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Safety in Disability

What we found out in 2020

HACSU received 932 Responses to a 19 question survey. It was the largest survey we’ve conducted as a union, and we’ll be repeating the survey in 2021.

  • Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) are represented in only 54% of your worksites.
  • 22% of you worked in homes where there were no specific COVID-Safe plans as at the date of completing the survey.
  • 59% of you have become specialist cleaners in 2020, undertaking deep cleans of your worksites once or multiple times per shift.
  • 2020 has had a deep mental health impact on our members. The overwhelming majority of you report anxiety, fatigue, depression, and stress directly relating to the impacts of COVID-19 on their work.
  • Poor communication exacerbated OH&S concerns throughout the second wave of COVID-19, and contributed to the significant mental health impacts on the workforce. Major concerns identified:
    • Poor information flow between management, employers, and workers.
    • Inability of DSWs to access official public health guidance and directives.
    • Lack of clarity about the role and responsibilities of the NDIS.


What HACSU will be doing in 2021

  • Ensuring union trained health and safety representatives (HSRs) in every worksite.
  • Creating public ‘report cards’ for all Victorian disability employers- scoring them on their safety standards, and letting our members and the wider public know the results.
  • Supporting HSRs and workers to ensure that employers understand their legal and OH&S obligations.
  • Developing online and in-person OH&S training resources for disability support workers.
  • Working with regulatory bodies to ensure greater oversight and scrutiny of employers and worksites.
  • Campaigning for structural improvements to the NDIS funding model.
  • Bringing public visibility and media attention to the vital work that our members do.


What you can do to get involved now

  • Support HACSU’s Safety in Disability social media campaign. Take a selfie of yourself holding the pledge card on the back of this brochure and text it, together with your name to 0499.777.387. We’ll feature you across our social media channels.
  • Keep in touch with your workplace delegate or organiser, and let them know immediately if there are OH&S concerns in your place of work. 
  • Come along to a Safety in Disability Virtual Town Hall Meeting. We’ll be running these monthly throughout 2021, and we’d love to see you there. Our first meeting for 2021 will be on Thursday January 28th at 7pm. Check your emails nearer the time for registration and login details.  

Campaign resources

  • Click here to download posters
  • Click here to download an orange email signature 
  • Click here to download a pink email signature 
  • Click here to download an orange virtual background 
  • Click here to download a pink virtual background 
  • Click here to view our selfie frames. If you would like a photo of yourself in one of these frames, contact, and we can organise that for you. 
  • Click here to download our pledge card. Print this out, take a photo holding it up and send it to to be featured on HACSU's social media pages. 
  • Click here for a Safety in Disability information booklet