Prevention Plan for Hazards in Healthcare and Community Services

Preplanning is essential to manage hazards in the healthcare and community services industry. This is particularly important for healthcare workers providing in-home services, as external factors in the patient’s home can be challenging to control.

Organisations need to be proactive as exposure to physical, biological, or chemical hazards risks their worker's safety. In this blog, we will discuss the steps companies can take to form a cohesive, comprehensive prevention plan.

Risk Assessment

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more critical than ever to create a wide-ranging prevention plan for the community and healthcare workers. Healthcare workers came forward to protest in large numbers in 2020 because Occupational Health and Safety weren’t applied to them.

As a result of this initiative, organisations are now more informed on the importance of worker safety, especially those working in the healthcare sector.

The first step in creating a prevention plan for healthcare hazards is identifying the possible risks that workers can encounter.

To assess risks, you need to consider the following:

  • What kind of harm can the hazard cause?
  • How likely is it for the harm to occur?
  • The seriousness of the harm

Risk assessments are meant to help organisations determine the plan of action to be taken to control risks and the level of urgency. Once assessed, you can implement control measures that seem to be the most effective. SafetyIQ offers an advanced risk assessment tool that makes the whole process automated and easier.

Creating A Prevention Plan For Hazards In Healthcare

You’ll need to understand what are health hazards exactly so you can create control measures accordingly. Here’s an inpatient and home healthcare worker safety checklist that can help you take preventative approaches to avoid dangerous situations.


Fatigue is extremely dangerous- especially for healthcare workers, as handling patients and using equipment requires a clear, alert mind. Here are the measures organisations can take that can help prevent this risk:

  • Ensure that all workers are taking scheduled breaks by having relief workers on hand that can take over while the primary carer can take their break.
  • Offering job rotations for healthcare workers, especially those dealing with repetitive or physically demanding tasks.
  • Provide facilities on standby for workers looking to eat, sleep, or rest. If required, ensure they have suitable accommodation.
  • Design shift schedules to account for each worker and reduce fatigue, so no team member is overworking.

Whilst these measures are very effective, there are many factors that impact alertness. Coming down with an illness, receiving distressful news, or taking on additional shifts due to financial struggles or staff shortages are all factors that will impact your worker to perform their duties safely. SafetyIQ has an advanced Fatigue Management Solution that includes assessments through a quick cognitive test. Find out more.

Trips, Slips, and Falls

When community workers are going about their job, moving patients, or getting equipment, there is a high chance they may trip, slip on something, or fall. Here are some things to include regarding this hazard in your prevention plan:

  • Ensure that all workers wear non-slip shoes.
  • In facilities, ensure that floors are all clear and clean.
  • Use slip-resistant mats or flooring in the facility.
  • Ensure that the facility is well-lit.

Psychosocial Risks

Mental health is crucial when dealing with difficult situations, especially for healthcare workers. In a 2021 survey, 86% of community healthcare workers in Australia stated that they were feeling increased stress. This can impact their work and negatively affect the workers and patients they are dealing with. To prevent this, consider the following measures to include in your plan:

  • Offer or refer workers to mental health support services, such as employee-assistance programs.
  • Appoint workers with a point-of-contact so they can discuss all concerns with them.
  • Frequently check with workers to see if they’re doing well. Ask if they feel stressed and how to help.
  • Review time pressures and workloads with all the workers.
  • Define the role of each worker clearly.

Medical Equipment

It is vital to ensure that healthcare workers frequently coming in contact with medical equipment, such as X-rays, are not harmed by the machinery. Here’s how to prevent such hazards:

  • Review how intense exposure is, especially for pregnant healthcare workers, so they can prevent unsafe doses of radiation.
  • When using magnetic equipment like MRIs, ensure no one is wearing jewellery or any metal objects.
  • Provide adequate protective gear, such as eye protection and lead aprons, and ensure they are sufficiently maintained.
  • Ensure all workers have proper training in handling and storing medical equipment safely.
  • Ensure equipment is maintained correctly and operating optimally.
  • Set up proper exclusion zones so unauthorised individuals can’t enter areas where medical equipment is used.

In Conclusion

Depending on the kind of services offered and the location, there are a plethora of risks to consider. Therefore, continually review your risk management procedures and systems. SafetyIQ allows you to automate the process, make it faster and easier to address risks and concerns, and create preventative measures for safety. Request a demo to find out how SafetyIQ can help you improve employee safety.


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