Occupational Health & Safety


1.1 All work situations relevant to Echo Interpreting



The Echo Interpreting Occupational Health and Safety Policy shall be achieved by management and staff working together. All staff members shall constantly seek to improve all operations

Prevention of accidents and injury by the identification and treatment of hazardous situations shall be a key aspect of this procedure.

Every person in this organisation has a responsibility to promote a healthy and safe work environment.

Every person in this organisation has the right to a safe workplace.

Effective claims management and rehabilitation procedures are essential to the reduction of the personal and financial costs of workplace injuries or diseases.

A hazard can be defined as being "a potential source of harm or injury" or "dangerous, unsafe, precarious and instantly harmful".

The implementation of this procedure will lead to continual improvement in the health and safety of Echo Interpreting staff. All incidents shall be reported, investigated and reviewed promptly and fairly, and treated confidentially and seriously.

2.2 OH&S Co-ordinator/Representative

2.2.1 While all people shall be involved in OH&S procedures Echo Interpreting shall have one staff member identified as the OH&S Representative.

2.2.2 OH&S representatives shall be provided with time within their working hours to negotiate with management regarding OH&S issues, required resources and potential problems.

2.2.3 The OH&S Co-ordinator shall be the Manager.

2.3 The Manager

2.3.1 The Manager shall:

  • report any significant concerns with health and safety to the relevant parties for prompt follow up;
  • provide written responses to all concerns raised directly by staff and clients within 48 hours of consideration of these matters;
  • In extreme cases of emergency order that work cease in any location where there is an immediate threat to people's health and safety.
  • Monitor the health and safety of staff as it relates to the workplace;
  • Monitor workplace conditions;
  • Maintain information and records relating to the safety of staff;
  • Consult with staff about OH&S issues;
  • Ensure that adequate and appropriate resources are available;
  • Ensure that adequate and appropriate training in OH&S takes place;
  • Provide OH&S information to staff;
  • Ensure staff are aware of their rights under the Act as well as their responsibilities;
  • Ensure that OH&S inspections are conducted;
  • Be responsible for the reporting, investigation and review of unusual and potentially or actually harmful events and occurrences.

2.4 Staff Members

2.4.1 All staff members shall:

  • Monitor the work environment to ensure that it is safe and healthy;
  • Report all Hazards and Maintenance requirements;
  • Record any Hazards on a Hazard Report Form to be logged in the Hazard Register kept by the Administration Officer;
  • Determine whether the incident is a Hazard or Maintenance issue;
  • Using common sense, remove a Hazard or "quarantine" an area with appropriate notices of caution and enter the Hazard on a Hazard Report Form.
  • Comply with all Echo Interpreting OH&S procedures and work instructions.

2.5 Safety and Emergency Evacuation

2.5.1 Emergency evacuation procedures are mandated by the Landlord.

2.5.2 The Landlord shall ensure that all staff practices the emergency evacuation procedures.

2.6 Staff Working Off-site

2.6.1 If a staff member feels uncomfortable or threatened at anytime in the course of their work, Echo Interpreting support that staff member removing themselves from any situation and contacting the Echo Interpreting office immediately

2.6.2 When working at external sites staff shall follow the policies and procedures of that work site, unless these procedures are unsafe.

2.6.3 If Echo Interpreting staff are working off-site and notice an unsafe work practice or work environment that may put them at risk, they shall request the practice cease immediately or remove themselves from the environment and contact Echo Interpreting.

2.6.4 If staff are aware of unsafe equipment which may pose a hazard such as:

  • Unsafe electrical equipment, or
  • Dangerous machinery, they shall immediately remove themselves from the environment and report the matter to the Echo Interpreting agency.

2.6.5 If staff have appointments with clients known to be aggressive or having behavioral problems, they shall:

  • Ensure that a second Interpreter or other professional staff person is present at all times, or within earshot;
  • Not make home visits with these clients;
  • Ensure that when practicable, a first visit with an unknown client occurs at the service provider's offices, or with another professional present. Off-site, this person can be another professional or a tandem interpreter.

2.6.6 Staff shall report aggressive clients to the Manager immediately to ensure this knowledge is held organisationally, and to protect the safety of other interpreters who may liaise with this client. Any staff member or interpreter who experiences a critical or stressful incident should ensure they get the appropriate support and/or debriefing as soon as possible.

2.6.7 During home visits interpreters shall be careful of dangerous animals or visitors who make them feel ill at ease. Again, interpreters shall remove themselves from such situations. Additionally, interpreters should not enter into any rooms in the home other than the living area unless accompanied by another professional and visiting such rooms are an integral part of provision of service to the client (e.g. the client is bedridden).

2.6.8 If at any time, with any client, the client becomes aggressive, interpreters should not feel obligated to stay with the client. In particular, during a home visit, should a client become abusive or aggressive, the interpreter should leave the home without delay and contact Echo Interpreting.

2.7 Issue Resolution

Grievances, hazards and incidents shall be dealt with according to the following quality procedures:

problem suggestion

2.8 First Aid & Injury Reporting

2.8.1 A First Aid kit will be located in the office. This kit will be replenished quarterly by the Administration Officer.

2.8.2 The Manager shall maintain a Register of Injuries and near misses. An investigation of the injury shall be conducted by the Manager.

2.9 Incident Reporting

2.9.1 An incident Report shall be completed whenever there is an incident or accident which involves the welfare and safety of any person visiting or working in the office or off - site.

2.9.2 Incident Report Forms shall be kept at the office and signed by the Manager.

2.9.3 All incident reports must be completed before the end of the next working day after the day in which the incident occurs.

2.9.4 The Manager shall log and retain incident reports on to the Incident Report Register.

2.9.5 The Manager shall collate incident reports, and identify key issues and indicators.

2.9.6 The Manager shall ensure that follow up action is determined and implemented on the Incident Report.

2.9.7 A staff member shall immediately advise the Manager if the grievance or problem involves an alleged criminal action, serious injury or could result in adverse public relations.

2.10 Incident Reports - Review and Disposition

2.10.1 On receipt of an Incident Report, the Manager shall review the incident with relevant personnel to assess and if appropriate, amend the recommended short-term corrective action.

2.10.2 The Manager shall register the incident report and consider the need for long term corrective action.

2.11 Review of Incident Reports

2.11.1 The Manager shall review each incident report to ascertain:

  • Type of problems encountered;
  • Internal and external problems;
  • Individual and universal problems;
  • Completed status;
  • Effectiveness of short-term corrective action.

2.11.2 The Manager shall review and revise if necessary.

2.12 Rehabilitation

2.12.1 Staff shall notify their manager of a work related injury within 24 hours. The manager will contact the injured worker and ensure that appropriate medical attention is being received.

2.12.2 An Injury Report will be completed, and if necessary a Workcover Claim Form. If an injured worker is unlikely to resume previous duties or cannot do so without alteration to the workplace or working arrangements, the manager should consult with the treating doctor, therapist and/or the nominated Rehabilitation Provider to obtain assistance and guidance. A Return to Work Coordinator shall be appointed. A Rehabilitation Provider will be approached and a Return to Work Plan shall be completed in consultation with the worker. The Plan will then be adhered to by Echo Interpreting.

2.13 Immediate Action

2.13.1 When an incident requires urgent action for health or safety reasons, the relevant staff member shall, in the spirit of good intent, immediately implement appropriate corrective action.

2.13.2 Immediate corrective action may involve -

  • Meeting with the employee/client and/or appropriate staff,
  • Moving staff and clients to a safer environment,
  • Completion of OH&S forms that are required under the Victorian OH&S Act,
  • Completion of a Workcover application.

For any further information required please contact Echo Interpreting office on 03 9761 2208