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Carer's room

Persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) who offer carer 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, the supervision of children while at work, and the suitability of toys and games in the room.

Tips

  • Develop a policy on the use of the carer’s room.
  • Supervise children.
  • Ensure housekeeping and cleaning practices are of a high standard.
  • Label toys for relevant age groups.
  • Consider installing a safety switch, which is a residual current device on the power supply.
  • Visually inspect electrical cables before use in the room.

Potential harm

  • Choking
  • Infection
  • Burns
  • Electrical shocks

Identified hazards and controls

Toys, games and magazines

Cause

  • Transfer of germs or contagious diseases.
  • Children swallowing small objects.

What workers can do

  • If you use a 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 first, to prevent transferring germs to the toy and the next child that plays with it. Clean the toy at the end of the day for the same reason.
  • Inspect the toy before giving it to your child to ensure it is suitable. It is possible that toys have broken since the last time you used the room.
  • Bring your child’s own toys and books with you and take them home at the end of the day.

What employers can do

  • Develop a policy on the use of the carer’s room.
  • Provide a workstation equivalent to that normally used by workers in the carer’s room.
  • 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.
  • Provide a disinfectant or sanitiser, such as wipes, sprays or gels.
  • Carer’s rooms are often locked when not in use, so make sure that the room can be entered for regular cleaning and rubbish removal.
  • Risk assess furniture or appliances included in the room to ensure any hazards are identified and addressed, including any televisions, electronic games, microwave ovens and fridges.

Electrical appliances

Cause

  • An electrical appliance has developed a fault, has defective insulation or exposed wiring.
  • Cables are frayed or damaged.

What workers can do

  • Switch off the power at the power point before plugging in or unplugging appliances, as with any electrical appliance.
  • 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.

What employers can do

  • Have electrical appliances inspected and tested on a regular basis and record this information, as required by the WHS Regulations.
  • Install power points close to appliances to avoid the use of extension leads.
  • Where equipment is identified for repair, immediately remove it from service and ensure it is appropriately labelled to prevent further use.
  • Consider installing a safety switch on the power supply.

Power outlets

Cause

  • Children inserting objects, like toys and metal objects, into working outlets.

What workers can do

  • 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.

What employers can do

  • Have safety covers installed on power outlets that are not in use.
  • Consider installing a safety switch, which is a residual current device on the power supply.
  • Consider having outlets installed higher and out of reach of children.

More information

Guidance

Legislation

Codes

Page last reviewed: 18 May 2021

Comcare (Office Safety tool)
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.comcare.gov.au

Date printed 29 Jun 2022

https://www.comcare.gov.au/office-safety-tool/spaces/meeting-spaces/carers-room