Health and Safety: Why Compliance for Aged Care Matters

As the population in Australia ages and more people enter aged care, the industry must respond with higher standards, quality care and professional service. Without compliance to industry norms, people may be harmed or neglected. Compliance is both necessitated by government regulation and good business practices. Overall, compliance with age care standards helps facilities succeed.

Health and Safety - Why Compliance for Aged Care Matters for Success

Firstly, all facilities must do an in-depth risk assessment on the overall environment and for each senior. When a senior first enters a facility, one employee should be designated to conduct the assessment.  Also, when a senior's condition changes dramatically, a new assessment should be issued. The assessment includes an examination of physical equipment including furniture, space and medical devices for potential harm. Next, work practices around the patient must be studies.

Those include staffing hours and appropriate personnel.  Lastly, the staff must conduct a thorough check on the patient's cognitive abilities, physical abilities, clinical constraints and unique behaviours. This assessment will help wrap the conclusion of the best way to assist the senior.

One of the most important compliance standards is keeping the floors dry, well-lit and free of unexpected objects.  That is because 64% of worker injuries in aged care facilities are due to slips, trips and falls. In addition, workers in the industry are much more likely to be seriously injured on the job than other industries in Australia.  That makes falls a leading cause of workplace injury in the country. In fact, over the previous three years there have been over 2,000 claims of injury which cost facilities $115 million.

Another key standard is transferring individuals from one location to the next. When a senior is moved from one room to another, there must be precautions to make sure they do not become injured. Seniors must be moved gently, with multiple persons working together to prevent slips or falls.

Depending on the mobility of the patient, a walker, rolling bed or wheelchair must be used. Employees must gently lift, push or stabilise patients as they are moved to ensure safety.

At the same time, employees can become injured easily while moving patients. 

6 key issues to look for include:

  1. repetitive or sustained application of force
  2. repetitive or sustained awkward posture
  3. repetitive or sustained movement
  4. application of high force
  5. exposure to sustained vibration
  6. manual handling of live persons or animals

Facilities must understand these risk factors and work to avoid them.  According to the state of Victoria, moving is another common way in which personnel are injured on the job in aged care facilities.

Compliance for aged care also creates healthier, happier employees that are more content with their jobs. Patients truly know when an employee is happy with their environment and it reflects in the overall patient care. When an employee is engaged, their care is better and the seniors are healthier.

Fewer injuries causes less financial pain for the facilities as well as for individual workers. While there is some upfront cost to keep the facility constantly dry, clean and well-lit the results are well-worth the effort.  As insurance claims decrease, insurers also lower premiums which helps the long-term cost structure of the facility.

Lastly, a healthy, happy work environment with high compliance standards does wonders for marketing and brand value. As word spreads of the facility's high standards, more and more people will be interested in becoming residents.  That leads to less vacant beds, higher revenue, profit and even more investment.

Aged Care Channel is a leading producer of video training material for aged care in Australia. The content is produced with deep knowledge to help staff do their best and uphold all of the compliance standards. This leads to happier and safer patients, more content workers with fewer on the job injuries, and better businesses with higher profits. For more information, please contact us.

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