An aged care provider has been convicted and fined $20,000 following an incident in which a 100-year-old resident was burnt by hot coffee.
Published:30 October 2020
Baptcare Ltd pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court to one charge of failing to ensure people other than employees were not exposed to risks to their health and safety.
The company was also ordered to pay $5633 in costs.
The court heard that Baptcare Peninsula View Community at Frankston South failed to properly induct sub-contractors to ensure they knew where emergency buttons were in the event of an incident occurring.
This risk eventuated when black coffee spilled on a resident's leg and they required immediate medical attention.
A sub-contracted catering assistant, who was not aware there was an emergency button nearby, instead went to find a care worker from the front entrance.
The court heard that there was a serious risk to the health and safety of residents as a result of delays in emergency assistance being provided because of the failure to ensure sub-contractors were properly inducted.
WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said sub-contractors must receive the same level of induction as permanent staff members.
"Employers have a duty of care to ensure that all staff are made aware of incident management procedures in high risk workplaces," Ms Nielsen said.
"No matter the workplace or the circumstances, delays in emergency procedures leave staff and others in the workplace at serious risk to their health and safety."
Employer occupational health and safety responsibilities for labour hire and contractors include:
Ensuring labour hire and contract workers understand the OHS requirements of the workplace by going through an induction.
Advising labour hire and contract workers on how to report hazards or incidents relating to health and safety.
Identifying hazards and controlling any risks that arise from work.
Ensuring the worker has the right skills and knowledge to perform work safely.
Providing proper training, instruction, information and supervision.
Providing the necessary equipment to work safely, such as personal protective equipment
Consulting with employees and HSRs about health and safety risks.