Whilst Covid-19 restrictions are gradually easing, staff are still required to continue to manage Covid-19 compliance. This can place workers at risk of being subjected to workplace violence and aggression
Occupational violence and aggression is when a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in a situation related to their work. It might come from anywhere – clients, customers, the public or even co-workers. WorkSafe Victoria
Experiencing or witnessing OVA can have a major impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of your people.
Protecting your workers
The first step in preventing OVA and managing an incident when it occurs is to understand your business. A good way to start is to conduct a risk assessment in consultation with your workers. Your risk assessment could include:
- Review of any previous incidents
- Review of differences in peak periods, low periods and special events
- Identification of the physical vulnerabilities of your work site
- Analysis of your banking and closing procedures.
Following your risk assessment you can determine what you already do well (as preventative strategies), and also areas you could improve. Some prevention strategies include:
- Engaging security personnel (particularly during busy periods, events and closing)
- Monitoring and appropriately implementing responsible service of alcohol procedures
- Installing time delay safes
- Consider having at least two people within at the venue at any given time
- Install or implement duress alarms, either fixed (usually behind the bar or reception desk) or portable duress alarms (for the duty manager or other relevant roles)
- Have procedures in place so that your workers know what to do in the event of an incident and train your workers on these procedures.
Through our Mutual Benefits Program we have been investing in research, training and tools to support our customers manage the incidence of OVA in their workplaces. Visit our OVA resource collection to access the latest support materials and updates regarding OVA in the workplace.
You may also find the following guides helpful:
- CEM, HEM, the AHANSW, and ClubsNSW combined to develop best practice on preventing an armed hold up and you can access the guide here.
- The NSW Ombudsman has developed Model Guidelines for Managing and Responding to Threats, Aggressive Behaviour and Violence from Members of the Public, to assist businesses and their workers to appropriately deal with these confronting situations.
As always, our people are here to help, so for more information contact your Account Manager or email Mutual Benefits.