Risk Solutions

A Case Study: Third party risk using labour hire companies

April 12, 2023

Case based scenarios for Boards and Executives:

Could this happen to your organisation?


A Case Study:  Third party risk using labour hire companies

A disability services organisation (DSO) was supporting a participant with autism, including a history of violent behaviour with known triggers. The participant resides in a property which is designed to manage participants with potential violent behaviours. There is a safe room with a duress alarms setup at the property. The participant had a detailed care plan for care workers to prevent triggering the participant’s behaviour.

Casual workers were sent to the care home from a labour hire company.  The DSO was responsible for training and staff allocation to homes under the labour hire agreement.  Procedures were not followed, resulting in an escalation of the participant’s behaviour and a serious physical assault of a care worker, who was unable to reach the safe room.


Critical considerations:

  • Do your high risk clients have detailed care plans designed to manage the participant’s specific medical or behavioural requirements?
  • How do you ensure that the care plan is followed and understood?
  • Has the physical environment been assessed as suitable for that client, based on their requirements?
  • Are your emergency/duress alarms easily locatable and regularly tested?
  • How do you ensure the appropriate staffing skill mix when allocating rosters to high-risk homes?
  • Have staff received site-specific orientation training for high risk homes?
  • How do you reinforce good practice?
  • Are there clear procedures on how to respond if a client’s behaviours or medical condition deteriorates?
  • What are the supervision arrangements of contractors?
  • Does your labour hire agreement define responsibilities for all of the above?


Note.  While this case study describes participant violence, these questions apply to other scenarios (eg. clients with high medical needs, clients putting things in their mouth and choking, inappropriate sexual behaviours towards other participants or staff).


This scenario is fictitious. The scenario may represent circumstances experienced by disability service organisations, participants or care workers. Any similarity to actual events or persons, is purely coincidental.


Written by:

Stephen Ratcliffe, Senior Risk Consultant – ERM

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