WA health workers to receive stab-proof vests
Frontline health and security staff at WA’s major hospitals will receive more protective equipment to increase their safety.
The WA Government has committed $2.2 million to protect public health workers against rising rates of violence in hospitals.
More than 11,000 incidents of violence and aggression were reported in the Western Australian health system during 2016–17.
Over the next three years, WA Health will purchase 250 anti-stab vests for the state's major hospitals, and 2500 personal mobile duress alarms to reduce the risk of injury at home visits and to help protect staff in remote nursing posts.
"Frontline health workers perform a vital service in our community, so it is essential we do all we can to ensure their safety," said Health Minister Roger Cook.
"Hospital staff have a right to feel safe in their workplace and this important election commitment will provide extra protection.
"The provision of protective equipment in the form of anti-stab vests and duress alarms is an unfortunate but necessary precaution given the levels of violence and aggression being reported across our health system, particularly in our hospital emergency departments.
"The purchase of this equipment will complement a range of other security measures in place to enhance the safety of the work environment for these highly valued workers."
The security needs of high-risk sites will be addressed in 2018–19, with protective equipment to be rolled out at other at-risk sites in subsequent years.
WA Health will continuously work with individual health service providers to develop, monitor and evaluate security implementation plans for these at-risk sites.
The funding — to be announced in the 2018–19 State Budget — fulfils an election commitment for the state government.
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