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WCM Checklist: Safe working with clients




Staff are qualified to work with clients. They are trained and competent in identifying and responding to signs and indicators of aggression, intoxication, substance use and mental health conditions, which pose risk to themselves, the client and others.


Staff and volunteers understand how to use the organisation’s emergency procedures and understand they must raise any safety concerns they have about themselves or a client with management.


Clients who present to the organisation exhibiting signs of intoxication, aggression or as unable to manage themselves must be asked and supported to leave the premises or emergency assistance called.

Work with clients is usually done during normal business hours. Additional safety controls are applied for work outside these hours or at other locations (eg at clients' homes).


When individual or group sessions are conducted outside usual office hours or when other staff are not present, the main office door must be locked to prevent people entering the premises, who are not participants in the session.


Staff prepare for client contact (throughout the duration of the client relationship) by scanning the client file for risks and alerts and undertaking reasonable inquiries with colleagues about any safety issues.


In the allocation of staff to clients, consideration is given to the staff’s skills and attributes to meet client needs and manage any risks associated with differences of gender, culture, age and ability/disability.


Personal protection equipment (PPE) e.g. high-vis vest for the General Assistants’ driving duties, use of gloves must be provided and worn by relevant staff.
Relationship and behavioural ground rules are established and agreed at the start of the relationship with the client(s) and reviewed and reiterated throughout our relationship.


When running group or peer activities with clients:
  • the staff to client ratio is considered and assessed in light of client attributes and needs
  • the suitability of each client to the group and their match to the particular group is assessed and considered
  • preparation for group sessions includes planning for likely dynamics amongst participants.


Staff and volunteers understand and can implement organisational policies in particular, those relating to health and safety, preventing and managing workplace aggression and protection from and responding to abuse.


While in individual and group sessions with clients, staff must have ready access to a telephone (either a personal or work phone) and/or panic button, safety pendant and/or security guard support (if assessed as necessary to minimise risks and opportunities for violence).


Staff and volunteers working with clients understand they must raise concerns about safety,  either their own or their client’s, with management so that appropriate precautions can be taken.


Staff working with people in their homes understand and can apply additional safety controls.




Last Reviewed on: 05/27/2019

Next Review due: 06/01/2021