Workplace policies and procedures to reduce risk
Being informed about the policies and procedures for reducing the risk of violence is the first step in becoming competent in using strategies to reduce risk. It is also important to be trained in the latest positive techniques for dealing with violence, so that if you are placed in a crisis situation you have the confidence to deal with it effectively.
Strategies that agencies and workers can put into place to reduce the risk of violence include:
- Clear policies and procedures for all workers and others to follow
- A crisis plan
- An environment that is conducive to positive experiences for clients and workers
- Staff training leading to workers being confident in how they deal with conflict situations.
Crisis planning for human service organisations needs to include:
- On every telephone a sticker that states ‘in the event of an emergency, contact security, reception, police, fire brigade or ambulance’ with the allocated numbers provided.
- Manual and electronic alarm systems are in place and regularly maintained
- The emergency crisis team/committee meets regularly with the OHS committee
- The emergency crisis team/committee regularly liaise with relevant outside authorities
- Personnel are aware of the emergency team/committee
- Staff have been trained in early threat recognition
- Escape routes have been planned and are practised regularly.
(Kinney 1996, p.309)
Activity 3.2: Workplace activity to locate and gather risk management procedures in the workplace
Choose a human service organisation (use your own workplace if this is suitable) and research the existing policies and procedures regarding risk management.
- Obtain permission to undertake the research.
- Identify whether the organisation has current risk management policies.
- If the policies exist, evaluate them against the Australian and New Zealand standard for risk management AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009
- If the policies do not exist, or do not satisfactorily address the standards, use your knowledge to prepare a list of items that you believe should be included in risk management policies.