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NDS occupational violence project completes first year

A supportive hand is placed on a persons shoulder while they are seated and looking up

9/08/2023

What you need to know

  • Last September, NDS began the Addressing Occupational Violence in the Victorian Disability Sector Project.
  • Its purpose was to reduce occupational violence through knowledge, skills and good practice. 
  • The project’s second year focuses on giving boards and senior leaders information to reduce occupational violence. 
  • It will also look at developing skills for practice leaders to pass on to their workforces. 
  • We have resources for organisations to use and great opportunities to take part in research.

In September last year, we began the Addressing Occupational Violence in the Victorian Disability Sector project. We had over 5500 contacts with people working at all levels of organisations interested in this issue, plus regulators, academics, researchers and other stakeholders. We thank everyone who contributed to a successful first year. 

In its first year, the Occupational Violence project had two main purposes:

  1. To build knowledge, skills and confidence among disability organisations, their boards, senior leaders, managers and frontline workers to reduce, prevent and respond to occupational violence within disability services in Victoria.  
  2. To identify and share good practice to build the capacity of organisations to implement effective strategies to develop and maintain safe systems of work that reduce instances of occupational violence while upholding the human rights of the people with disability they support.??

Throughout the year, we ran seminars and deep-dive sessions, raised awareness and discussed issues at NDS Network meetings. We have two web pages on the NDS website that you can go to for more resources and information:   

In the coming weeks, as we complete the first phase of the project and move to year two, we will add to these pages. In year two, we will focus on knowledge and tools for boards and senior leaders, and in skills development for practice leaders to support the frontline workforce. 

Opportunities to participate in important research 

Over the next few months, there are three important opportunities for providers to take part in research. The projects will build knowledge and inform directives to address the safety and wellbeing of the people we support and the workforce. 

  1. Workplace Violence in the Disability Accommodation Sector
    WorkSafe has commissioned Queensland University of Technology to undertake a systems analysis of workplace violence in residential accommodation. Providers can take part in interviews, focus group discussions and surveys to improve understanding. 
  2. Physical restraint – A 10-year Review 
    The Victorian Senior Practitioner has engaged the University of Melbourne to lead a review of literature, practice and experience on the use of physical restraint in Victoria. The review will support safeguarding and inform best practice.?The project will engage with people with disability, services managers, behaviour support practitioners, authorised program officers, and workers who have had experience of physical restraint.
  3. Manual Handling, safety and supporting people with behaviour that challenge
    Scope has received a WorkSafe grant to improve safety in manual handling when supporting people with behaviour that challenges.  

NDS will support these projects by connecting them to service providers. Your involvement is vital to fully understand issues and risks. You can contribute to the development of good practice models and safe systems of work for all.  

We will keep you informed about engaging with these projects. If you wish to be involved or for further information, please contact Fiona Still: submit enquiry/feedback

Contact information
Fiona Still, Senior Policy and Projects Officer Occupational Violence, 03 8341 4341, submit enquiry/feedback