Safeguarding your staff and clients

The Don’t risk it section has taken you through some of the thinking you will need to do on assessing risks. You will need to think about these risks as they affect your staff and clients. 

Occupational Health & Safety Act (2004)

You should be aware of your obligations under the Occupational Health & Safety Act (2004). Under this Act all employers must exercise a duty of care to ensure the safety of staff and visitors when on their property, or undertaking a service provided by the business.

To help understand your obligations, information is available from Work Safe Victotia. These include:

Safety First

There are many different types of crisis. Some events will lead to staff and clients feeling fearful for their own safety and some will mean that staff will worry about their jobs. You should expect that there will be a lot of anxiety and plan how you will address it. 

Promote family and individual preparedness

Encourage your employees and their families to develop plans at home. If individuals are prepared at home, they will have more time to assist with a business’s recovery after a disaster. For more information on personal and family preparedness refer to the Prepare your mind page

Inform your visitors

Under the provisions of the Occupational Health & Safety Act (2004) you must exercise a duty of care to ensure the safety of visitors when on your property. 

This is likely to include making them aware of the natural risks or hazards to your business and surrounding area. Visitors will feel reassured that the site is acting responsibly and has given consideration to their safety.

All communication should consider any special needs of your visitors and should cater to those who speak a language other than English.

Prepare information for visitors such as:

  • What to do in an emergency
  • Where evacuation meeting points are located
  • Relevant emergency contact numbers

This information could be displayed as:

  • Information board at reception
  • Handout to visitors
  • Flyer in a visitor information book
  • Notice displayed on a door
  • Instructions communicated to participants on an outdoor tour (these instructions should be written down somewhere)

Tip: If your business is part of your residence, your instructions to staff or family could be placed in your Operations Manual and incorporated into staff training.

You will also need to consider how you will communicate updates to your clients about an environmental risk such as Total Fire Ban days during the bushfire season and severe weather warning. For more information, see the Communicating in a crisis page

Last Updated 18th August 2017