SafeStaff+ ensures your staff are not subject to occupational violence as a result of working with clients, especially those with complex needs. It also builds staff confidence to work therapeutically with clients with complex needs.





Why use SafeStaff+?

Community services workers have the highest rate of physical and stress related Workcover injuries in Australia and it’s likely that this rate will continue to rise as clients are increasingly presenting with complex needs.

SafeStaff+ is aimed at ensuring your staff can work effectively with all clients, especially those with complex needs, without the increased risk of physical or stress related injuries.

The program can be tailored to the level of risk that is inherent your organisation’s work.  For example, reception staff at a community health centre, who are (presumably) exposed to limited risk because they work behind ‘security screens’, would receive different training than that of an outreach worker working
with homeless people with ICE addictions or a caseworkers who is required to do home visits.

Note: SafeStaff+ does not provide training in any form of restraint especially physical restraint.

Who is it suitable for?

All front line community services workers and teachers

    Program outcomes

    Upon completing the Upskill+ program your company can expect:

    • Reduced WorkCover claims resulting from physical and stress related injuries
    • Increased staff confidence in de-escalating potentially violent interactions with clients

    More Information

    What is verbal de-escalation

    Verbal De-escalation a verbal strategy which aims to prevent an angry or threatening client escalating to a  point whereby they attempt to assault staff or other clients or attempt to harm themselves.

    Australian workers are increasingly at risk of Occupational Violence (OV)

    Occupational violence (OV) is a constant and increasing threat to workers who have direct contact with the public. But it is especially true in the health/human services field. For example, a recent report indicated that some 62% of health care workers reported exposure to physical and non-physical workplace violence in the previous year.

    The threat comes both in the form of verbal abuse and actual physical assault.

    The impact of OV on your staff

    The impact of OV on your staff is not only potential physical injuries. It is also about increased risk of mental health issues and increased use of sick leave. On comprehensive study concluded

    There is consistent evidence . . . . . .  between psychological violence and poor mental health and sickness absence, and between physical violence Fand poor mental health in human service workers

    See an example of Verbal De-escalation in action below:


    High risk occupations/jobs

    According to NSW’s SafeWork, high risk occupations include:


    Health and Community Services Doctors, nurses, ambulance officers, cashiers, welfare workers, ward helpers, accommodation service workers.
    Government Administration and Education Police, prison and other government enforcement officers, school teachers, probation officers, collection agency workers
    Business Services Particularly the finance sector . Counter staff, managers.
    Transport and Storage Guards, bus drivers, taxi drivers, couriers, airline staff.
    Retail Trade All sales & support staff.
    Consumer Services Hospitality staff, managers, administration & other occupations.

    Why Verbal De-escalation will assist your staff be more ‘therapeutic’

    People join human services organisation because they are motivated to help others. However the threat of violence makes them tentative when interacting with  clients and may even cause them to demand that some clients are excluded from  your service. The tragedy is that the most traumatised clients can be the most aggressive and, at the same time, in  the most in need your organisations services.

    When your staff are competent in Verbal De-escalation they will be able to engage clients more therapeutically because they will have confidence that they can prevent a distressed client escalating to violence.

    Do your staff need training in Verbal De-escalation?

    1. Is your organisation experiencing an increase in absenteeism or Workcover claims due to OV?
    2. Do your staff work with at traumatised clients?
    3. Do your staff work alone or in situation where you are only able to provide them with limited supervision?
    4. Do you have to exclude clients from your service because you are unable to protect your staff from potential aggression?

    Overview of Verbal De-escalation

    The diagram below provides an overview of McAlpine-B’s Verbal De-escalation process

    Contact Us

    Got a question about SafeStaff+? Fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you.


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