Our Society is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our workers, the people we assist, and others who may be impacted by our activities. Keeping our members, volunteers, and employees safe will enable us to continue to provide a hand up to people in need.  

We all have a shared responsibility for safety and need to work together to keep everyone safe. People leaders have increased responsibility due to their influence over how our work is managed. Our senior leaders are ultimately accountable for the health and safety of our people.

The safety team is responsible for the provision of an effective safety management system, the associated tools and the provision of professional advice and practical support to enable success. 

Member and Volunteer Safety Responsibilities 

  • Take reasonable care for your own health and safety and those around you 
  • Follow established safe work procedures and reasonable instructions  
  • Participate in safety training and contribute to safety discussions 
  • Report hazards, incidents, and injuries 
  • Respond appropriately to emergencies 
  • If injured, cooperate with return-to-work and recovery-at work-plans.  ​​​​​​​

For further information refer to the Health & Safety Policy

Emergency Reponse

Familiarise yourself with our standard emergency procedures, so that you are prepared if an emergency occurs.  

Emergencies can occur at any time for a variety of reasons. Be prepared to respond independently, particularly when working alone or after-hours.

Notifying an emergency  

  • Is someone seriously injured or in need of urgent medical help? 
  • Is your life or property being threatened? 
  • Have you just witnessed a serious accident or crime? 

If yes, call Triple Zero (000)  

If you don’t need emergency services, but you do need help, alert others around you or notify the person in charge and ask for help.

Standard emergency response  

  1. Warn anyone in immediate danger
  2. Alert others and raise the alarm
  3. Contain or manage the situation – if safe to do so
  4. Evacuate yourself and others – out of immediate danger to a safe place

Emergency Plus App

Save the app that could save your life – Emergency Plus.

In an emergency, time and location accuracy are critical. By downloading the ‘Emergency +’ app, you’ll equip yourself with a powerful tool that will help you call Triple Zero (000) quickly, and allow you to accurately communicate your location to emergency call-takers

Download the Emergency Plus App

Watch the video – Use the Emergency+ app with what3words to help Triple Zero (000)

Flood affected sites: keeping you safe

The following information is provided to assist in preparation for potential flooding and clean -up activities. Ensure you heed the advice and instructions from emergency services during this time.

Never enter or travel through floodwater – this includes walking, driving, riding and playing in floodwater. Entering floodwater is the leading cause of death during floods.​​​​​​​ Remember, if it’s flooded, forget it

Follow the alerts: NSW SES Emergency Warnings

Prepare for a flood event

Know the Australian Warning System

Know your risk 

NSW SES provides advice on local areas. Learn about your risk at www.ses.nsw.gov.au/knowyourrisk/

Know where to go 

Find the safest route to travel in the event you might need to evacuate. Identify places where evacuation routes may be cut and locate alternate routes.

Check with family and friends outside the flood prone area to organise a place to go.

Find out where potential evacuation centres could be in your area.

Know who to call

For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500.

Keep local emergency numbers handy 

In life threatening emergencies, call Triple Zero (000)

Download the FloodSafe 8 Tips Poster

Download the Flash FloodSafe Guide

Stay informed

Stay informed by ensuring you are notified of any flood or storm events in your area

> Monitor all emergency alerts and contacts, including NSW SES HazardWatch

> Understand the Australian Warning System 

> Check the Bureau of Meteorology for alerts, updates and weather warning

> Listen to the radio for information, updates and advice. Know the frequency of your local emergency broadcaster

> Check LiveTraffic NSW for road conditions and closures 

> Find the current evacuation centres

> Follow NSWSES on social media – on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

> Check with friends and work colleagues to make sure they are aware of any warnings

> General information on flash floods can be found on the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) Website

> Know What you can do during a storm 

> Find Electricity Safety Tips

If you require assistance due to flood and storm emergencies, call NSW SES on 132 500.

Response to a flood event

When a Flood Warning is issued, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself and others:

  • Never drive, ride or walk through floodwater
  • Stack possessions, records, stock or equipment on benches and tables, placing electrical items on top
  • Secure objects that are likely to float and cause damage
  • Relocate waste containers, chemicals and poisons well above floor level
  • Activate your Plan 
  • Keep listening to your local radio station for information, updates and advice
  • Keep in contact with your team leader, friends and family
  • Be prepared to evacuate if advised by emergency services
  • Act early as roads may become congested or close

Download the During a Flood factsheet

Download the Evacuation Warning factsheet

Download the Evacuation Order factsheet

Recovery after a flood event

Follow the advice and instructions of your local authorities and take all the necessary health and safety precautions. Do not enter alone.

Before returning – wait until authorities have declared the area safe before returning/entering any Vinnies flood affected premises. The State Emergency Services (SES) will issue an all clear. 

Prepare – before entering the flood affected premises understand and download the:

Proceed with caution – when returning follow the re-entry checklist, follow the directions of your Team Leader, do not enter alone, and take all necessary health and safety precautions.

Download cleaning up after a flood | NSW State Emergency Service

Download cleaning up after a disaster | Australian Red Cross

Your health and wellbeing

Living through a natural disaster can be very challenging. It’s important you prioritise your safety and wellbeing after a flood or storm event and seek appropriate support if required. Here are some resources for you to explore. 

Incident and Hazard Reporting

All incidents, injuries and hazards associated with Society activities must be reported to your relevant manager or supervisor as soon as reasonably possible, regardless of who is involved or where it occurred.

Initial Response 

Remember your immediate response to an incident or hazard should always be to

  1. Assess the danger to yourself and others
  2. Take immediate action to keep yourself and others safe, including arranging for first aid or medical attention for an injured person​​​​​​​
  3. Let your manager or supervisor know what has happened (initial verbal report).​​​​​​

Some more serious incidents need to be reported to SafeWork NSW straight away. These notifications are managed by the Safety team on behalf of the Society.  

Reporting an incident or injury

An incident is a distinct, one-off occurrence that has or could have an adverse impact on people. This includes incidents resulting in injury or illness and ’near miss incidents’ where there was potential for injury. 

If you or one of your colleagues is injured or involved in a near miss incident:

  1. Assess the danger to yourself and others
  2. Take immediate action to keep yourself and others safe including arranging for first aid or medical attention for an injured person.
  3. Report the incident to your manager or supervisor as soon as reasonably possible and before the end of your shift. 
  4. Formally record the incident using the IRMS before the end of the shift (or within 24 hours).

If you don’t have all the details – you or your supervisor can update the information later. 

Your manager or supervisor will be prompted to investigate the incident and plan action to prevent the re-occurrence of similar incidents in the future. If the actual consequences of the incident are serious or there were serious potential consequences, the Safety team may also be involved in the investigation process. 

Online report an incident – IRMS

Reporting a Hazard

A hazard is anything that has the potential to cause harm. 

If you notice a hazard and it is within your control to address, deal with it straight away and discuss with your manager or supervisor later. 

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​If the situation is outside of your control to manage and action is needed to ensure safety: 

  1. Assess the danger to yourself and others
  2. Take immediate action to keep yourself and others safe including arranging for first aid or medical attention for an injured person.
  3. Report the hazard to your supervisor and the supervisor of the area or activity involved.  
  4. Formally record the hazard using the IRMS before the end of the shift. 

The relevant supervisors will be prompted to plan and implement action to ‘make safe’. Sometimes this will require a cooperative effort between your division or unit and the Society’s Properties and Facility Management team (e.g., for facility maintenance issues). 

Online report a hazard – IRMS

Contact

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Wellbeing resources

Having a tough time (or someone you know) and need support right now? Help is available.

Crisis support | Support following a natural disaster | Support following traumatic events

If you are struggling, we encourage you to talk to your people leader and seek support.

If you do not feel comfortable talking to your supervisor, you can also talk to the Pastoral Support Team, your People and Culture Partner or Safety Partner. 

Alternatively, you can seek confidential support from our Employee Assistance Provider (AccessEAP) 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Call 1800 818 728 to guide you in managing lifestyle, work, and people concerns.

Looking after yourself

The 5 Ways to Wellbeing is a great community resource developed by the Royal Melbourne Hospital. We encourage you to explore the 5 ways to wellbeing and take action to make the 5 ways part of your everyday routine.

Take this short quiz to check-in on how you are travelling. 

Wellbeing tools

Black Dog Institute – digital tools and resources

Black Dog Institute – MyCompass: a free resource with a focus on building resilience and good mental health providing tips and exercises to maintain good mental health.

This Way Up | Psychological self-help courses – online courses are designed to help you identify, understand, and improve psychological difficulties like stress, insomnia, worry, anxiety and depression.

Smiling Mind – a free app designed by psychologists to support you in adopting a mindfulness practice.  There are programs for stress, sleep, attention and concentration, and wellbeing among other topics.

Coping with Stress – a 2 months free self-paced online course teaching you how to reduce your demands and increase your resources to help you manage the stressors in your life

Employee Assistance Program - AccessEAP

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential counselling, coaching and wellbeing service free for all our members, staff and volunteers. The Program can help you achieve lifestyle, work, personal and family goals and assist you with managing work and life experiences, issues or concerns that arise from time to time.  

The program is provided by AccessEAP who offer professional face to face consultation, 24/7 telephone support and a library of online health and wellbeing resources.  

Sessions are typically structured, short term, solutions focused interventions. All information you disclose is confidential. All practitioners are independent of Vinnies and are focused on supporting your health and wellbeing. 

Call 1800 818 728 or visit the website to access the service and resources anywhere, anytime. 

AccessEAP website 

Download the App  

Have the EAP resources at your fingertips. Download the free AccessMyEAP app via Google Play and the App Store

Frequently asked questions regarding the download and use of the AccessMyEAP app can be found here

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