Checklist for employers

The evidence suggests workplaces need a multi-faceted violence prevention policy that considers various risks and incorporates strategies to respond to these risks. Risks can be at an industry level, a workplace level or an individual level.

In developing multi-faceted violence prevention policies, employers should consider:

  • the various risks, including what employees perceive to be risks
  • the seriousness of the risks (eg by collecting data on violent incidents)
  • if and how the risks differ for different employees (eg males and females, younger and older workers)
  • any work-related risks employees face when off-duty
  • cultural issues that may pose a risk to workplace safety
  • the various strategies that exist to respond to the risks (eg at the system, industry or workplace level)
  • the extent to which other sectors and the broader community can be involved in responding to the risks and preventing workplace violence
  • obligations under Work, Health and Safety legislation and relevant industry policies and guidelines

 In implementing violence prevention policies, employers should:

  • ensure staff understand the risks and the policy, and how they can access help if they are feeling threatened
  • ensure other interested parties, such as community members, are aware of the policy and the behaviour that will not be tolerated
  • create a culture in which violence is not considered ‘part of the job’ and where reporting of violent incidents is encouraged and supported
  • ensure the policy is consistently enforced, and that mechanisms and processes are in place to respond promptly to violent incidents and other unacceptable behaviour
  • ensure that policies are accompanied by work practices that improve the wellbeing of staff (eg ensuring staff do not regularly work long and/or unsociable hours)
  • develop a system for monitoring the effectiveness of the policy.

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