Contractor workplace health and safety in aged care and retirement villages

Nick Higgins |   April 13, 2022 at 11:55 AM

Contractor workplace health and safety in aged care and retirement villages

Having contractors on your aged care or retirement village premises is a complex but necessary part of ensuring the highest standard of living and safety for your residents.

You have your residents’ best interests and safety at heart and it’s understandable that you may have questions about whether the contractor you employ shares the same sentiments. Workplace health and safety in aged care and retirement villages is paramount, particularly when extra vulnerable people are concerned, such as those with dementia or other health issues. There is, however, a way to find the right balance to ensure that the job gets done correctly, safely and with minimal disruption to your residents. The four tips below will help you ensure all WHS regulations and guidelines are followed by everyone on-site. Here are the crucial aspects you need to cover:

1. Determine what you expect from your contractors and set out the rules

Conducting maintenance in your facility involves much more than simply filling cracks and applying paint; it’s about creating a safe and happy space for the residents. So any work should be carried out efficiently and with the least amount of disturbance. Your workplace health and safety regulations should clearly state this and have set rules and guidelines to help balance work ethic and respect for residents. Stipulate exactly what rules apply to working on-site, as well as the consequences of not properly adhering to them. Should there be any hesitance or questions raised about your rules, you know you need to move on to the next contractor.

2. Contractor compliance with your workplace health and safety regulations

Once you have set out the rules for contractors to adhere to, you need to look into the existing industry laws and regulations. While you might have covered most of the essential elements in your own regulations for workplace health and safety in aged care and retirement villages, it remains imperative that you and your contractors also comply with government standards. Here’s a list of what the government expects from contractors to ensure they adhere to WHS requirements.

3. Be prepared and ensure a thorough end-product

You know your facility better than any contractor when they first step onto the premises. That’s why you must do your due diligence before contractors arrive, including inspecting the buildings of your aged care facility or retirement village and ensuring you’re well-versed in the industry standards. Doing your research will not only help ensure your workplace health and safety regulations are watertight but also ultimately result in better, safer project outcomes.

4. Keep a close eye on your contractors

Employing the right people to conduct building maintenance on your behalf can be difficult - even more so in aged care facilities or retirement villages where residents are more vulnerable. It’s critical that you clearly define the rules and expectations for your contractors and then follow up to see whether they are sticking to them. For example, reducing driving speed, minimising noise and respecting the privacy of the elderly.

One of the best ways to ensure that best practices for workplace health and safety in aged care and retirement facilities are followed is to employ a team of contractors that already have industry-specific experience working in retirement villages or aged care facilities.

When planning a painting project for your aged care or retirement facility, it’s paramount that you and your contractors minimise disruptions and look out for the health and safety of your residents and staff. Download our Guide to Painting Aged Care & Retirement Facilities to learn how to safely and successfully manage your next project.

Your guide to painting aged care and retirement villages

Higgins Coatings is a premier contractor for painting and refurbishment services throughout Australia. We understand the specific needs of retirement living and aged care facilities and can help you turnover rooms and units within your facility quickly and safely. Higgins has an ISO tri-certification accreditation in safety, quality and the environment. Contact us today for a quote


Originally published 26 November 2015. Updated 12 April 2022.