Exposed wiring shuts childcare centres

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Work health and safety commissioner Jacqueline Agius. Photo: Holly Treadaway

TWO Canberra childcare centres were shut by WorkSafe ACT after inspectors discovered exposed wires on an electrical power board at one centre and a damaged lead on a vacuum at the other during a five-month audit of 45 childcare centres. 

Between November 2 and March 31, WorkSafe ACT also issued 179 improvement notices at childcare centres due to work health and safety breaches.

Work health and safety commissioner Jacqueline Agius said: “When our inspectors visited these centres, they found a range of work health and safety issues which put workers at risk.

“Trending issues included not having procedures to safely store chemicals (such as cleaning products), no safety data sheets about hazardous chemicals and not regularly testing and tagging electrical equipment.

“We also found it concerning that a number of centres didn’t have procedures in place to handle situations of occupational violence. By having these processes in place, employers can help prevent or minimise the risks of violence and aggression towards staff members.  

“Employers are reminded they have a duty to protect their staff, and one way they can do this, is by assessing workplace risks and implementing safe systems of work.  

“Everyone has the right to work in a safe and healthy workplace.”   

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