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Welcome focus on Corrections staff safety


21 November 2012
Welcome focus on Corrections staff safety

The Public Service Association is welcoming the establishment of an expert advisory panel on prison staff safety and hopes valuable lessons can be learned.

The international panel, chaired by former Police Commissioner Howard Broad, will review the Corrections Department’s new Staff Safety Action Plan and oversee its implementation.

The PSA believes it is a very positive initiative.

PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff says “not only has there been a spate of serious assaults on prison staff, the PSA has also been raising health and safety concerns for probation staff. This initiative is welcome recognition of the need to better manage the risks that all Corrections workers face in the line of their work.”

“Public safety is a top priority for the Corrections Department and it’s good to see that priority also being applied to staff and some meaningful action being taken to help keep them safe in the workplace.”

Richard Wagstaff says while the involvement of overseas expertise will be useful in helping to inform the new Staff Safety Action Plan, the Department and the advisory panel must not let that override the expertise of staff.

“They are the ones on the ground and know how things work in practice. They will make a valuable contribution and their views must be taken into account in the shaping of the plan and its rollout,” Richard Wagstaff says.

“We have been given assurances that the PSA will have direct access to the advisory panel so that the views of staff are represented and we will be holding Corrections to that.”

The PSA would also like to see any of the lessons learned out of this initiative applied across the whole public sector.


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