Including health and safety measures in our everyday workplace is imperative to the success of our loving, caring and professional organisation. When looking after customers in their homes, running our elderly wellness programmes and even operating at the office – it’s always important that procedures are in place to keep our customers and staff safe.

Our Health and Safety (H&S) Committee are made up of Support Workers and Office staff that guarantee our team are reporting hazards when they arise and are keeping safe in their work environments. Lately, we’ve taken on the slogan ‘be a safety champion and take care’ as well as the acronym C.A.R.E. Which stands for, ‘check your surroundings, assess the hazards, report, report, report and end workplace hazards by taking care and staying aware’. Pretty catchy, right? These words encourage our workforce to be safety champions on their shifts and reassure them that there are ways to seek help when incidents in the workplace happen.

Recently, we had a talanoa with one of our safety champions, Alofa Yu Hoi, about the importance of keeping safe in the workplace and reporting hazards when they take place. Alofa shares the ins and outs of her role in the H & S Committee, as well as some advice that we can all take on board to ensure we’re safety champions as well.

Tell us about yourself and your role at Pacific Homecare.

My name is Alofa Yu Hoi and my role is HR Support at Pacific Homecare. As the name would suggest, part of my role is supporting the staff, which is anyone. This support can come through Health & Safety in ensuring that the environment they are working in is safe and healthy.

Why did you decide to be on the Health and Safety Committee?

I decided to join the committee because I thought it was important for me to be involved in ensuring that our staff are safe and that they conduct their work safely. I have seen how no matter what type of job; it can affect people. I have seen how it affected my parents in their jobs and I wanted to be involved in ensuring that the staff are not out there working with injuries.

What does the Health and Safety Committee do and how does it help our workforce?

The H&S Committee’s main purpose is to look after the health and safety of not only the staff but also the customers. This involves meeting up at least once a month to discuss any issues that any one of us may have encountered so that we can try and come up with a solution.

Are there any new updates from the Health and Safety Committee?

I know one of the new updates since the last meeting was that we had one other Support Worker put up their hand to say they wanted to join. I would like to see at least two more volunteers, but beggars can’t be choosers.

What is something you enjoy about being on the Health and Safety Committee?

Being able to sit down with the Support Workers out in the field and seeing they are doing or them telling us how other Support Workers that might have seen are doing. It is nice to be able to see them and catch up on how they are doing. Seeing how they are at the time is helpful in knowing whether we are looking after them well enough or they are looking after themselves. Getting to sit down and discuss issues that they face.

If you could give anyone reading this some words of advice, what would it be?

Health & Safety is not something to hide from. It is to help ensure that we can conduct our work safely and that at the end of the day, we can all go home healthy. You can only do so much to look after others if you yourself need looking after first. I know our people can be determined and some would try to work through it. But it is better to be safe than sorry.

A valuable member of Pacific Homecare, fa’afetai tele lava Alofa for promoting safe work practices and inspiring others to take of themselves, their peers and customers to ensure everyone is being a safety champion and taking CARE.

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