Part 2.1.1– 1
It is important that Disability Accommodation Services (DAS) staff dress in attire that meets workplace Occupational Health and Safety requirements and is suitable to the type of tasks that will be undertaken.
Staff may also be role models for residents so in addition to wearing appropriate clothing, staff should also ensure good personal hygiene and grooming.
Considering Resident Support Needs:-
The resident group and the tasks required must be considered. Staff are to remain aware of the need to work in close physical proximity to some residents, for example, dresses, skirts or sleeveless tops may not be suitable due to the amount of movement such as reaching and bending that may be required.
Each workplace should have general information about the attire best suited to the resident group and duties required. Where there is a specific risk, for example a resident who pulls hair, the requirement to have hair securely fastened must be communicated to all staff before they attend the workplace, or immediately on arrival.
Attire which is not suitable in Residential Services:-
Some clothing and accessory items are not suitable for the work environment and. These include:-
- clothing with logo's, graphics or advertising that may be offensive.
- excessively loose clothes that risk being caught on equipment.
- thongs, high heels and open shoes.
- clothing, jewellery and accessories that have dangling attachments or loops. that can he caught on equipment or pulled by residents.
Wearing rings should be carefully considered as they can pose a risk of injury when operating certain types of equipment such as hoists and specialised beds, as they can become caught in the mechanisms. In addition rings with raised parts may inadvertently scratch or injure residents when providing personal care. Infection prevention and control also advises that rings be removed for hand washing which creates the risk of them being lost
Suitable Clothing: Suitable clothing should:
- provide ease of movement
- give adequate coverage when reaching or bending
- be suited to the tasks required during the shift.
Occupational Health and Safety guidelines recommend that footwear is enclosed and suitable for the work area.
Road safety authorities also recommend footwear that is flat and securely fastened for driving. In DAS, footwear must be enclosed and staff should consider if:-
- footwear will be suitable for bathing and showering
- the sole is non slip
- the heel is flat to reduce slipping and tripping risk
Long hair and long beards should be securely tied. It is not appropriate to provide close physical support with hair brushing a resident and it may come into contact with body fluids.
Hair and long beards should also be tied back when preparing food for residents.
LISA Comment: It should be noted that all of the above is guidelines. There is rarely mandatory directive for public service staff!