Section 1 Resident handling aids and equipment

1.1 Aids and equipment selection

Aids and equipment should be suitable for its intended use, the residents, workers and the workplace where it is being used. Ongoing evaluation of equipment use and suitability is essential.

Level 1: Minimal level

Aids and equipment used in resident handling is purchased fit for purpose, with the aim of reducing the risk to both worker and resident.

Consultation with workers (and where necessary with families) on the types of aids and equipment needed is undertaken prior to purchase.

Representatives from the aged care facility keep up to date with the latest improvements in resident handling aids and equipment.

A spare battery and systems for charging is available for lifter use.

Level 2: Improved level

There is a documented process to follow for the selection and evaluation of new equipment, taking into account consultation with workers and families.

Results of consultation with workers and families influence future purchases.

Learning from previous equipment selection processes is used to inform new purchases.

Adjustable equipment and aids are provided to assist workers in maintaining optimal postures whilst undertaking resident handling and personal care tasks.

Level 3: Best practice level

Periodic evaluation of existing equipment is undertaken and documented in consultation with workers to ensure ongoing suitability.

Any special worker needs (eg ageing workers, stature, mobility issues, literacy) as well as residents needs are considered as part of the evaluation.

Incident and injury data is used as part of the evaluation of the suitability of aids and equipment.

There is a forward plan regarding the purchase and replacement of resident handling related aids and equipment.

1.2 Availability of aids and equipment

Suitable and sufficient resident handling aids and equipment must be readily available to manage the safe handling and transfer of residents. Specialist equipment may be required to cater for particular residents. Where necessary, the availability of replacement equipment should be organised to minimise the need to adopt alternative (and potentially more hazardous) handling practices.

Level 1: Minimal level

The ratio of aids and equipment to resident numbers are adequate to ensure they are readily available in each work area with minimum delay.

There is a process for charging electrical equipment to ensure it is readily available.

There is an adequate range of equipment to accommodate residents' size and weight (eg hoist slings).

Where there is a lack of available equipment (due to equipment failure) the immediate needs are managed with changed work practices. These practices have been documented and workers have been trained and assessed competent.

Workers are advised of alternative arrangements when equipment is not available and the determined contingency arrangements are implemented.

Level 2: Improved level

Aids and equipment are stored in a location and manner that make them easily accessible when required for particular residnets.

Short term contingencies are in place that may include sharing equipment with other units/departments within the facility.

Service contracts exist with loan and hire agencies to acquire additional or replacement equipment on short term and fast supply arrangements.

A list of available equipment is kept so appropriate aids can be supplied to an individual.

Level 3: Best practice level

Aids and equipment numbers are based around documented resident handling requirements in a particular area and are adjusted as the resident requirements change.

These requirements are regularly reviewed as part of the care management planning processes.

A system (that may include a dedicated service or store) is in place for the provision of less frequently used items and for the replacement in the event of failure (eg hoists that may be delayed in being returned to service).

Acquisition and delivery of new or replacement equipment must be timely (and a priority) to ensure safety and continuity in quality care and worker safety.

Budgets include provision for the need to upgrade and replace resident handling equipment.

1.3 Maintenance of resident handling aids and equipment

Aids and equipment needs to be maintained in a working state to enable safe and efficient use.

Level 1: Minimal level

Reactive maintenance is provided for all beds, ancillary aids and equipment in a timely manner utilising established and efficient systems.

There are suitable facilities and resources for cleaning and maintaining euipment.

Where new equipment is purchased, plans for ongoing maintenance are considered as part of the the selection process.

Regular safety inspections occur including review of the functioning of resident handling aids and equipment (periodic inspection of hoists, slings etc as required by relevant ISO AS/NZS standard where relevant are documented).

Regular maintenance inspections occur using equipment checklists.

When aids or equipment are identified as malfunctioning or broken, they are immediately tagged and removed from service.

Workers are encouraged and trained to report issues associated with equipment in a timely manner.

Level 2: Improved level

Preventative maintenance programs are in place for all resident handling and ancillary aids and equipment . Work is undertaken by suitably qualified persons.

Reactive maintenance responses are prioritised with key resident handling equipment given a high priority to ensure safety and continuity in quality of care and worker safety.

Level 3: Best practice level

Maintenance records are analysed to improve system efficiencies and to reduce breakdowns, frequencies and downtimes. These records may be kept locally or centrally for a larger organisation (eg reactive maintenance timeframes are documented and actual timeframes compared to expectations).

Feedback loop on maintenance issues is provided for future purchasing.

Incident data related to equipment is analysed and used to guide maintenance processes.

Section 2 Resident factors

2.1 Resident mobility and transfer requirements

The mobility and transfer needs of residents must be assessed to develop a care plan specific to their needs. This plan should consider factors that may affect their safety including the impact of medication, increased fatigue towards the end of the day and other personal needs. Changes to mobility status must be documented and communicated at handover to all relevant workers (including casual and agency workers). Key considerations should be given to body size, body shape, weight, current mobility, skin integrity and mental status.

Level 1: Minimal level

Resident mobility assessments are undertaken by competent professionals (eg physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurse trained in no lifting principles) and documented in the care plan.

Mobility assessments consider all aspects of a residents needs, including medication, fatigue and vision.

Specific procedures and documented safe work practices are in place to manage the potential increased risks to workers assisting with special needs residents.

Resident care and mobility assessments include reference to these documents as part of the pre-admission assessment process.

Required equipment and aids are made available in line with the documented safe systems of work.

Level 2: Improved level

Workers are consulted and the necessary skills and equipment is in place prior to any handling needs occurring.

Resident mobility status is regularly reviewed and documented as part of the care plan program. This may occur at predetermined times (eg monthly, after medication changes).

Workers are provided with training in the care of residents with special needs (eg working with dementia and handling bariatric residents).

Level 3: Best practice level

Mobility needs and requirements are reviewed dynamically and changes documented on the handover sheet. Requirements are resourced accordingly with priority.

A standard handover protocol is followed to ensure all necessary information is included in each handover session (including details of any specific handling needs and equipment requirements, any medication changes or any behaviours that may increase the handling risks for workers).

Workers are notified of any changes and requirements are resourced at shift change over.

Only specifically trained and competent workers are assigned to care for residents with special needs.

2.2: Residents, compliance with handling requirements.

Residents and their families/supporters need to be consulted and understand the specific requirements implemented to maintain resident and worker safety during mobility, transfer and care activities.

Level 1: Minimal level

Residents and their families are made aware of the mobility and handling systems to be used as part of the organisation's safety policies and procedures.

Mobility and care plans include optimising mobility and independence for residents whilst protecting workers from risks.

Level 2: Improved level

Families are provided with specific information about individual care plans established for each resident that includes mobility, transfer and handling requirements.

Workers are supported by supervisors/managers in their decisions regarding working to agreed plans, especially where this may potentially cause conflicts or issues.

Level 3: Best practice level

Workers always utilise the agreed systems of handling for each resident, but also dynamically assess the mobility capacity of the resident and advise on any changes prior to these being implemented.

Changes to the mobility plan are undertaken in consultation with workers and discussed with the resident and their families/supporters.

2.3 Residents' fall risk

Residents who fall pose a risk to themselves as well as the workers. This may be associated with the worker trying to catch or assist a falling resident as well as the processes to aid and right residents once they have fallen.

Level 1: Minimal level

There are specific documented practices for workers to utilise when working with residents where there is a risk of falls.

Documentation for residents with a risk of falls include a falls risk assessment, falls control plans and the processes to be used when righting fallen residents.

Furniture and room layout considers falls risk.

Training is provided to all care staff on the procedures to be undertaken for falls and emergency situations and skills are practiced.

Level 2: Improved level

Worker competencies in the management of residents falls (includes preventing falls, reducing the impact of falls as well as assisting them once they have fallen) is monitored and measured.

Residents' falls risk is regularly reviewed and documented.

Unstable equipment (eg over bed tables) is removed from rooms where cognitive issues are associated with falls risk.

A falls risk identification system is implemented for quick reference to staff attending the resident (eg traffic light colour system on doors - low (green), medium (orange), high risk (red).

Level 3: Best practice level

Residents falls risk assessments are dynamic with consideration of at risk activities/situations and times.

Resources are adjusted to eliminate the falls risk as needed (eg two staff may be required at certain times of the day for specific resident's activities).

Investigation of falls incidents includes worker safety during the response and a review of the mobility assessment process. New control measures implemented and advertised where identified.

Analysis of falls trends both for specific residents and more generally across the facility occurs on a regular basis and risk mitigation strategies are implemented.

Section 3 Worker factors

3.1 Safe resident handling and equipment use.

Training in safe resident handling is required for all staff involved in resident care to maintain their and the residents safety. For risk reduction to be effective, the training should involve an assessment of competency and occur prior to work commencing. Training should also include details regarding the safe selection and use of equipment. Consideration should also be given to the physical and psychological requirements for the role and compatibility/fit with the worker.

Level 1: Minimum level

All workers are provided with education on safe resident handling, based on no lifting principles.

All workers (including casual and agency staff) are provided with training and instruction in resident handling at induction, with a refresher program to maintain knowledge and skills.

Contractor management procedures ensure that all casual and agency staff are trained in safe resident handling based on no lifting principles.

Worker training and refresher programs on safe handling involve both demonstrations and active participation elements to maximise value and information uptake. NOTE: DVD or online based information is not considered sufficient as a minimal training standard.

Worker education is provided by a competent and skilled no lifting training person.

Training includes instructions on equipment operation including emergency features and where to access the propriety manual/s. This needs to be in a user friendly form with translations, if required.

Level 2: Improved level

An assessment of competency in safe resident handling is undertaken where workers need to demonstrate knowledge, skills and ability.

The competency assessment includes key aspects of:

- Resident handling to be undertaken

- Safe work procedures

- Optimal postures

- Selection, movement and use of equipment, equipment inspections (eg sling checks).

- Procedures to be used for equipment breakdowns or failures.

Workers are trained in how to adjust equipment to suit their individual stature and common handling tasks (eg raise bed to hip height before undertaking on bed positioning).

Specific training is provided in risk reduction strategies associated with the use of optimum working postures for awkward tasks (eg workers are trained in safe procedures for putting on TED stockings).

Safe operating procedures (which include diagrams) are attached to lifters for referencing.

Level 3: Best practice level

Ongoing testing of competency is undertaken by trained and competent trainers/assessors throughout the year which provides dynamic feedback to staff.

Where a worker does not follow safe work procedures, further training and competency assessment occurs.

Competency outcomes are formally documented on at least an annual basis.

Ongoing processes and supervision are in place to reinforce and evaluate the use of safe handling work practices.

New workers buddy with an experienced worker who can provide mentorship and instruction and can observe the new worker to verify their competency in safe handling practices associated with each resident.

3.2 Worker handling capability and needs

Force, frequency and duration are acknowledged contributory factors to worker injury risks associated with resident handling. A workers' capacity may also be affected by a range of external factors including fatigue from working shift work (sometimes at different employers), level of fitness, age related issues and existing disabilities or physical limitations. Risk reduction is facilitated when consideration of the needs of individual workers in regards to the work programs, equipment and organisation are tailored to their requirements. This may include consideration of physical as well as psychological capacities and hazards.

Level 1: Minimal level

Worker to resident ratios within the facility are influenced by resident care needs and requirements.

Processes are in place for workers to apply for or request specific consideration regarding their work/workload or situation, to better suit their individual requirements.

Where assistance with work arrangements is requested by a worker, this is provided where practicable.

Peer support, worker assistance programs and social support services are made available to all workers.

Issue resolution procedure is in place.

Level 2: Improved level

There is a process to monitor a workers' handling load exposure, including the number of residents with higher handling demands assigned to a particular worker.

Job and task rotation are used to provide variety and spread out handling loads.

Consultation processes such as culture and workplace climate surveys are undertaken to identify special needs and emerging issues within the workforce.

Specific programs are developed and implemented to manage risks and issues associated with workers. These include proactive health promotion as well as reactive services.

Work practices are developed in consultation with both individuals and work groups to better suit their individual and collective needs.

Level 3: Best practice level

Individual workers handling loads are evaluated as a measure of risk and matched to a standard or their predetermined capacity.

Specific arrangements to reduce individual workers' risks from handling are implemented where necessary. Individual capabilities include the number of shifts that they have worked. This includes working at other facilities /employers, physical fitness and general health. Compatible workers are paired as teams to ensure optimal safety when handling residents.

The organisation provides education and support for workers in relation to health, fitness and wellbeing.

Workers are supported, where practicable, in their choices regarding alternate or non-standard work arrangements (eg part time work or study leave/multiple employers/ varying shift arrangements).

Programs to identify personal goals, career pathways and training for the workers are implemented, supported and reviewed regularly.

Section 4 Building and work environment

4.1 Space and layout of the facility

The design and layout of the facility and work spaces should not impede the safe use of equipment or the use of optimal handling procedures. This includes the layout, location and items within the residents' personal spaces (bedroom/bathroom) that may interfere with the optimal use of equipment/aids as well as influence postures and use of safe processes to provide resident care.

Level 1: Minimal level

Room layouts take into consideration the need to provide safe mobility and transfers for the resident and workers assisting/caring for them (eg there is a suitable space surrounding the bed to allow access from both sides).

Specific attention is placed on design/layout of bedrooms and bathrooms of high care residents including access/egress of equipment and people (eg door width, toilet, basin, rubbish bin and handrail placement).

Controls, including specific protocols, equipment or competencies are developed to manage inherent risks associated with workplace design issues.

Inspections are routinely undertaken to identify conflicts relating to the design and layout of workspaces and safe use of equipment and handling procedures.

Pre-purchase checks/trials are undertaken to ensure the safe use of the equipment is not impeded by the design and layout of the workspace.

Level 2: Improved level

Protocols and guidance material exist that clearly inform residents and their families on the types and volumes of personal items and the preferred room layouts (eg personal furniture that may be used, location and orientation of the bed to allow access from both sides).

These protocols and guidance materials are provided to residents and families prior to admission and during their stay as required.

Building design and layout constraints are identified and plans developed for refurbishment (where practicable).

Current design standards and building codes are considered when redeveloping or refurbishing areas to ensure design is to best practice standards.

Level 3: Best practice level

Worker and resident safety is not compromised in any way by the layout and furnishing of residents' rooms (eg location of the bed, chair, personal effects, cupboard).

Workers are consulted on proposed designs, and mock up and site visits undertaken to ensure plans for redesign are compatible with the systems of work and equipment/fit outs as intended.

Future designs factor in the human as a priority as well as considering the introduction of new technologies and accommodate in-situ equipment and aids (eg tracking and ceiling hoists) to minimise handling risks and to reduce the issues associated with equipment selection and access.

The design and layout of all areas where people handling occurs for both high and low risk residents, facilitates safe resident handling in accordance with the no lifting approach.

A regular formal audit/inspection program is used to monitor compliance with the organisations protocols with space and layout requirements.

4.2 Floor surfaces

Floor surfaces that are sloped, uneven, soft or have ridges or edges can increase the forces required and/or impede the movement of residents and equipment.

Level 1: Minimal level

Inspections are routinely undertaken to identify risks associated with floor surfaces. Where issues are maintenance related these are fixed as a priority by local or contract maintenance staff.

Equipment that is required to be pushed/pulled has suitable castors/wheels/handles/tyres that are checked as part of the routine maintenance program.

Safe work procedures are developed to minimize risks (eg three people move beds over carpeted surfaces).

The slopes and surfaces of outdoor areas utilised by residents are considered in inspection and maintenance programs.

Level 2: Improved level

Frequent movement paths for wheeled equipment are identified and where practicable controls adopted to eliminate the need to move the item or reduce the distance, frequency and/or forces. For example, storage areas for equipment are relocated to minimise travel; powered equipment used for large or heavy items (eg power driven wheelchairs) or in-situ equipment and aids are installed (eg overhead tracking in bedrooms to minimise need to move portable hoists).

Slopes that cannot be eliminated (including drainage slopes in wet areas) are designed with minimal gradients and no ridges to aid people and equipment movement.

Level 3: Best practice level

Workplace layout and design processes consider the likely movement routes for wheeled equipment and ensure flooring (and coverings) are of a nature to provide minimal force requirements.

Ridges, protruding joins, slopes, ramps and uneven areas are eliminated.

4.3 Equipment storage areas

Poorly located or designed storage areas can increase the risk associated with obtaining equipment and aids used in resident handling and reduce efficiency.

Level 1: Minimal level

Storage areas are a suitable size to accommodate the items of equipment used in the facility/unit.

Temporary location areas for equipment exist to eliminate the need to store them in corridors or other access zones.

Doorways and passages to the storage areas allow easy access and movement of the equipment.

Level 2: Improved level

Items are stored so that access to individual pieces does not involve double handling or awkward postures.

Specific shelves/racks have been installed to aid access to smaller items of equipment and consumables (eg slings).

Level 3: Best practice level

Storage areas are located strategically throughout the facility to optimise equipment access and reduce travel.

4.4 Facilities for residents with special needs

Specific and specialist building and workplace facilities may be necessary to facilitate the safe handling of residents with special needs. For example, those residents with bariatric and/or cognitive conditions or those who are aggressive, have uncooperative tendencies, multiple morbidities and language or comprehension issues.

Level 1: Minimal level

Specific safe work procedures and protocols are developed to manage any additional handling risk associated with providing care of residents with special needs (eg workers receive specific training in safe work procedures for these residents).

Bariatric management plan includes definition of and a risk assessment for bariatric admissions.

Admissions do not occur until risk management processes are in place.

Level 2: Improved level

Pre-admission assessments consider the capacity (and identify any limitations) of the facility for a prospective resident with special care needs.

Level 3: Best practice level

Only dedicated units or those that have been fitted out and equipped are used for residents with special needs and are based around specific design and care standards.

Ongoing re-assessment of resident and worker safety is undertaken.

Benchmarking with other organisations accommodating residents with similar care needs is undertaken.

Section 5 Work organisation

5.1 Management commitment and resource allocation

Management commitment to worker safety is essential. It requires acknowledgement of their responsibility, allocation of resources and accountability for the outcome of the risk management programs. Worker and resident handling risks are reduced when adequate resources are allocated to implement the agreed processes. Resources may include fixed and portable equipment, maintenance, staffing, management and training and evaluation programs of current and new safety systems.

Level 1: Minimal level

Senior management have a commitment to the reduction of risks to workers associated with resident handling.

Manual handling policies document management roles and responsibilities.

Senior management refer to these documents when making decisions about risk control.

Resources are provided as part of the annual budget for the resident handling program.

Resources take into account the risk of injury from manual handling to workers.

Level 2: Improved level

Specific procedures exist that detail the systems, resources and processes to be used to reduce the risks of resident handling to workers.

Adequate resources are allocated to the risk management programs and associated requirements (eg purchase of resident handling equipment, commitment to provide training).

Additional resources are provided when they are recommended as an outcome of an incident investigation or opportunity for new purchasing.

The monitoring and evaluation of resources is undertaken in consultation with workers.

Replacement program for aging equipment is developed and implemented.

Level 3: Best practice level

Specific responsibilities (and authority) for the reduction of risks associated with resident handling has been assigned to operational managers and documented in their responsibilities.

Proactive and reactive performance indicators are used to measure the success of resident handling programs and are monitored by senior management.

Resource allocations are adjusted as needed to maximise risk reduction.

The resources involved in assessing the risks associated with resident handling consider the need for a holistic approach, taking into account resident and worker needs.

Proactive measures and preventative controls are implemented where a potential hazard is identified.

Ongoing analysis of resource adequacy is based on feedback from workers and families and monitoring of KPI's.

5.2 Consultation

Workers should be consulted on any aspects of work that may affect their health, safety and wellbeing. Consultation on systems of work and equipment or aids improves compliance and efficiencies as well as reducing individual and collective risks.

Level 1: Minimal level

Procedures for consultation are established and workers are given information regarding issues that are likely to affect their health and safety.

Elected health and safety representatives (HSRs) are included in the consultation process.

Level 2: Improved level

A group of experienced staff and HSRs review and test proposed equipment or processes prior to purchase.

In larger and multi-facility organisations, whole of organisation consultation processes exist and work, with effective communication processes, issue resolution and issue awareness. Workers report that they are adequately consulted and heard in the workplace.

Level 3: Best practice level

Workers are able to trial equipment and systems of work in real or mock up situations prior to purchase or formalisation of the system. Worker opinions are respected, recognised and used in the review process.

Feedback loop processes are established and effective.

Workers are involved in decisions about the work and have autonomy where possible/appropriate regarding work organisation and scheduling.

5.3 Short term workers

Workers engaged for short term periods (agency or casual workers) are at a higher risk of injury due to their potential unfamiliarity with the organisation's risk management processes, equipment and systems of work.

Level 1: Minimal level

Short term workers are provided with a workplace induction which includes specific information on the safe use of the equipment and the systems of work to be used in each resident handling and transfer situation.

There is documented evidence that all casual and agency staff are trained in resident handling based on no lifting principles and there is a competency assessment program in place.

Level 2: Improved level

Where practicable, short term workers are only utilised in areas where they have a demonstrated competency in safe handling (eg if there are bariatric residents, short term workers must be competent in handling these types of residents).

Where short term workers are required to work in areas where resident handling equipment and specific systems of work are used, they team up with experienced workers with demonstrated competencies in resident handling.

Level 3: Best practice level

A bank of experienced relief workers is established to address immediate issues of worker backfilling.

These relief workers have proven competencies and are very familiar with the organisation's resident handling protocols and participate in the organised refresher and competency programs.

5.4 Incident reporting and investigation

Incidents and near misses should be reported and the root cause determined to allow actions to be taken to prevent a reoccurrence. Incidents that are unreported are likely to reoccur.

Level 1: Minimal level

Incident reporting occurs for all incidents and near misses relating to resident handling and the use of ancillary equipment.

All incidents are documented and reviewed by management.

All manual handling injuries will be reviewed and new control measures implemented where identified.

Workers are trained in and encouraged to report incidents including near misses.

Level 2: Improved level

All reported occurrences are investigated to determine the root cause of the hazard.

Workers are involved in the investigation and the development of risk controls where required.

All workers are alerted to findings and corrective actions.

Level 3: Best practice level

Action plans are documented for all investigated incidents where controls are required.

Control effectiveness is measured and learning applied across the organisation.

Senior management is provided with and seek details of incidents reported, incident trends and the outcomes of incident investigations.

Manual handling risk assessment and investigations need to be undertaken by a competent person who is educated and experienced with assessing manual handling risks.

Section 6 Workplace culture

6.1 Managers and supervisors monitor work practices

All workers must use the equipment, training and systems of work associated with safe resident handling at all times for effective risk reduction. Situations where these systems cannot be used appropriately and confidently need to be identified and managed.

Level 1: Minimal level

All workers agree to comply with the safe systems of work, including the safe use of any equipment and aids provided.

All workers (on all shifts) have access to managers and supervisors for advice and direction on safety.

Level 2: Improved level

Managers and supervisors are provided with training on their role in the safety management system, including monitoring compliance with safe work procedures (SWPs).

Informal supervision of workers' compliance with the established SWPs is undertaken by managers and supervisors.

Feedback is provided to the workers to improve safety performance.

Where non-compliance occurs, retraining and competency re-assessment occurs.

Repeated non-compliance is seen as a disciplinary issue. Staff are made aware of potential consequences.

Level 3: Best practice level

A safety culture around resident handling is developed which facilitates a proactive approach to safe handling processes by all workers.

Individual workers review each others performance, provide feedback and identify additional training/mentoring opportunities.

A formal compliance monitoring process occurs, including a program of random reviews of workers' manual handling performance against procedures.

Where necessary, personal action plans are developed, in consultation with the workers to identify additional training/competency requirements and improve compliance. These are supported and resourced by mamagement.

Compliance rates with the safe use of equipment and safe systems of work are measured, reported and discussed by workers and management.

Data from reviews is collected, collated and analysed to improve overall worker safety.

6.2 Supportive return to work

Workers returning to work after injury or illness often require additional assistance to be successfully integrated back into the workplace.

Level 1: Minimal level

Specific procedures and processes are in place to assist workers returning to work after injury and illness.

Details of these protocols and the return to work (RTW) coordinator are included in the worker induction.

RTW arrangements are developed in consultation with the worker, (their support person or representative if they have one) and their treater.

Task allocations are regulated to ensure the worker is not exposed to situations where they are required to act outside their agreed restrictions/duties.

Level 2: Improved level

Resources are monitored to ensure no additional workload implications for other workers occur due to worker rehabilitation or injury management programs.

RTW coordinator does regular 'rounds' of the workplace to talk with workers, understand their roles and build rapport prior to injuries occurring.

Supervisors are actively involved in and take some level of ownership over the RTW of their injured workers.

Worker is asked how they would ideally like to be supported by their co-workers and management during their recovery and RTW and this is actioned where possible.

Worker is asked what information about their recovery and return to work they would like to share with their management and colleagues and how they would like this sharing to occur.

Workers own expectations of RTW, concerns and barriers are discussed early and acted upon in a transparent way.

Level 3: Best practice level

Regular reviews of the plan are undertaken to identify any issues and to note successes.

Working with appropriate treating practitioners, the facility has developed a suitable duties register.

Work and non-work related injuries/illnesses are treated with the same compassion/support and pro-activity within the business.

Worker advocates (and equal opportunity officers) assist in review and improvement of RTW policies, procedures and practices.

Workplace has relationship(s) with preferred medical provider(s) to ensure timely access to medical treatment (worker still has a choice of treater).

Workplace may offer additional free sessions of allied health/medical consultations.

All RTW interventions are in line with early intervention practices.

6.3 Worker empowerment

Empowerment of workers and the work team facilitates teamwork, reporting and worker cooperation and compliance and promotes a safety culture within an organisation.

Level 1: Minimal level

Procedures and protocols are established to facilitate worker cooperation and set guidelines on expected behaviours, cooperation and reporting.

Level 2: Improved level

Worker assistance programs and support processes are in place to support workers and assist in developing an appropriate workplace culture.

Communication forums (eg team meetings) occur regularly and workers are encouraged to actively participate. OHS is a standard agenda item.

Workers are encouraged to be proactive in identifying situations where improvements in safety can be achieved.

Level 3: Best practice level

Worker support programs are established and utilised.

Workplace culture encourages an open door policy from management with effective consultation.

Workers recognition and reward programs are in place and supported by workers and managers.

The culture of the workplace is measured utilising a safety culture measurement tool.

Section 7 Evaluation of the resident handling system

7.1 Evaluation using quantitative and qualitative data

A range of proactive and reactive data is required to measure the status and success of tghe resident handling management systems within the organisation and to identify future or emerging issues. Data and collection systems should be periodically reviewed to ensure data is reliable, valid and useful.

Level 1: Minimal level

Standard reactive (lag) data is collected and analysed to measure the success of the programs implemented to manage the risks associated with resident handling. These may inclide frequency of injuries, number of claims relating to resident handling, actual and near miss incident reporting trends, and equipment breakdown frequencies and duration.

Investigations relating to incidents (injury and near misses) are undertaken and documented.

Collated and analysed lag data and the results of incident investigations are reported and used to guide future strategies and program focuses.

Reporting processes are monitored to ensure data is reliable and valid.

Level 2: Improved level

Lead indicators relating to a range of implemented strategies are collected and analysed to provide additional evidence relating to implemented programs. These may include percentage of workers trained and competent, workplace audits undertaken within determined timeframes, maintenance in time measures and compliance with procedures audit measures.

Course and program evaluation sheets/surveys and audits are used to measure program impact or success.

Collated and analysed lead data is reported and used to guide future strategies and program focuses.

Level 3: Best practice level

Data measures and analysis are used to predict potential future issues. This may include trend analysis and extrapolation of the lead and lag indicators collected, and cross business organisation and industry trends that may be emerging.

Formal evaluations are undertaken on new (proposed) equipment, processes and programs to determine issues and compatibility with expectations.

Worker, resident and family surveys are used to highlight potential organisational issues and successes.

Proactive and organisational data collection and analysis is reported and used to guide future strategies and program focuses.


Assessor comment:

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Please note that this checklist is a hypothetical example and provides basic information only. It is not intended to take the place of, among other things, workplace, health and safety advice; medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment; or other applicable laws. You should also seek your own professional advice to determine if the use of such checklist is permissible in your workplace or jurisdiction.