Threats to Personal Safety - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures outline the range of responses that may be available to University staff who may find themselves in situations that threaten their personal safety when dealing with other staff, students or the public. This may be particularly so for staff who work behind a counter or in service areas.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

No entries for this document.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to all University staff.

4. Procedures Statement

The Work Health and Safety Act (2011) specifies that employers have an obligation to ensure the health and safety of staff and to eliminate or minimise risks. One of these risks is any threat to personal safety in the workplace. Staff also have an obligation to take reasonable care at work. To minimise risk of actual harm or repetition of threats, staff are expected to report threats or violent incidents.

5. Personal Safety

Personal safety may be threatened in situations which could include behaviours such as:

  • shouting
  • a display of anger, agitation or threatening behaviour
  • suspicious, evasive or other unusual behaviour
  • actual threat of harm.

Such behavior may be dealt with by a range of legislation and University policies, such as:

5.1 Actions in response to threats of personal safety

In the event of a staff member being in a situation where violence may occur, the staff member should immediately notify their supervisor and co-workers, and either the staff member involved or the supervisor should contact Security Emergency (telephone 3365 3333).

Any threat to personal safety must be reported to your supervisor or other relevant manager. The supervisor may need to seek advice to determine which policy or procedure needs to be followed for the type of threat or behavior.  Depending on the type the process may be different, but it remains vital that the supervisor or other relevant manager is informed immediately. It is imperative that the recipient of such threats or behavior is immediately placed in a position of safety.

Staff are encouraged to report threats or violent incidents to their supervisor. This is a legitimate and positive contribution to workplace well-being and safety. No staff member will be adversely affected by reporting a threat or violent incident. Any staff member who is, or has been, affected in any way by a threat to personal or workplace safety, may seek counselling or other assistance (see PPL 5.70.06 Staff Assistance Services).

Should an injury or dangerous occurrence arise from a threat or act of violence, the Director of Occupational Health and Safety should be notified immediately or as soon as possible following the necessary emergency action. An Injury, Illness and Incident Report form should be submitted and forwarded to the Director, Occupational Health and Safety (see PPL 2.10.07 Workplace Injury, Illness and Incident Reporting).

Director, Health, Safety and Wellness Mr Jim Carmichael
Director, Health, Safety and Wellness Mr Jim Carmichael