PSA Takes Health and Safety Action to Protect the Safety of Staff Caring for Children After Hours at the Netley Call Centre

19 December 2019

Yesterday, 18 December 2019, two PSA Organisers exercised their right of entry under the Work Health and Safety Act to inspect a recent incident where PSA members were put at risk due to the lack of resources, policy and clear procedures for the transporting and caring of children and young people after hours.

The PSA will be writing a report which will go to SafeworkSA and to the Department.

The PSA strongly believes the Department of Child Protection is in breach of Section 19 of the Work Health Safety Act.

This section of the Work Health Safety Act states that management has a primary duty of care to ensure the health and safety of staff. This should be done by management providing a work environment free of risks to health and safety; adequate facilities for the welfare of staff; information and training that protects staff from risk; and monitor any situations to prevent injury.

The inspection by the PSA follows more than 12 months of the PSA raising concerns with the Department about the care of children and young people after hours. These concerns have been ignored or disregarded by management, even after they were asked to respond to the PSA by the SA Employment Tribunal.

The PSA has suggested solutions to the Department such as establishing facilities which are staffed with appropriately trained people to house children and young people in these circumstances, and clear and enforceable policies and procedures.

Asking Social Workers to care for children in their office or in housing that is not fit for purpose after hours and overnight, sometimes for long periods of time, when they are not trained for this work is putting them and the children and young people at risk.

Please continue to let us know if you are asked to care for children and young people after hours by calling PSA.