This policy outlines the risk management methodology for preventing, managing and responding to health, safety and wellbeing risks posed by work-related violence and other unsafe behaviours in schools.
- The Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (the OHS Act) requires the department to provide or maintain systems of work and a working environment that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health – including in relation to work-related violence.
- The principal and/or their delegate have responsibilities under the OHS Act as the department’s representative and site manager of their school. Principals are responsible for identifying and managing the risks associated with work-related violence, with expert assistance and support from the department’s central and regional offices as required.
- Principals must follow the Work-Related Violence Procedure (in the Procedure tab), which sets out the practical step by step instructions for implementing this policy.
WorkSafe defines work-related violence as ‘when a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in a situation related to their work'. It can occur in person, over the phone or online, and be caused by the behaviour of other employees, clients or customers, or members of the public.
Under the OHS Act, employees must take reasonable care for their own health and safety and the safety of others who may be affected by their actions or omissions while at work.
In order to meet their OHS obligations as site manager, the principal or their delegate, in consultation with school employees and health and safety representatives (HSR), must:
- enter 'work-related violence' as a hazard in the school OHS risk register
- identify and record the workplace factor(s) that contribute to the work-related violence risk in the workplace
- assess the level of risk associated with workplace contributing factors, as per section 3.1 and 3.2 of the Work-Related Violence in Schools Procedure
- complete a risk assessment if the risk level in the OHS Risk Register is rated ‘High’ or ‘Extreme’, and document the risk assessment using the Risk assessment template or equivalent (refer to specific requirements for student challenging behaviours at section 3 of the procedure)
- record the current risk controls in the OHS Risk Register, and in any documented risk assessment
- eliminate or reduce the level of risk associated with work-related risk factors that may cause a work-related violence related injury, so far as is reasonably practicable, by considering the workplace factors.
The principal and/or their delegate must:
- monitor and review the effectiveness of implemented risk controls on a regular and ongoing basis (for example, quarterly) in consultation with relevant parties (including the HSR). Additional reviews are required when:
- an incident or near miss is reported that indicates the risks and controls need updating
- a new potential risk is identified (for example, through a report on eduSafe – staff login required)
- ensure all employees are provided with information, instruction and training about the risks and controls in place to manage work-related violence in the school
- ensure all hazards, incidents and injuries related to work-related violence are reported on eduSafe Plus per the Managing and Reporting School Incidents (Including Emergencies) Policy.
Central and regional offices provide a range of supports and services to assist principals and employees manage occupational health and safety risks, including access to the Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Service and local occupational health and safety support officers, who can provide advice about how to manage risks related to work-related violence.
WorkSafe defines this as ‘when a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in a situation related to their work’. It can occur in person, over the phone or online, and be caused by the behaviour of other employees, clients or customers, or members of the public.
Further information on types of work-related violence can be found at Work-related violence: a guide for .
- Behaviour – Students
- Child Safe Standards
- Duty of Care
- Emergency and Critical Incident Planning
- Intervention Orders
- Mental Health and Wellbeing – Employees
- OHS Risk Management
- Principal Health and Wellbeing
- Restraint and Seclusion
- School Community Safety Orders
- Students with Disability
- Worker’s Compensation
- WorkSafe Victoria – Occupational
- Values – Department and VPS Values for School Employees
- VPSC – Leading the Way: Occupational Health and
- Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities 2006
- Disability Discrimination Act 1992
- Education and Training Reform Act 2006
- Equal Opportunity Act 2010
- Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
- Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017
OHS Advisory Service
Phone: 1300 074 715
Regional OHS support officers
For assistance with OHS Management System and facilities related queries. Contact details for the OHS support officers in each region is found in Useful OHS contacts.
Reviewed 19 December 2022