Health & Community Services - useful websites/materials

Here is some websites/material you may find useful:

1 - Unions - The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation

2 - The WorkSafe industry pages:

On these pages you will find a number of publications on workplace design (eg: Designing Better Workplaces for Safer Handling of Patients and Residents) and equipment and furniture.

Documents and resources:

  • Transferring people safely - provides a practical guide to managing risk, including handling patients, residents and clients in health, aged care, rehabilitation and disability services. It has been specifically developed to help those working in health services to reduce the incidence and severity of injuries resulting from manual handling.
  • Updated: Working Safely in Community Services  This is a 100 page publication aimed at managers, employees, contractors, temporary staff and volunteers who work in community services. The publication covers health & safety basics, managing OHS in your workplace, checklists & tools, managing accidents & claims, and resources & links. 
  • Working Safely in Visiting Health Services A 40 page publication developed for: public and private hospitals; locums within medical practices; nursing and convalescent homes; welfare and charitable homes; paramedical services (therapists and allied health workers); and community health centres.  It covers the same range of information as the publication above.
  • Preventing violence against health workers - this publication provides guidance on the nature of occupational violence and prevention approaches for the health industry.
  • Designing Workplaces For Safer Handling Of People provides advice on a range of design issues, including the selection of floor coverings in health and aged care facilities to reduce the risk of manual handling injuries from pushing and pulling wheeled equipment.
  • Prevention and management of aggression in health services - A handbook for workplaces This handbook provides a framework to identify, prevent and manage aggression and violence in health industry workplaces.
  • A number of relevant 'Injury Hotspots' such as Occupational disease, Health and Aged Care Services, Disability Services. 

3 - Preventing occupational violence in Victorian health services - Information from VicHealth.

4 - From SafeWorkNSW and other sources:  

  • Stress Management Booklet for Nurses, from the NSW Nurses and Midwifery Association with NSW Health.The booklet is an acknowledgment that despite the union's work towards achieving improvements in nurses' employment conditions, 'it remains a fact of life for nurses that we will frequently encounter at situations at work that are physically and emotionally demanding.'
  • from the NSW Mental Health Coordination Council: Working Safe Toolkit which provides practical guidance to the mental health and non-government sector on safe practices for home visiting and establishing policies for safe systems of work.

5 - From SafeWork Australia:

  • Occupational exposures of Aust nurses - July 2008 [pdf] This study, undertaken by Dr Tim Driscoll,  found the highest risks nurses faced were workplace stress (60.6%), manual handling injuries (44.2%), needlestick and sharps injuries (43.5%), injuries from prolonged standing (42.5%) and exposure to blood-borne pathogens (40%) Other injuries such as workplace violence, repetitive injuries and latex allergies were reported as "high risk" by 30% of nurses. The ASCC says the report helps identify areas for targeted interventions and hazard-surveillance on an ongoing basis.
  • Occupational Health and Safety Risk Factors for Rural and Metropolitan Nurses: Comparative results from a national nurses survey - November 2008 [pdf]  The then Office of the ASCC (now SafeWork Australia) conducted a survey in February 2007 on occupational exposures in Australian nurses. General results arising from the study were published in 2008 (see above point). The report recommended that an in-depth comparison between rural and metropolitan participants of the survey be undertaken.

    This report describes the differences in perceived occupational hazards for rural (or remote) and metropolitan nurses that were found in the 2007 survey in order to inform and facilitate effective policy formulation and OHS intervention.

6 - From the United States

  • The official US occupational health and safety research body NIOSH has two web-based 'topic pages'. The latest additions cover occupational respiratory disease surveillance , and  hazardous drug exposures in health care
  • From the US Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), ergonomics guidelines for the nursing home industry . The guidelines recommend the elimination of manual handling of nursing residents by staff to prevent musculoskeletal injuries. The OSHA reviewed existing ergonomics practices and programs, State OSHA programs, as well as available scientific information.  
7 - From the ILO:

8 - From the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work: the Health Sector section of the site which has information on needlestick injuries, case studies and more.

Last updated November 2016