|Title:||Prevention of Workplace Aggression and Violence|
|Document ID:||Operational Circular OP 1821/04|
|Date of issue:||Thursday, 12 August 2004|
|Description:||This policy provides employees and managers with information on how to minimise, manage and/or resolve incidents of aggression and violence to ensure a safe working environment for all employees.|
|Applicable to:||This Operational Circular is applicable to all persons employed within the Department of Health, which incorporates the following entities: Metropolitan Health Services; WA Country Health Services; South West Area Health Service and Royal Street Divisions.|
|Period of effect:||from 20 June 2004|
|Authorised by:||Mr Mike Daube, Director General, Department of Health, 04-Aug-2004|
|Print version:||View print version|
|To be read in conjunction with:||
Prevention of Workplace Aggression and Violence
The Department of Health's Prevention of Workplace Aggression and Violence Policy and Guidelines were developed in consultation with key stakeholders across the health sector. The Director General endorsed the policy on 18 June 2004. The guidelines have been developed as a resource.
The policy provides employees and managers with information on how to minimise, manage and/or resolve incidents of aggression and violence, to ensure a safe working environment for all employees.
Workplace aggression and violence constitutes a breach of the Public Sector Code of Ethics, Codes of Conduct and relevant legislation and will not be tolerated. This policy should be read in conjunction with the Prevention of Bullying in the Workplace Policy.
This policy applies to all persons employed within the Department of Health, which incorporates the following entities:
This is a system-wide policy and supersedes all policies related to workplace aggression and violence in the Department of Health.
The objectives of this policy are to:
Violence towards staff is a significant occupational health and safety (OHS) issue, and all staff have a role in and responsibility for maintaining a safe workplace.
All managers and supervisors are responsible for promoting a workplace free of aggressive behaviour and violence. This includes the management of incidents involving aggressive behaviour and violence.
Workplace violence impacts on employees and their ability to perform their work as well as impacting on their families and the community as a whole.
A health worker employed by the Department of Health is a public officer for the purposes of the Criminal Code: section 1 Criminal Code; and section 3-5 Public Service Management Act (PSMA). Accordingly any person who assaults a public officer, who is performing a function of his office or employment, is guilty of a crime and liable for imprisonment for 10 years: Section 318(1)(d) of the Criminal Code.
Employees have the right to work in an environment free from aggressive behaviour and violence. Patients and others have the right to visit or receive health care, in a therapeutic environment free from risks to their personal safety.
Employees who believe they are subjected to workplace violence and aggression are encouraged to report such incidents to their supervisor. All complaints will be treated seriously and will be investigated promptly.
Support mechanisms will be made available to all Department of Health employees, through an Employee Assistance Program or the internal support network.
It is important to note that an employee or employer does not have the right to retaliate physically to an act of assault unless the responding action is deemed to be self-defence: Sections 248-249 of the Criminal Code.
All health services must identify, assess and control the risk of workplace violence. In order to achieve this, health services must have a violence prevention program in place. This program will focus on the elimination of violent behaviour. Where risk cannot be eliminated, it must be reduced. Strategies to reduce risks must be undertaken using a consultative framework with input from employees.
Training in prevention of workplace aggression and violence is mandatory. Health Services are to ensure that managers and staff are appropriately trained and equipped to effectively prevent or manage violent incidents or recurrences.
IF YOU HAVE A QUERY
Employees who have any questions about the policy are to contact their supervisor or manager. Managers or supervisors with queries should contact their Human Resource Department.
To ensure continuous improvement in the development of human resource policies, please refer any constructive feedback regarding this policy to the Office of the Chief Nursing Officer on 08 9222 4075.
Mr Mike Daube
This circular last updated: Thursday, 12 August 2004 at 12:00am