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Toys and games Electrical

Introduction

The Carer's Room provides a convenient short-term emergency space for employees who need to attend to the needs of children and dependants. It may provide the opportunity for work continuity under specific circumstances at the primary place of work whilst reducing the stress associated with often unpredictable and/or short term family caring circumstances

Cases in which the room would be NOT SUITABLE for use include:

  • as a substitute for care at home for a sick child
  • as a regular space to care for children on school holidays
  • as a regular alternative to child care.

Reference: Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) who offer carers' room facilities to their workers should establish guidelines on the use of the room. These guidelines should address issues such as bringing sick children to work and the supervision of children whilst at work.

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Toys and games

PCBUs who offer Carer’s room facilities to their workers should establish guidelines for the use of the room. These guidelines should address issues such as bringing sick children and dependents to work, the supervision of children whilst at work and the suitability of toys and games in the Carer’s room.

Tips

  • Develop a policy on the use of the room.
  • Housekeeping and cleaning practices are of a high standard.
  • Label toys for relevant age groups.

Potential harm

Choking
Infection
Identified Hazards and Controls

Toys/ games and magazines

Cause

  • Transfer of germs or contagious diseases.
  • Children swallowing small objects.
  • If you use the Carer’s room, know the policy for its use. For example, the policy may prohibit children with contagious conditions being brought into the office.
  • Supervise your children. Don’t leave them alone to go to a meeting.
  • If your child intends to play with toys supplied by your employer make sure the child washes their hands (to prevent transferring germs to the toy and the next child that plays with it) and clean the toy at the end of the day for the same reason .
  • It is possible that toys have broken since the last time you used the room. Inspect the toy before giving it to your child to ensure it is suitable.
  • Alternatively, bring your  child’s own toys and books with you and take them home at the end of the day.
  • Develop a policy on the use of the Carer’s room.
  • Provide a workstation equivalent to that normally used by workers (e.g. computer, adjustable desk and chair, phone etc).
  • Label toys for relevant age groups and provide storage (preferably in a cupboard). This means that children will only have access to the toys their carer gives them from the cupboard, and not items that are unsuitable for their age (such as small parts that could cause choking).
  • Provide a disinfectant or sanitiser (wipes, sprays or gels).
  • Carer’s rooms are often locked when not in use so make sure that the room can be cleaned (vacuumed, dusted, rubbish removed) regularly.
  • Risk assess any furniture or appliances included in the room to ensure any hazards are identified and addressed (e.g. TV’s, DVD players, electronic games, microwave ovens, fridges, etc.).

Further information

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Electrical

Risks from electricity and electrical appliances are present in the Carer’s room, like any other room in the workplace.  However, with the ad-hoc use of the Carer’s room and the differing levels of people’s awareness, it is possible that cables may become frayed or damaged with use.

Tips

  • Supervise children.
  • Consider installing a safety Switch (Residual Current Device) on the power supply.
  • Visually inspect electrical cables before use.

Potential harm

Burns
Electrical shocks
Identified Hazards and Controls

Electrical Appliances

Cause

  • An electrical appliance has developed a fault, has defective insulation or exposed wiring.
  • Cables frayed or damaged.
  • As with normal electrical safety practices, switch off the power at the power point before plugging in or unplugging appliances.
  • Do not pull cables out of sockets by the cord, use the plug.
  • Because there may be multiple users of the room, be sure to visually check any electrical cables before plugging them in to make sure they haven’t been damaged.
  • As required by the WHS Regulations, have electrical appliances inspected and tested on a regular basis and record this information.
  • Install power points close to appliances to avoid the use of extension leads.
  • Where equipment is identified for repair, it should be immediately removed from service and appropriately labelled to prevent further use.
  • Consider installing a safety switch on the power supply.

Outlets

Cause

  • Children inserting objects (toys, metal items) into working outlets.
  • Monitor what children are doing.
  • If you notice an exposed power point in the Carer’s room advise your employer to install covers for it.
  • Have safety covers installed on power outlets that are not in use.
  • Consider installing a safety switch (Residual Current Device) on the power supply.
  • Consider having outlets installed higher out of reach of children.

Further information