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Health and safety of homecare workers engaged by temporary employment agencies


Quinlan, M and Bohle, P and Rawlings-Way, O, Health and safety of homecare workers engaged by temporary employment agencies, Journal of Industrial Relations, 57, (1) pp. 94-114. ISSN 0022-1856 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association (ALERA)

DOI: doi:10.1177/0022185614541179


Shifts in demographics, lifestyles and employment and business practices are generating increased demand for homecare services. While providing support to vulnerable members of the community, homecare workers are themselves vulnerable. Precarious work and isolated workplaces expose them to poorly controlled occupational health and safety (OHS) hazards. This study examined OHS issues encountered by homecare agency workers. Eighteen carers working in aged care, disability support and youth services were interviewed in Adelaide and the Barossa Valley, South Australia. Participants identified a range of OHS problems, including inadequate risk assessment, unsatisfactory OHS policies and procedures, poor training, lack of employment benefits, problematic working hours, lack of agency support and the demands of particular types of work. These findings provide preliminary evidence of significant OHS management deficiencies. The results require further investigation to guide the development of policies and practices intended to provide healthy, productive and sustainable work environments for homecare workers. Such policies and practices should address compliance with OHS and workers’ compensation legislation, the prevention of negative OHS outcomes, provision of effective mechanisms for workers to raise OHS concerns and implementation of support structures.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:job insecurity, occupational health and safety, temporary employment, working arrangements, working conditions
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Research Field:Organisational behaviour
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Work and labour market
Objective Field:Workplace safety
UTAS Author:Bohle, P (Professor Philip Bohle)
ID Code:131374
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2019-03-14
Last Modified:2019-06-20

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