Are you safe at work?
Recent reports from iCare, the NSW Government insurer show workers in FACS experience rates of psychological injury three times higher than other NSW government departments. The main causes are work pressure (36 per cent), work related harassment or bullying (31 per cent) and exposure to workplace violence (17 per cent).
The PSA is receiving increasing reports of violence at work. Our members in FACS both in the field and in the newly designed offices are the subject of violence against them from spitting to punching, having objects and furniture thrown at them and receiving abusive language. Members also regularly experience having verbal threats made against them.
This is unacceptable. If this occurs, please report it immediately to your manager and formally report the incident by phoning 1800 322 794 (FACS’s number for all WHS incident reports).
It is vital that there is a record of these incidents. The PSA is here to assist you in these matters. It is crucial all incidents are formally reported.
Do not be talked out of reporting the matter. It is FACS’s requirement to report all incidents. For your own safety and for the safety of other staff, it is vital there is a record so that steps can be taken to prevent future incidents.
All members affected by an incident and/or who have witnessed an incident should lodge a report. One report may not be sufficient to cover an incident, as there are likely to be differing impacts on all those affected.
Pressure and overwork
The introduction of LEAP has put extra pressure on many staff in in Housing. Some Districts have dealt with the added workload relatively well allowing staff time away from their usual duties to complete the required work.
However, in some areas chronic understaffing and a reluctance to allow members time to complete the work is creating unmanageable workloads.
Members in both Housing and Land and Housing Corp have contacted us in relation to the number of properties or clients they have in their portfolios, with some reporting that on top of this they have been requested to cover the workload of vacant positions.
This is unacceptable. It is important that if you are feeling stressed by extra work please ensure you report this stress by calling 1800 322 794.
Workplace changes are often introduced without adequate consultation with staff or the union and without reducing any other work to compensate. We are continuously raising this in consultative forums across the districts. However, the PSA can make a better case for support for our members if there are incident reports within the Department recording your concerns.
Help us to help you by reporting workload pressures and violence by phoning 1800 322 794.
Do you know someone who is a member? Ask them to join.