In an education and care services environment, one safe work practice that must be used is following the manual handling procedures and policies. This includes using aids such as trolleys and step ladders, practicing safe lifting and carrying, storing heavy and awkward items close to where they are needed (Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority 2011). It also entails procedures on changing lifting children and changing nappies as well as using equipment and furniture which are appropriate for adult use.
In an education and care services environment, injuries may always come as a result of moving heavy objects, lifting children, lifting children on and off the change tables and squatting to the heights of the children (Ailwood, Boyd and Theobald 2016). This safe work practice is therefore applied when physically twisting and lifting to reach children, bending and moving children, changing their diapers, placing them in their cots and moving objects.
The implementation of this work practice must not introduce any hazard or risk in the education and care services environment. It is the duty of workers to ensure that they properly use the techniques for handling children. To incorporate this in my job I will ensure good housekeeping by conducting daily safety checks, maintaining a tidy environment, ensuring good hygiene practices to avoid infections and maintaining an open communication with other staff members (Australian Government-National Health and Medical Research Council 2013).
This work practice is of great essence to the people working in education and care environment to effectively perform their duties. The consequences of breaching this work practice include musculoskeletal disorders like sprains, fractures, soft tissue injuries, back and shoulder strains (Arthur, Beecher, Death, Dockett and Farmer 2015). These injuries can also lead to death and disabilities in young children.
The safety of children and employees should be a top priority in an education and care services environment. It is therefore important that the organization communicates effective work practices so as to minimize damages and losses (Marsh 2016). Such information can be communicated by sending an email or newsletter that is outlining all the work practices to all the staff members at least once a month, posting signage in break rooms and around furniture and equipment throughout the workplace and taking clear and perfect pictures of safe actions and placing them on the walls of the workplace. Employers can also communicate through holding meetings to ensure everyone gets the message, training the employees on the workplace safety culture, and conducting routine safety checks.
Developing and implementing new work practices and procedures require the commitment and contribution of all the staff members. Therefore when developing new policies, staff members should be requested to give feedback on safety inspections, injuries and illnesses and offer solutions to these safety problems. It is also important to give employees daily meaningful activities that support safety so as to identify the need of a new policy. Employees can also give their opinions on the loopholes they feel exist as well as the implementation criteria they may prefer. This is to ensure that all staff member’s needs are catered for.
Changes in legislation and work practices affect all the employees and the organization as a whole. To identify the changes, employers need to clearly define the change itself, its importance and how it aligns to the current workplace WHS policies and practices. It is also important to consider the impact of these changes, who will be mostly affected and how the changes will be received. When identifying and incorporating changes in legislation determining safe work policies and practices, use of equipment and processes, employers should come up with a communication strategy which clearly defines how the change will be communicated and how feedback will be managed. It is also important to provide effective training to the employees so as to impart them with the required knowledge, skills and behaviors for the successful implementation of the change as well as efficiently operate when the change is being rolled out. A support system should also be availed to the employees so as to physically and emotionally assist them in adjusting o the change and also help them build proficiency in the required behaviors and skills to achieve the desired results (Carnall 2018). To incorporate a change in the current workplace WHS policies and practices, the change should be measured so as to determine its effectiveness and the reinforcements needed.
Australian Government-National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)., 2013. Staying healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood and care services. https://nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/staying-healthy-preventing-infectious-diseases-early-childhood-education-and-care-services
Ailwood, J., Boyd, W. and Theobald, M., 2016. Understanding Early Childhood Education and Care in Australia: Practices and Perspectives. Allen & Unwin.
Arthur, L., Beecher, B., Death, E., Dockett, S. and Farmer, S., 2017. Programming and Planning in Early Childhood Settings with Student Resource Access 12 Months. Cengage AU.
Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority, (ACECQA). 2011. National Quality Standard retrieved 15 December 2018 from https://www.acecqa.gov.au/nqf/national-quality-standard/quality-area-1-e
Carnall, C., 2018. Managing change. Routledge.
Marsh, C., Time Warner Cable Enterprises LLC, 2016. Method and apparatus for context-specific content delivery. U.S. Patent 9,286,388.