Prevent workplace violence

Joan Lemaire
Senior Vice President

Federation leaflet offers risk management advice

Federation has developed an information leaflet aimed at helping schools adopt a risk management approach to aggressive and violent behaviour that may be displayed by a small number of community members.

The leaflet notes the vital role played by parents and community members in supporting schools and building positive relationships. These relationships support student learning as well as the work of teachers and principals.

There are, however, occasions where principals and teachers have been subjected to abusive, violent and or threatening behaviour by a small number of members of the community.

Federation’s Annual Conference in 2015 identified that aggressive, intimidating and/ or harassing behaviour may be face to face and/ or through emails and social media. Many teachers are unaware of their rights and the Department’s advice about these issues.

The leaflet identifies these behaviours as work health and safety risks that must be minimised or eliminated consistent with the provisions of the Work, Health and Safety Act.

Reference is made to:

  • the Safe Work NSW (formerly NSW WorkCover) advisory, Violence in the Workplace Guide 2002
  • relevant advice from the Department’s Legal Issues Bulletins about a range of strategies and legal advice to minimise and respond to these risks
  • the need to report injuries and incidents consistent with the Department’s “Incident Reporting policy and procedures”
  • the Department’s Work Health and Safety Issue Resolution Procedures
  • the Department’s Work Health and Safety Directorate’s information on occupational stress and an excerpt which is an example of a risk management plan.

The flyer is available here from the members section of Federation’s website.

If members are concerned about particular incidents or risks they should discuss them with their Federation Representative, workplace committee and/ or Organiser. Federation will assist members to pursue their right to a safe workplace.

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