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WA workplaces are being reminded to ensure they have procedures in place to deal with armed holdups and aggressive behaviour.
The reminder comes after a number of armed holdups were committed over recent months.
WorkSafe Director Sally North said today there were particular concerns for workers in retail premises.
“Retail premises that have extended opening hours are most frequently targeted,” Ms North said. “These include service stations, chemists, bottle shops and takeaway food outlets.
“The targeted premises tend to be small, high-volume businesses in isolated locations with poor external lighting and that may be staffed by lone workers.
“The potential is always there for workers to be injured – especially if weapons are involved – and offenders may be very unpredictable if affected by alcohol or drugs.
“Employers should ensure they are complying with WA’s workplace safety and health laws by having the appropriate procedures in place for dealing with violence and aggression in their workplaces.”
Under an employers’ general duty of care for employees, appropriate armed holdup policies and procedures should be in place that set out the responsibilities of everyone in the workplace.
As part of the workplace hazard management required under the Act, potential situations involving violence and aggression should be assessed for risks, and employers should develop policies and procedures in consultation with employees and other workers to manage violence and aggression.
Risk assessments should be completed on issues such as the shop layout, security systems, cash handling procedures, lighting inside and outside the workplace, staffing levels and so on.
Mostly importantly, an employer must ensure that all staff are trained in the appropriate armed holdup policies and procedures.
“Holdups – including violence and aggression - are workplace hazards that may cause physical and psychological injury, so an employer needs to have procedures in place to minimise the potential damage,” Ms North said.
“There is a clear responsibility to protect workers and other people in the workplace from situations that may cause injury or harm, so I encourage employers to assess the risks in their workplaces and ensure preventative procedures are in place.”
Further information on keeping workplaces safe can be obtained by telephoning WorkSafe on 1300 307877 or on the website at www.worksafe.wa.gov.au
Media Contact: Caroline De Vaney 6251 2363 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only)
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