The home care sector consists of organisations, their employees and volunteers who provide home care services to frail older people or people with a disability or illness. These services assist clients to be more independent at home and in the community.
Between 2004 and 2008, more than 700 home care workers were seriously injured at work in Victoria, with the majority of these injuries occurring in clients' homes. Eighty percent of these injuries were sprains and strains, also known as musculoskeletal injuries. These injuries are preventable.
The following seven hazardous tasks are the most common causes of injury in the home care sector:
- Vacuuming – Pushing/pulling vacuum, awkward posture, packing/unpacking machine, moving furniture
- Mopping – Repetitive movements, awkward posture
- Showering/bathing client – Working in awkward body positions
- Moving clients – Transferring client's position, moving client from one location to another
- Cleaning bathrooms – Repetitive movements, awkward posture
- Making beds – Making the bed, lifting the mattress, replacing sheets
- Use of vehicles – Transporting clients and equipment
You can learn more about ways to control the most common causes of workplace injury in home care by downloading the Home Care OHS Compliance Kit. This kit provides practical advice about controlling the risks associated with the most common hazardous tasks in home care.