Safety and Security - Members Want Action

31 January 2017

Following ongoing incidents, AYTC members have indicated they are determined to initiate a range of measures in order to protect their security and to ensure their safety at work.

While members generally received DCSI CE Tony Harrison's presentation on 19 January 2017 relatively positively (refer separate PSA Member Information Update), there is a clear understanding that members require action immediately as well as the longer term initiatives discussed by Mr Harrison.

Members have raised a number of interim measures which could be initiated to protect their safety and security. These include a number of changes to current work practices to meet the changing resident numbers and nature of behaviours to which members are subject at the Centre. Some measures could be implemented at members' discretion subject to ensuring their safety in the relevant context and circumstances.

Specific issues members raised included:

  • Concerns about the Red Cross program and the impact on the security of the Centre

  • Two staff to be to be present in the Community Centre during professional visits

  • Visits in units to be negotiated through duty supervisor in consultation with unit staff. Preference to use Community Centre unless it is operationally more appropriate to use unit space.

  • Operational management of high risk residents to be subject to members' professional discretion as to their safety, and to be subject to further discussion between Centre management, PSA and WHS reps.

Other matters members raised included early intervention; emergency responses; facility improvements; running restricted; having appropriately trained staff in all positions; implementing clear consistent ratios for unlocking; and ensure management provides a safe workplace.

In order to address the key issues of increased numbers of residents and their escalating behaviours, the PSA is writing to the CE, seeking that the Department urgently convene a specific committee of relevant PSA and WHS representatives to address these safety concerns and that those attending such a group do so in work time.

In the meantime – if it's not safe, don't do it!