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Recommendation 6: Protecting safety in isolated environments

The recommendation

Ambulance Victoria should, as soon as practicable, undertake a security audit of all isolated work environments within the organisation, with a view to identifying any necessary security measures (or example, locks, duress alarms), during which it should consult with other industry leaders who similarly oversee in workers in unsupervised and isolated environments.

What we are doing

  • Install privacy locks across metropolitan, regional and rural locations
  • Audit security in a representative sample of isolated work environments and act to address identified risks to our people
  • Learn from industry leaders who oversee workers in similarly unsupervised and isolated environments

Where we are up to


Ambulance Victoria (AV), in consultation with employees, industry leaders and internal representative bodies, procured an independent and comprehensive safety audit of isolated work environments within the organisation. This included audits of a representative sample of 70 AV locations, completed in June 2023, followed by a final report detailing findings and recommendations of the audit. We consulted industry leaders who oversee workers in similarly unsupervised and isolated environments as part of this audit. Consultations included leaders from Victoria Police, Fire Rescue Victoria, WorkSafe Victoria and the National Disability Insurance Agency, with their feedback informing the safety audit checklist and final recommendations. The findings are now being considered by AV and have been discussed with our Staff Reference Group. Outcomes of the safety audit and next steps will be communicated with employees, with ongoing reform continuing to be tested with the workforce and representative bodies as we continue to develop a safer organisation for our workforce.

Privacy locks were installed in bathrooms and private settings across all metro and rural locations by August 2022. Other safety enhancements will continue to build over time.


AV has completed an audit of 70 representative sites across the state and has spoken to industry leaders to identify and understand any necessary improvements to protect the physical and psychological safety of our employees and volunteers in isolated environments. We are currently analysing the information and data collected through the audit, including the views shared by our workforce, before sharing the findings and recommendations later this year.


AV’s audit of safety in isolated environments continues, with 45 of 70 (65%) sites now audited and good engagement from employees at those sites. AV continues to monitor for any issues raised during the audit and takes remedial action at the earliest opportunity.


One of the ways AV is seeking to prioritise safety is by auditing safety in isolated environments. After first completing pilots at Dandenong, Mansfield and Yea, AV has now audited 13 of 70 (19%) sites. These 70 sites are representative of the different types of AV sites across the state and will help AV understand how to best use security controls to protect physical and psychological safety in isolated areas. This includes by examining the security of facilities, and their perimeters and surrounding areas, including living and personal care areas.


  • AV has installed privacy locks across all metropolitan and regional locations to ensure the privacy of our staff in all bathroom and other private settings.
  • AV is finalising arrangements to engage a consultant to undertake a security audit of a representative sample of isolated work environments, with a view to identifying any necessary security measures to prevent harm to our people and contribute to a culture of safety. A representative sample of 127 locations has been established using the following location criteria: geographically remote facilities; standalone relievers quarters / residences; branches with co-located relivers quarters / residences; branches with integrated relivers quarters / residences; unique buildings / use; branches of modern construction and functionality (e.g. constructed in the last 10 – 15 years); and revised audit criteria have been established – E.g. ISO 22341 & ISO 45001.


September 2023

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