Too many workers face this every day

It's never OK.

Show more

Too many workers face this every day (M rated)

Too many workers face this every day. It's never OK. (45 sec video)

What is work-related violence?

Work-related violence involves incidents in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work. This definition covers a broad range of actions and behaviours that can create a risk to the health and safety of employees. It includes behaviour sometimes described as acting out, challenging behaviour and behaviours of concern.

Unacceptable behaviour can have a negative impact on the physical and mental wellbeing of workers.

Most of us understand that extreme acts of violence are unacceptable. But not everyone realises there is a scale of violence and aggression. Some examples include:

  • aggressive gestures or expressions such as eye rolling and sneering
  • verbal abuse such as yelling, swearing and name calling
  • intimidating physical behaviour such as standing in a worker's personal space or standing over them
  • physical assault such as biting, spitting, scratching, pushing, shoving, tripping and grabbing
  • extreme acts of violence and aggression such as hitting, punching, strangulation, kicking, personal threats, threats with weapons, sexual harassment and assault

None of these are ok. Being exposed to these incidents repetitively can have a cumulative and significant ongoing effect on wellbeing.

Employer responsibilities

Employers have an obligation to prevent and respond to work-related violence. Learn more about your duties and available support.

Information for workers

As an employee, you have a right to feel safe at work. Learn more about your rights, responsibilities and find support services.

Information for the Community

Your actions have impact

If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, try to remove yourself from the situation until you can be in a better frame of mind.

Even acts you may consider 'insignificant' like eye rolling, sneering, talking down to or raising your voice at workers can have a major impact on their mental health. To you, it might be a one-off incident, but they might be treated like this every day.

If you witness an act of aggression or violence, do not get involved – report it immediately to someone at the workplace, or call the police.