The Australasian Birth Trauma Association is committed to providing and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all workers (including contractors and volunteers) as well as clients, visitors and members of the public. Hazards and risks to health and safety will be eliminated or minimised, as far as is reasonably practicable.
The responsibility for managing health and safety ultimately rests with the person in control of the business or undertaking (PCBU), directors and management. Workers also have important responsibilities for health and safety in the workplace.
We are committed to complying with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011, codes of practice and other safety guidance material.
– It is the Australasian Birth Trauma Association’s policy to maintain safe and healthy activities and systems for all volunteers and staff, to minimise identified risks wherever possible and to provide any relevant information, training, and supervision for these purposes. – We also recognise our responsibility for the health and safety of other people who may be affected by our activities. – The Australasian Birth Trauma Association (ABTA) actively seeks support from all volunteers and staff in achieving the objectives of this Health and Safety Policy. – The Policy will be reviewed and updated by the ABTA Executive Committee following any major changes in procedures, personnel or annually whichever occurs first. – The Policy is issued to all volunteers and staff. It is a document that must be read, understood and implemented by all volunteers and staff.
Roles and responsibilities
The ABTA organisational structure is shown below, with a brief outline of each group’s health and safety responsibilities:
ABTA Board – Overall responsibility for compliance with health and safety legislation within the organisation. ABTA Executive Committee – Responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Policy and risk assessing volunteer roles. Volunteers and Staff – Responsible – as far as can be reasonably expected – for the day-to-day health and safety of themselves, service users and the general public when undertaking ABTA related activities.
Good practice guidelines
Volunteers are responsible for all day to day health and safety matters relating to their volunteering activities, and this section of the Policy is intended to be supportive guidance to help with this.
It is the duty of all volunteers whilst undertaking voluntary activity on behalf of the ABTA to:-
– Take responsible care for the health and safety of him / herself and of other people who may be affected by a volunteer’s conduct or activities; – Co-operate with relevant 3rd parties (e.g. venue providers) to achieve a healthy and safe environment and to report to the appropriate person any health and safety problems which they are unable to resolve themselves. – Follow safe work procedures, instructions and rules – Participate in safety training – Report health and safety hazards – Report all injuries and incidents – Use safety equipment and personal protective equipment as instructed.
The ABTA recommends adhering to the following guidelines for safe and healthy voluntary activity (particularly for P2P Mentors):
– Volunteers should not over-commit themselves and it is not intended for anyone to feel overwhelmed by their volunteer responsibilities. The ABTA Executive Committee will support and advise volunteers who are finding things difficult. – Take 5 minutes before any meetings to observe the surroundings and check for trip hazards (e.g. cables or extension leads, items lying around) and other environmental hazards which might cause an accident. – When holding meetings, do not obstruct any Fire Exits and ensure that all new group members are informed of fire escape exits. – Inform all new group members of the location of toilets. – When holding meetings, ensure that all reasonable precautions are taken to avoid risk to personal safety e.g. park in a public area and, if after dark, in a well-lit area as close as possible to the premises. – When making or consuming hot drinks be aware of any children in the vicinity. – When using a workstation and computer as part of voluntary activity, volunteers should ensure that both their seat and display screen are set at the right height to allow comfortable use and should take regular breaks from the screen (every 20 minutes). – Crowded rooms can get very warm very quickly. Use common sense to regulate room temperature wherever possible by opening/closing doors and windows. – If a particular issue or situation causes a volunteer emotional distress, the volunteer should seek support and advice from the ABTA Executive Committee. – If you become aware of any risks to health and safety, alert the relevant people as soon as possible (e.g. venue manager, ABTA Executive Committee etc.).
Systems and Procedures
Use of 3rd party venues
For any venue which will be regularly used by ABTA, a Venue Health and Safety Checklist (Appendix A) should be completed and a copy should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers/staff should ask if there are any venue Health and Safety policies and procedures, which they may need to follow in addition to this policy.
If an accident occurs it is the injured person’s responsibility to notify the ABTA Executive Committee who will record the accident in the Accident Book. If there is a Qualified First Aider on the premises, it is advisable to notify them as well.
The ABTA does not currently provide First Aid training for volunteers/staff. Volunteers/staff are advised to ask the host venue for details of first aid provision, including the location of the first aid kit and the presence of trained first aiders. In the absence of any first aid provision on site, volunteers/staff should refer the sick/injured person to a relevant local medical service such as an Accident & Emergency department or GP. In case of emergency, volunteers should call 000 for an ambulance.
All volunteers/staff are encouraged to raise any matters of concern regarding health and safety with the ABTA Executive Committee. Any new and relevant health and safety information will be distributed to volunteers/staff as a matter of priority.
When using 3rd party venues for activities, volunteers/staff MUST familiarise themselves with the venue’s fire procedures, evacuation routes and assembly points and ensure that other people participating in ABTA activities are aware of these.
The ABTA encourages volunteers and staff to engage in safe lifting practices and seek assistance as needed. Noone is expected to lift over 17kg without assistance.
Volunteers and staff are responsible for the safety of their home office environment. Volunteers and staff are encouraged to set up their home workstations by following the Ergonomic Guide to Computer Based Workstations and to take short screen breaks (every 20mins).
Risk Assessments will be carried out by the ABTA Executive Committee for each volunteer/staff role, and reviewed annually. Volunteers/staff are advised to request risk assessments for any 3rd party venues which they intend to use regularly, as per the Venue Health and Safety Checklist (Appendix A).