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Taking good care of safety at childcare centre

Sesame Lane Childcare has shown some great strides in improving their health, safety and injury management programs after working with the Injury Prevention and Management program (IPaM).

In July 2010, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) and WorkCover Queensland introduced the Injury Prevention and Management program (IPaM) designed to help businesses develop better workplace health, safety and injury management systems.

Now employers, such as Sesame Lane, which participated in IPaM are beginning to see real results.

Great initiatives

Sesame Lane, which employs about 300 staff, has introduced some great initiatives in the last 12 months that include:

  • having the workplace health and safety policy signed by the CEO to show management commitment and displayed the document in the staff room at each centre
  • introducing a hazard and risk management process including the creation of a risk register
  • developing a procedure to investigate workplace health and safety incidents
  • introducing a system to periodically induct contractors and staff
  • involving workers in hazard identification, risk management and control decisions
  • developing a budget for workplace health and safety
  • documenting and reviewing the controls that are implemented as a result of an incident
  • developing work method statements for all high risk tasks
  • 15 workers (representatives from all centres) participating in hazardous manual tasks training
  • implementing a program aimed at identifying and controlling risks associated with manual tasks
  • developing and implementing a health and wellness program at the workplace
  • making arrangements with a medical provider to ensure that workers are returned to work as early as possible
  • supplying the medical provider with a list of suitable duties available at the workplace
  • documenting objectives and targets that take into account legal requirements, hazards and risks, operational requirements and the views of interested parties
  • conducting trend analysis using WorkCover data
  • engaging an outside party to assist with injury management and providing the workplace with advice on injury management
  • reviewing and updating where necessary emergency procedures and displaying evacuation plans in all centres
  • reviewing and updating where necessary the safety component of the workplace induction.

Sesame Lane HR Manager Michelle Bowlen said, "Our participation in the IPAM program provided us with a variety of valuable tools, information and support services to improve the safety and wellbeing of our employees and make a safer environment for everyone."

Michelle said, "The results we have seen in the past 12 months have been really pleasing and we are confident that we can not only maintain, but continue to build on these improvements."

She added that the health and wellness committee have reviewed nappy changing, storage facilities, equipment cleaning and lifting outdoor furniture procedures, resulting in some improvements to the ways of working.

"We're also trialling subsidised healthy meals for staff, where staff will eat what the children are eating," she said. "Our health and wellness committee have also initiated a number of centre based physical exercise programs involving educators, families and children in conjunction with the Early Childhood recommendations and guidelines."

Maintaining improvements

WorkCover Queensland Customer Advisor Seila Hadzijusufovic, who worked with Sesame Lane during the program, said they will be expected to maintain improvements and continue to develop and enhance safety and injury management systems where appropriate as part of your ongoing business development.

"Congratulations to Sesame Lane for their commitment to the IPaM program over the past 13 months and congratulations for the great results," Seila said.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland IPaM Manager Martin Horrocks added, "As a result of their initiatives, they have reduced their injury rates, and increased the percentage of staff returning to work."

"We wish them success in their journey as they continue to improve their health and safety, injury management systems and workplace culture," he said.

More information

This case study highlights some cost effective and achievable steps employers can implement to improve injury management outcomes.

For more information about injury prevention and management, and resources to improve your business' injury prevention and management systems visit the IPaM web pages at or call 1300 362 128.