WorkSafe Victoria (2011) estimates that in 2008 almost 2000 disability services workers were injured at work (p.1). Accordingly health and safety representatives(HSR) are concerned with regards to the severity, frequency and magnitude of injuries to disability development support officers (DDSO) at a disability accommodation facility (DAS) in Bundoora.
On 15 October 2015 representatives from the health and community services union (HACSU) visited the workplace to conduct a health hazard evaluation (HHE). HACSU received a confidential request from HSR 's to investigate workplace health hazards. Hazardous manual handling, occupational violence and more importantly job stress were identified as major areas of concerns.
The purpose of the health hazard evaluation was to:
determine the main hazardous tasks that cause workplace injuries for DDSO,
determine the level of job stress and associated stressors for DDSO and
evaluate employees work-related health concerns and
make recommendations to control risks associated with the tasks to prevent workplace injuries.
2.1 Workforce Data
The department of health and human services (2015) employs approximately 220 disability development support officers( DDSO) at Plenty Residential Services, in Bundoora (p.5).According to HACSU(2012), DDSO 's are engaged to provide care, supervision, companionship and emotional support for people with disabilities and furthermore DDSO’s (level 1) spend approximately 95 % of their work time undertaking these tasks.(pp. 118-123).
2.2 Hours of Employment
Full-time employees are employed to work 38 hours per week, part-time workers an average of 30 hours per week and casual staff a minimum of 15 hours per...
... middle of paper ...
The workers in Scar tree 8 had submitted 120 DINMA 's over a 6 month period reporting “headaches and ringing in the ear due to a resident being noisy and loud” as the cause of the discomfort. To determine if workers are exposed to noise that exceeds the noise exposure level, a noise assessment was conducted in Scar tree 8.
According to Safe work Australia 2010 exposure to loud noise cause occupational deafness or a hearing impairment (p.x1). The World Health Organisation (1991)state that a hearing impairment occurs when there is an increase of the threshold hearing greater than 60 decibels (dB) and this perhaps is the beginning of occupational deafness (Table 2). In Australia, the maximum acceptable exposure levels for noise in the workplace is between 75 and 85 dB.
A dick smith sound level meter(Figure 4) was used to record the noise levels in Scar tree 8.
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