.


Work-related stress is not:

a disease.
Worker's responses to stressors may be positive or negative depending on the type of demands placed on them, the amount of control they have over the situation, the amount of support they receive and the individual response of the person.
In the vast majority of instances people adjust to stressors and are able to continue to perform their normal work duties.


Health effects of stress:

When stressful situations go unresolved, the body is kept in a constant state of stimulation, which can result in physiological and/or psychological illness.
Common health outcomes linked to stress include:
Cardiovascular disease,
Immune deficiency disorders,
Gastrointestinal disorders,
Musculoskeletal disorders,
Psychological illness

The implementation of management strategies that reduce stress and fatigue in the workplace is part of an employers’ responsibility under duty of care towards employees.
It is good business practice for employers to proactively manage risk by identifying, assessing and controlling psychosocial risk factors within the workplace.

Work demands are one of the most common sources of work-related stress. While workers need challenging tasks to maintain their interest and motivation, and to develop new skills, it is important that work demands do not exceed the worker’s ability to cope.

Workers can usually cope with demanding work if it is not excessive, if they are supported by supervisors and colleagues, and if they are given the right amount of autonomy

Identifying the signs and symptoms of stress can assist you to raise the issue and offer (or seek) support.


Early signs of stress:

Increased absenteeism;
Changes in attitude, mood or behaviour;
Becoming irritable, volatile or aggressive;
Conflict with others;
Diminished work relationships;
Tiredness/lethargy/lack of interest;
Difficulty in concentrating or making decisions;
Changes to appearance or personal hygiene;
Becoming withdrawn or isolated;
Demonstrating unrealistic standards or expectations for
yourself or others.


Social and emotional symptoms of stress:

Feeling upset, angry, hopeless, or over-stretched;
Destructive behaviours such as reliance on alcohol,
drugs, excessive eating, smoking.


Cognitive symptoms of stress:

Poor judgement
Difficulty in making decisions
Inability to solve problems.


Physical symptoms of stress:

Muscle tension, headaches, dizziness
High blood pressure
Reduced immunity and illness



Fatigue is mental or physical exhaustion that stops a person from being able to function normally.
However, fatigue is more than just feeling tired or drowsy - it is normal to become tired through physical or mental effort.


The only effective long-term counter-measure to fatigue:

Maintaining sufficient levels of sleep will help prevent fatigue.

The amount of sleep required by a person varies, with seven to eight hours of daily sleep considered the average for an adult. People who continually get less sleep than necessary for them, will accumulate a sleep debt that may take days to recover from.

For example, if a person who requires eight hours of sleep only has six hours of sleep, then this person is deprived of two hours of sleep. If this occurs over four consecutive nights, the person will have accumulated an eight hour sleep debt. Sleep debt leads to increased levels of fatigue.


Causes of loss of sleep:

A number of factors in the workplace and in a person’s private life can cause sleep loss. Examples from the workplace include:

Extended working hours
Irregular and unpredictable working hours
Time of day when work is performed and sleep obtained
Shift work
Having more than one job

Employers have a legal obligation to provide safe systems in the workplace, and this includes reasonable hours at work.
Fatigue is a major contributor to accidents and injuries. To minimise the risk of fatigue, workers should not be requested to regularly work for long periods without a break or to do excessive amounts of overtime.

Regular breaks should also be provided so that workers can continue to perform effectively.


Early signs of fatigue:

(Similar to signs of stress)

Increased absenteeism;
Changes in attitude, mood or behaviour;
Becoming irritable, volatile or aggressive;
Conflict with others;
Diminished work relationships;
Tiredness/lethargy/lack of interest;
Difficulty in concentrating or making decisions;
Changes to appearance or personal hygiene;
Becoming withdrawn or isolated;
Demonstrating unrealistic standards or expectations for yourself or others.


You can help to prevent or manage your stress by:

Taking care of your health and well-being.
This will build your resilience to stressful situations and help you to find positive solutions to issues that cause you stress.

Reflect on the demands in your life and identify the things that cause you stress and are important strategies to reduce stress.

Identify warning signs (headache, irritable etc);
Identify triggers (lack of sleep, hunger, deadlines etc);
Establish routines (routines can be calming/reassuring);
Spend time with family/friends (who care about you);
Get the right amount of sleep;
Try to adopt a positive outlook on life (and on work) -
avoid negative self-talk etc;
Set realistic goals for personal and professional life;
Eat well;
Exercise regularly;
Seek support from your supervisor when needed;
Manage stress through movement and relaxation
(physical exercise, yoga, meditation, tai-chi etc)


According to Safe Work Australia (2013), mental stress costs Australian businesses:

More than $10 billion per year.

Over the past few decades there have been considerable gains made in Australia in terms of reducing the number of physical injuries and fatalities in the workplace.
In contrast, mental disorders arising from work-related mental stress have become an increasingly important concern.