Although hazards are present in every workplace and are a threat to everyone’s health and safety,workers in the healthcare sector are
are a key risk group due to the very nature of the work they do on a daily basis.
WHS laws impose duties on a range of different stakeholders including persons who conduct businesses or undertakings, persons who manage or control workplaces, officers, workers and others.
Medical Practice Safety management
The WHS laws apply to all organisations and persons who conduct a business or undertaking in Australia, including medical practices. The WHS laws impose duties on identified duty holders, who include the following people:
Work health and safety is about ensuring the wellbeing of workers (including contractors), patients and others in the medical practice. Regular review of your practice will assist in making your practice a healthy place in which to work.
It is important that you assess the WHS risks that might arise in your medical practice and develop policies, procedures and worker training that address these risks so that you can ensure a safe working environment.
WHS policies and procedures
WHS policies and procedures are important as they set clear standards and expectations for how WHS issues are to be managed. They also clarify which individuals hold certain obligations for managing WHS issues.
For medical practices, consideration should be given to developing appropriate policies and procedures which relate to the risks which exist in each medical practice.
Typical policies and procedures that could be developed for a medical practice include:
- work health and safety policy
- procedures that deal with:
- security and staff safety,
- dealing with patients,
- ergonomic set-ups and assessments,
- manual handling,
- electrical safety,
- the storage and handling of drugs, medicines and other chemicals,
- incident/accident reporting,
- cash handling,
- first aid,
- fire safety and emergency procedures – including the location of fire extinguishers, how to use them and an emergency evacuation route and assembly point,
- working practices including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other safety equipment, access/egress issues including the requirement to keep entry and exit points clear from congestion, and dealing with slips, trips and falls,
- worker training and competency assessment,
- anti-bullying, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and harassment.