logo

ChildForum Early Childhood Education Nationwide Network
Promoting quality, valuing knowledge, advancing thinking and working together for the benefit of children, services and the sector

Follow us on FacebookFollow us on Twitteryoutube

Member Login

Member space

 

News - World Headlines

Workplace health and safety in Australian early childhood centres

By Dr Wendy Boyd
Senior Lecturer in ECE at Southern Cross University

nappy change tableAustralian early childhood centres have a legislative responsibility to provide a safe and healthy work environment for their employees.

This commences with an induction program regarding health and safety in the workplace - for example employees are required to demonstrate that they understand the centre’s policies and procedures including

  1. emergency procedures such as evacuation procedures;
  2. first aid procedures- who takes responsibility;
  3. management of safety such as safe nappy change for the child and the employee;
  4. the wearing of protective equipment such as a sun hat;
  5. knowing the whereabouts of workplace facilities such as where to find the disinfectant and gloves
  6. understanding manual tasks such as how to lift children safely
  7. conduct of safety checks such as electric cords, splintery wood, slippery surfaces, etc

Employers are required to ensure that employees know about these facets of the centre. 

Teachers and other centre employees need to understand that they are responsible for reporting unsafe areas/procedures such as if a ramp is slippery following rain then they need to take action to temporarily make it safe by diverting traffic from it, or putting a mat on it that is not slippery. They then are required to report it to their employer.

Most early childhood centres have a health and safety booklet for such reports. This identifies the nature of the hazard, when it was identified, and who identified it so that the employee can fix.

Some centres employ a maintenance person who works on these hazards at a time there is no one present, and does a safety check each morning prior to employees and children arriving. This could include ensuring the sand pit is clean, there are no spiders present (a problem in Australia), paths are clean, and there is no glass on the playground.

Some employers provide staff with professional development to educate them on manual lifting habits by inviting a physiotherapist to instruct employees on safe lifting.

This focus on managing potential risks supports employee safety.  However unforeseen accidents can still occur and safety can be improved when everyone learns from these.

 

Read more:  

Workplace training and support available on manual handling for teachers and educators in NZ

Teachers sue for compo from centre and home-based employers in Austalia

Early childhood teachers and educators need work-place training on manual handling in NZ

Staff talk about their ECE workplace health and safety - survey report

 

 

Free E-Newsletter

Receive the free Early Childhood Alert.

captcha 

We hate spam as much as you, we will not sell your contact details to anyone.

You can unsubscribe at any time.

Read our Privacy Policy here.

Don’t miss out any longer, click the button below to join ChildForum

Testimonials

  • Preschool Leader

    Having heard a colleague talk about how useful she had found their material I joined. ChildForum's replies to my queries are prompt, extremely informative & with a genuine personal touch. I am impressed by the commitment to research & courage in tackling the hard issues like the risks of poor quality care for under 2s
    Val Morrison (Small is Beautiful)
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

Join Us!

child-with-binoculars-small

 

Subscribe now for information you can trust, expert advice and research, as well as access to quality resources

We are confident you will be delighted to discover and experience the benefits of membership - so join now and make this message for non-members disappear from your screen. 

Membership Options

Individual
Member

Who is this for?
Any person who has an interest in early childhood education and care or who works directly with children.

$98.00 12 months from the date of joining
$60.00 6 months student-only

The membership belongs to you, and you only. Enjoy your own personal username and password.

ECE Service Organisation
Member

Who is this for?
Centres, home-based, hospital-based, playgroups ... established or newly licensed. Gives access to professional & research materials enjoyed by individual members PLUS service operation and management area. 

$198.00 12 months for a standalone licensed service
Special rates for organisations with more than 1 licence

The membership belongs to your whole organisation, team members and managers.

Library NZ-International Research
in ECE Journal Subscriber

Who is this for?
Universities, Polytechnics and organisations wishing to have online access to the NZ-Int Research in ECE journal (includes all past and current issues) 

$125.00 annual subscription, renewable in November each year

A username and password for your library users linked to your IP address.