If you are a health professional, teacher or police officer working in rural or remote areas (with a population of less than 25,000 people), this survey about workplace safety may be of interest. You have until February 24 to complete it.
Time to reduce violence against country professionals
Dr Jenny May writes:
Many rural and remote professionals—particularly doctors, nurses, teachers and police—are vulnerable to violence in the workplace.
Often rural professionals work alone and sometimes it is tricky to access support easily.
Given the tremendous impact that violence can have on the safety of rural and remote professionals, not to mention their willingness to continue to work in the bush, it is critical that the right tools and strategies are put in place to reduce their exposure to violence as much as possible.
Enter stage right an innovative national project, Working safe in rural and remote Australia. This project aims to explore a community-based approach to reduce workplace violence and improve safety for rural and remote health professionals, teachers and police.
Instigated by the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) in collaboration with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, the Australian Nursing Federation, the Queensland Teacher’s Union, CRANAplus and the Police Federation of Australia, the project follows a national roundtable held in 2009 on workplace violence, which identified common risks faced by rural professionals in the health, education and policing sectors.
We are very pleased that the Australian Department of Health and Ageing has recognised the importance of this issue and provided funding for the project.
The first stage of the project includes the development of a national framework to promote safe work practices that help reduce the risk of violence against rural professionals and their staff.
As part of this first stage, a national online survey is currently underway. The survey is available until 24 February 2012, and is intended for health professionals, teachers and police officers working in rural and remote locations in Australia with a population of less than 25,000 people.
It will take around 7-10 minutes to complete and asks about issues surrounding workplace safety, including any exposure to workplace violence, and effective strategies to respond to and manage workplace violence.
Participants can enter a draw to win an iPod touch valued at $200.
I encourage rural and remote professionals to get behind the survey and this critical project.
• Jenny May is Chair, Project Steering Committee, Working safe in rural and remote Australia project, and Chair, Female Doctors Group, Rural Doctors Association of Australia