Sample Policy 2 Safe practice procedure - home visits

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1 Sample Plicy 2 Safe practice prcedure - hme visits Organisatins shuld have a plicy which clearly utlines the expected safe wrk practices and prcedures in relatin t hme visits. Hme visits are regarded as a wrkplace activity and as such, current OH&S legislative requirements apply, as fllws. It is the duty f the emplyer t identify and assess hazards and if reasnably practicable eliminate risks. If that is impracticable, the risks must be cntrlled. It is the duty f the manager r supervisr t ensure that the plicy and prcedures f the emplyer are implemented, fllwed and reviewed. It is the duty f the emplyee t take reasnable care fr the health and safety f peple wh are at the emplyees place f wrk and wh may be affected by the emplyees acts r missins at wrk. Safe practice prcedures - hme visits Objective Organisatin X encurages a wrkplace culture and wrk practices that priritise staff safety at all times. Plicy The fllwing safe practice prcedures have been develped t enable staff emplyed by Organisatin X t carry ut hme visits with a high level f safety. As part f any safe wrkplace, staff emplyed by Organisatin X are strngly encuraged t always use past experience and t cnsult with clleagues and managers at all times. Maintenance f a safe wrk envirnment fr staff is a jint respnsibility fr staff and supervisrs. Organisatin X will nt prvide a service in a cnsumer s hme if frmal assessments identify an unacceptable level f risk indicating it is nt safe fr the emplyees prviding the service. Organisatin X will assist staff thrugh training, educatin and supprt t prevent and minimise safety risks with expectatins clearly dcumented. Managers and supervisrs shuld make adequate prvisins t address pssible safety cncerns fr staff invlved in hme visits, wrking ut f standard business hurs r wrking in islated wrkplaces. WHEN CONDUCTING HOME VISITS When cnducting hme visits, wrkers must take the fllwing fur steps. 1. Carry ut risk assessments Always cnduct an assessment f risk f aggressin befre visiting any cnsumer at hme. Fr existing cnsumers, refer t and use the cnsumer s Individual Supprt Plan (ISP) fr guidance n management f any risks identified. 1

2 An initial assessment f risk f aggressin shuld be cnducted by tw staff, preferably at an ffice r facility lcatin rather than at the cnsumer s hme. Cnsumers wh have stable mental health shuld have the level f risk reassessed at their management/ individual plan review r where there is reasn t believe that the level f risk has changed. Assessment, preventin and management planning shuld include the cnsumer, as well as the rles f relevant thers and their cntributins. Tw staff shuld cnduct the initial hme visit during ffice hurs, and during this visit the hme assessment shuld be cmpleted. Wrkers wh are uncertain as t the level f risk invlved in a hme visit must discuss the situatin with their supervisr befre ging t and/r entering the cnsumer's hme. Cnsider risk t male staff cncerning pssible allegatins f sexual miscnduct by female cnsumers, particularly in the privacy f a cnsumer s hme. Advice shuld be sught and taken frm lcal mental health services that may have relevant histry r infrmatin abut the cnsumer being assessed. Upn cmpletin f the risk assessment, staff shuld cnsider the fllwing recmmendatins: High / extreme risk Medium / significant risk Lw risk D nt visit the cnsumer cnsider alternative arrangements. Tw staff t visit the cnsumer until further assessments demnstrate therwise. Visit the cnsumer but always cnduct a mini risk assessment immediately prir t entry. A mini-risk assessment shuld cnsider whether the cnsumer is: i. agitated r distressed ii. displaying threatening r aggressive behaviur iii. being verbally aggressive r abusive iv. mentally unwell v. displaying behaviurs that are ut f character 2. Once a risk assessment has been carried ut, the level f risk determined and the risks priritised, a decisin needs t be made abut risk management ptins. Fr example: a) The level f risk is acceptable and able t be managed with existing prcedures. b) The level f risk is acceptable but requires adjustments t human resurces (e.g. must be visited by 2 peple) and the develpment f a risk management plan: Risk management strategies need t be built int the individual s care plan. The effectiveness f the strategies must then be mnitred and evaluated: individually between the cnsumer and their care crdinatr thrugh regular team meetings and care cnferences (where applicable). c) The level f risk is t high and cannt be mitigated thrugh rearrangement f resurces r a risk management plan: Explain and dcument the reasns. Wrk with the cnsumer t identify mre apprpriate ptins. With the cnsumer s cnsent, refer apprpriately. 3. Identify risks and make decisins relating t the risks identified. 2

3 The utcmes and/r decisins assciated with identified risks may include: cancellatin f the visit a decisin t engage tw staff t attend the visit a telephne call t the cnsumer t ensure that: the wrker is able t safely prvide the service safe and well lit access is available thrugh gates, drs, and when entering high density husing pets are suitably restrained the huse and entry is illuminated, if the visit is t be cnducted at night (NB. Avid visits after dark as much as practicable). 4. Have the necessary equipment. Always carry a mbile phne that is apprpriately charged and in gd wrking rder. Have 000 and the relevant ffice numbers prgrammed int the speed dial functin f the mbile phne. Ensure staff have access t relevant safety equipment such as trches (staff must always carry a trch if visiting at night), first aid kits and emergency infrmatin flders, and that these items are in gd wrking rder and up t date. WHEN NOT TO VISIT Staff shuld nt visit a cnsumer at hme if: the assessed risk f aggressin is high r extreme vilence is knwn t have recently ccurred and the perpetratr (cnsumer r ther persn) is at the address r is likely t return r arrive during the visit the cnsumer r ther persn/peple present is exhibiting signs f aggressin and/r intxicated by alchl and/r drugs. Nte: In making decisins regarding hme visits all factrs need t be cnsidered, including any mitigating circumstances such as physical disability, presence f supprtive relatives and s n. Where risk has been assessed as medium/significant r high/extreme, staff shuld never visit a residence until a discussin with the supervisr has ccurred and a management plan has been develped. Management plans must always cntain risk minimisatin strategies. Advice gained frm lcal mental health services shuld be included. WHEN TWO STAFF SHOULD VISIT Prir t the first hme visit and when circumstances change, an assessment shuld be carried ut and an assessment frm cmpleted t evaluate any risks assciated with the cnsumer and their hme. A frmal assessment shuld clarify whether the risk is lw, medium/significant r high/extreme. Tw staff shuld visit when: the risk f aggressin is medium / significant, r has nt been assessed vilence has ccurred in the past but nt in the recent past, and there are cncerns that the cnsumer may be unwell r becming unwell reprts have indicated that the cnsumer is upset r distressed the staff member visiting: des nt knw the cnsumer is nt trained in the assessment f aggressin r assessment f the envirnment is nt trained in de-escalatin r self-defence strategies is nt aware f safe hme visiting plicies and prcedures. 3

4 CONSUMER HOME VISITS ON THE WAY TO WORK OR ON THE WAY HOME FROM WORK Hme r cmmunity visits n the way t wrk r n the way hme frm wrk shuld nt ccur withut prir apprval f a manager and dcumented justificatin fr this decisin and prcedures shuld be put in place t manage such visits. WHAT TO DO WHEN A HOME VISIT HAS BEEN ASSESSED AS UNSAFE If it is cnsidered unsafe t visit a cnsumer at hme then alternative arrangements must be made. These may include: cnsumer attendance at a health care facility during ffice hurs a multi-party appintment with a cmmunity mental health case manager. STAFF MOVEMENTS - CHECKING OUT AND IN Organisatinal prcedures shuld be in place t ensure that staff mvements are dcumented. A detailed in and ut f the ffice lg and accmpanying prcedures fr respnding t circumstances when staff fail t reprt as scheduled must be in place at facilities where utreach service is prvided. These lgs shuld allw fr the inclusin f: cmprehensive details relating t the staff member and the cnsumer being visited, including the name, address and telephne number f the cnsumer being visited, any ther appintments that the staff will be cnducting while ut and the rder in which visitatins are expected t ccur the expected time f arrival at the nminated venue r venues if cnducting several visits r appintments the expected length f each visit r appintment cntact details f the wrker, e.g. mbile phne number a descriptin f the vehicle t be used including clur, registratin and type/mdel. Expected time f return shuld be dcumented and the staff member shuld be expected t reprt back t the ffice by phne in circumstances where the visit has gne beynd the expected timeframe. Managers must ensure that there are effective prcedures in place t: mnitr and investigate delays determine staff lcatins where necessary, initiate emergency prcedures advise thers f any prblem. UPON ARRIVAL AT A CONSUMER HOME VISIT Park n the street in a well-lit place where yu can t be parked in r bstructed. D nt enter the hme if yu can hear peple arguing at the premises, if yu see peple using alchl r drugs at the premises r if yu feel threatened. If yu becme cncerned fr yur safety r are threatened with physical harm upn arrival fr a cnsumer visit, yu shuld: leave immediately drive t a safe lcatin and then cntact the ffice, r if urgent, the plice and then yur manager if necessary prceed t the nearest plice statin. 4

5 IF A STAFF MEMBER RECEIVES A CALL FROM A WORKER AT RISK: Check the address, ask the nature f the crisis and ask what is needed. If yu hear the rganisatinal cde wrds, call Emergency n 000. DURING A HOME VISIT All staff shuld receive full training in identifying and managing risks, such as risk f aggressin and hazards arund the hme. The fllwing safety prcedures shuld be adhered t by all staff during hme visits. Be cautius when entering a cnsumer s hme. If an unfamiliar persn pens the dr, make sure the cnsumer is hme and that yu feel safe befre entering (It may be necessary t abandn the visit if yu have any cncerns). Ask whether there are ther peple at hme. Be aware f the presence f thers. Be aware f huse layut and yur exit rutes. Keep yur keys and mbile phne n yu. Cnduct a quick assessment by asking yurself: - is the cnsumer cherent? - is there anything different in their demeanur? - are they exhibiting signs f agitatin r aggressin? - is there any evidence f alchl r drug use? - are ther peple present? - is anyne arguing? - are there any weapns? - is the hme in disarray r different than usual? NEVER attempt t physically stp vilent behaviur r get invlved in arguments. If there is an identified safety risk due t aggressin leave immediately. Take nte f all pssible hazards and reprt them n yur return t the ffice. If a medical emergency arises while yu are n a hme visit, call 000 and wait fr help. AFTER A VISIT Reprt any incident r significant bservatins t yur supervisr r manager. Dcument any incidents, cncerns r significant bservatins in the cnsumer ntes. Reprt t the ffice via phne after each visit. Speak t yur emplyer if yu need debriefing, cunselling r supprt services. CRITICAL SITUATIONS Staff must nt enter any cnsumer s hme if there is a ptential critical situatin. Under these circumstances staff shuld leave immediately and then alert their manager s that decisins can be made as t wh may need t be cntacted fr assistance. In circumstances f impending danger, the staff member shuld cntact the relevant emergency services first and then infrm their line manager. After an incident: ensure there is n lnger any danger present. If there is cncern fr the welfare f the cnsumer r thers, immediately cntact the plice and/r ambulance and yur manager. seek medical treatment fr yurself if required. request debriefing, supprt and/r nging cunselling if required ensure a critical incident reprt is cmpleted within 24 hurs and assessed by management. make sure debriefing and supprt t the cnsumer and thers invlved are made available. 5

6 MANAGER OR SUPERVISOR S ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITY It is the manager s r supervisr s respnsibility t ensure that: guidelines and plicies are in place fr safe hme visiting, with clearly defined rles and respnsibilities fr emplyees clearly dcumented safe wrk plicies and prcedures are in place and are cmmunicated t all staff OH&S rientatin is prvided fr all new staff and nging training in safe wrk practices is prvided t all staff systems are in place fr cntinuus identificatin f hazards, risk assessment and eliminatin r cntrl f hazards, as well as cnsultative mechanisms, incident reprting and fllw-up prcedures assessments have been carried ut crrectly and all wrkers are fully briefed and updated n cnsumer assessments befre visits effective systems are in place t mnitr staff mvements and respnd as necessary vilence and aggressin in the wrk envirnment are managed, with supprt fr injured wrkers and return-t-wrk strategies systems are implemented fr nging review f effectiveness f prcedures and staff cmpliance, such as audits, management plans, team meetings and staff appraisals there is fllw-thrugh, implementatin and mnitring f actins resulting frm review prcesses, with staff invlvement. 6

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