Occupational Health & Safety
Since the Victorian Government implemented the Budget Sector Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Improvement Strategy in March 2001, the Rural and Regional Health Services Branch has been actively involved in providing information and support to small rural health services and hospitals to improve their OH&S performance. In addition, the Branch has been involved in broader initiatives undertaken by DHS. These include:
- Development of a website, which offers a collection of information directly relevant to the management of health and safety in the hospital sector. More specifically, the site provides a range of policy documents, together with templates for forms and procedures relating to common health and safety matters that need to be addressed in hospitals. The website can be accessed from the Department's Public Hospital Occupational Health and Safety website.
- Development of the Department of Human Services – Public Hospital Sector Occupational Health and Safety Management Framework Model". This document was specifically developed to assist agencies and to guide them in attaining the highest possible standards in occupational health and safety and injury management by adopting a "building block" approach. The structure of the document also encourages an integration of occupational health and safety, employee wellbeing and WorkCover responsibilities across the whole organisation. Based on commonly accepted health and safety management system standards, the framework aims to enhance rather than duplicate existing processes used within individual agencies. Copies of the document can be downloaded from the Department's Public Hospital Occupational Health and Safety website.
- Facilitating a series of seminars and workshops aimed at educating and informing health service representatives on a range of priority issues. These seminars and workshops also provide a forum for representatives to share information, exchange ideas and discuss common issues facing rural health services.
- Establishment of a Regional OH&S Co-ordinator pilot project in the Grampians Region funded by the Branch. This project is aimed at developing a shared-service approach to the provision of OH&S services in the rural health sector, particularly small rural health services. The Co-ordinator is responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring system-based initiatives to support health services in the management of their OH&S responsibilities. While the Co-ordinator will undertake some work with individual agencies such as assisting with safety audits, risk assessments and development of Action Plans, the role will also focus on sector-wide responses to emerging trends and issues in OH&S performance, facilitating a sharing of information, education and training.
Further information regarding the OH&S initiatives being undertaken in rural health services can be obtained from:
Telephone: (61 3) 9096 1525