With Covid at record numbers in the country, it has increasingly become essential to track your residents movements and days in and out of your facility, for either for Hospital Visits or Social leave.
As a result we have added a new tracking feature to help you record this for all of your residents and include this in our running We’ve deployed into the LIVE system the first of the changes for tracking additional information to help support invoicing.
This came out of feedback from a number of our clients who have expressed a real need for this
This new feature can be found It’s in the resident details page of the resident profile and supports the tracking of any time where the resident is Absent in hospital or out on Social Leave.
It will also show on the resident log if resident are SL (on social leave) or AH (Absent in hospital) and will also auto populate in the evacuation register in HCSL.
Managing Contractors from a Health and Safety Perspective
Managing Contractors from a Health and Safety Perspective is a vital component of having external trades people at your workplace.
The use of contractors is unavoidable in retirement villages and any aged care facility as we look to engage external expertise for specialised work and maintenance tasks.
Section 34 of The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 provides that all persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) who have duties imposed by the Act in relation to the same matter must, so far as is reasonably practicable, consult, co-operate and co-ordinate their activities with all the other PCBUs who have duties that overlap with them.
There are four main points to remember about overlapping duties:
- You have a duty to consult, cooperate with and coordinate activities with all other PCBUs you share overlapping duties with, so far as is reasonably practicable.
- You can’t contract out of your health and safety duties, or push risk onto others in a contracting chain.
- You can enter into reasonable agreements with other PCBUs to make sure that everyone’s health and safety duties are met.
- The more influence and control your business has over a workplace or a health and safety matter, the more responsibility you are likely to have.
WorkSafe have made it clear that they expect PCBUs at the top of a contracting chain to be leaders in encouraging good health and safety practices throughout the chain. They also expect these PCBUs to use sound contract management processes.
There are six key health and safety steps when it comes to managing your contractors:
- Scoping – understand what the body of works is, the risks involved, the training and competencies required, the working environment and any additional measures required.
- Selection – select the right contractor for job, utilise a contractor selection process that considers the values and systems of the contractor from a safety perspective.
- Induction – provide the contractor with basic information regarding site hazards, site rules and emergency evacuation procedures.
- Safe system of work – the contractor must provide (and you must review) safety management information for the job. You must be confident that the contractor has appropriately controlled the risks associated with their works.
- Monitoring – while the contractor is on site, check that they are carrying out their works in accordance with the safety management information they provided.
- Review – Examine what went right as well as what can be improved so that both parties may continually improve on their health and safety performance, this should fed-back into future scoping and selection decisions.
WorkSafe (New Zealand) have developed Good Practice Guidelines for ‘PCBUs Working Together: Advice When Contracting’ (June 2019) in order to provide advice on how you can meet your duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, illustrate different contractual relationships between parties, and provide examples of ways you can build health and safety into contract management.
Thanks to Shannon Wright, from Imprint Safety Limited for contributing this article.
Cosman, M., Tooma, M., Butler, A., Marriott, C., Schmidt-McCleave, R. (2018). Safeguard Health & Safety Handbook 2019. Wellington, New Zealand: Thomson Reuters.
WorkSafe. (2019). PCBUs Working Together: Advice When Contracting. Retrieved from https://worksafe.govt.nz/managing-health-and-safety/getting-started/understanding-the-law/overlapping-duties/pcbus-working-together-advice-when-contracting/
It’s easy to forget to check contractors staff changes and ensure your risk managing contractors on site is ongoing. Recently I was on site at a care facility when a sub-contractor was working there. When spoken to, he appeared to speak very limited English. He left empty boxes, a Stanley knife in the main hallway and wet glue and loose carpet at the entrance to a resident’s room. No signage, no clean-up. I couldn’t help but ask the provider what the contractor knew about health & safety legislation, his responsibilities and risks to residents as a result of his work practices.
The Health and Safety at Work 2015 increased the responsibility on PCBU’s in relation to risk management in the workplace. When using the services of contractors, there are likely to be overlapping responsibilities. While residents reside in residential care facilities and therefore it’s their home, the legislation defines residential care as a workplace. As such, contractors coming into your environment must provide evidence of following a health and safety policy and processes which reflects current legislation.
A copy of their document should be kept on file along with verification of contractors (and sub-contractors) orientation to site and confirmation of their acknowledgement of health & safety responsibilities. These documents are included in the Safe and Appropriate Environment policy manual for services using HCSL in hardcopy and in-the-cloud online. Documents should be re-signed by contractors annually or when changes to the environment occur or a contractors personnel have changed.
Consumer directed services are core business for retirement villages. The aged care sector has been talking about ‘person centred’ care’ in health and specifically aged care services for a long time now. Some services express a practice and philosophy of care based on residents being at the centre of all choices. Unfortunately sometimes when you ask the residents in those services, they may not share this view.
An increased focus on consumer directed care was part of the discussion at the Health and Disability Services Standards review workshop I attended recently. Residents know what they want. They are not always involved in service development discussions or asked what they need by service providers. When people set their own goals for clear reasons, they are more likely to engage and achieve. Where the support of others to achieve goals is needed, this is reliant on communication.
Retirement and aged care services are in a position to support not only the maintenance of health and well-being but also rehabilitation of those coming into residential based services. “We found that when you engage and motivate people, they do better,” said one of a study’s authors, Eric J. Lenze, MD, a professor of psychiatry.
In Australia “Aged care reforms continue to shift towards increasing choice, control and tailored services for older people and their families. To deliver more innovative and individual services, providers will need to think about their future workforce models and ask which industrial frameworks are best suited to their market and long term goals.” To read more on this subject, click here.