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Notify WorkSafe Call 1300 366 322

Public Administration and Safety

This industry includes:

  • defence
  • state and local government administration
  • public order and safety services.

Public Administration and Safety is one of the industries identified as a national priority for prevention activities in the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy (external link).

Occupations in this industry include:

  • fire fighters
  • police
  • prison and security officers
  • local council workers
  • government workers.

Most common hazards and injuries

Workers in this industry are likely to be injured at work due to:

  • body stressing injuries, including muscular stress while lifting, carrying or putting down objects
  • mental stress, resulting from work pressures, bullying
  • occupational violence and aggression
  • being hit by moving objects
  • slips, trips and falls.

Common hazards that workers in this industry are exposed to include:

  • sedentary work
  • alcohol and other drugs
  • hazardous manual tasks.
  • Provide training and instruction in safe manual handling procedures.
  • Maintain good housekeeping to ensure there are no obstructions or trip hazards on floors or in store areas.
  • Encourage a standing friendly work culture: encourage standing in meetings, when reading documents or taking phone calls; invest in height-adjustable desks, use stairs instead of lifts.
  • Set realistic work schedules and deadlines.

Some solutions

Occupational violence and aggression (OVA)

OVA includes a broad range of actions and behaviours that can create a risk to the health and safety of workers.

Examples of OVA include:

  • pushing, shoving, tripping, grabbing
  • verbal abuse and threats
  • using or threatening to use a weapon
  • sexual harassment or assault.

Control measures to consider include:

  • designing the workplace to ensure safe spaces for workers, safe storage and duress systems
  • having written work procedures and protocols that clarify behaviour expectations
  • implementing training programs based on your workplace’s needs and appropriate to the needs of workers and the client group involved
  • ensuring effective and constructive two-way communication, incident reporting and investigation involving workers, health and safety representatives and management to address hazards as they arise.

Resources and solutions

WorkSafe Tasmania resources

Alcohol and other drugs

Bullying

Hazardous manual tasks

Industry snapshots

Occupational violence and aggression (OVA)

PTSD

Sedentary work

Slips trips and falls

Other resources

It’s never okay: Violence and aggression in healthcare: WorkSafe Victoria (external link)

Occupational violence and aggression: WorkSafe Victoria (external link)

Updated: 29th October 2019