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Boxing up stress for staff wellness

Rockingham Aged Care Home staff wellness program

OSH Representatives Cindy Vegar and Kellie Worthington with the Stress Box.

 

Staff at Rockingham Aged Care Home have developed a new way to encourage staff wellness with the Stress Box. Created by the home’s Occupational Health & Safety (OSH) Representatives Kellie Worthington and Cindy Vegar, the large post box allows staff to write out the issues that are bothering them.

The OSH team at the home, located south of Perth, can then review the anonymous notes and implement strategies to tackle any areas that need improving.

“It’s been very well-received by all of the staff,” Cindy said. “By having the Stress Box out in a common area, it’s easy for staff to write down things that are troubling them. We specifically asked for people to not to leave their names to make it easier for staff to open up.”

Kellie said examples of the topics raised were time management and items not being put back in the right place.

“By knowing that this is bothering some of our staff, we can bring it up at staff meetings and handovers and remind everyone how important it is,” Kellie said. “It really helps everyone work better together.”

Rockingham’s OSH board gets changed every month, featuring relevant content such as manual handling exercises, hazard reporting and other health and safety information for staff.

Each home’s OSH team, guided by OSH Coordinator Jenni Davidson, work to ensure the safety of everyone at the site, including residents, staff and visitors. They come together each quarter to develop and implement proactive safety and wellness initiatives.

“The teams work off an annual wellness calendar, but each team uses their creativity,” Jenni said.

“Recently the OSH representatives at Leighton Aged Care Home, Kate Favro and Jade Murray, brought in stretching at handover times and brought in fruit for the staff. At Agmaroy, Cecile Panido and Eden Dulay organised an early event for R U OK Day, which focuses on the importance of mental health. The event featured a speaker from a community mental health organisation, which shows how our OSH teams are thinking outside of the box.

“It’s always great to see what our homes come up with, and we can all learn from each other to help make our home safer and healthier to work in.”

To read more about Rockingham Aged Care Home, click here.

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