Worker safety considerations


This is a list of indicators of potential worker safety issues

Document ID number 2956, version 3, 20 November 2021.


A good indicator of a person’s capacity for violence is a history of violence.

In addition to worker safety issues, if these indicators of violence or threatening behaviours are identified for children, parents, caregivers or in the child’s wider community and environment, record in the relevant essential information category.

This information will contribute to the risk assessment and planning for the child.


Are these indicators present?

  • History of violence – review L17 Portal
  • Make veiled or overt threats
  • Tell others about their plans to initiate violence
  • Cause anxiety or unrest through aggressive behaviour
  • Sexually harass staff
  • Commit sexual assaults or arson
  • Send violent or sexual comments via email, voicemail or letter
  • Threaten or verbally abuse staff
  • Threats to harm or kill others
  • Argue frequently and intensely
  • Noticeable mood swings or unprovoked outbursts
  • History of substance abuse
  • History of mental health issues
  • Escalating state of crisis
  • Associates you do not know or whom you consider problematic
  • Isolated, remote or vulnerable areas (for example, high-rise flats, farms or isolated properties, the client’s workplace) and where mobile phone coverage is poor
  • Is the impact of intervention likely to precipitate violence (for example, breach of order, removal of children)?
  • Involved with several services (for example, Child Protection, Youth Justice, Police, mental health, Disability Services or community service organisations)
  • Refuse to cooperate
  • Fascination with weapons or military hardware, or display or use weapons
  • Access to weapons
  • Condition that has been associated with an increased potential for violence (for example, paranoid schizophrenia)
  • Unstable family life
  • Tend to be solitary, with poor peer relationships
  • Blame others for all difficulties
  • Make strange and exotic claims (losing touch with reality)
  • Throw, sabotage or steal equipment or property
  • Talk about self-harm or suicide
  • Demonstrate ‘cries for help’ in some way
  • Complaining regularly about provision of services
  • Previous worker safety alerts on CRIS
  • Uses various aliases
  • Alerts noted on Victoria Police system
  • Escalation of concerning behaviour
Indicators of imminent violence

Are these indicators present?

  • Is there a heightened level of anxiety or depression?
  • Rapid breathing, clenched fists or teeth, flaring of nostrils, flushing, loud talking or chanting, restless and repetitive movements, pacing, or violent gestures, such as pointing
  • Swearing excessively or using sexually explicit language
  • Refusing to cooperate
  • Showing signs of rapid mood swings
  • Threatening violence