Work-related violence: Information for employers
Information to help employers identify and control the risk of work-related violence.
Work-related violence should never be seen as 'part of the job'
It is your responsibility to eliminate or reduce risk of work-related violence, so far as reasonably practicable.
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) it is a legal requirement for employers to provide and maintain a safe and healthy working environment for their employees, so far as reasonably practicable. This includes the physical and psychological environments.
Leaders at all levels can have a powerful influence in developing a positive safety culture where priority is placed on the health, safety, and wellbeing of workers.
As a leader you should
Demonstrate a commitment to promoting a culture where violence and aggression is not accepted as 'part of the job'. Below is a list of examples in which you can help prevent and manage work-related violence:
- set health and safety objectives and accountabilities
- ensure effective health and safety systems are in place to identify and control risk
- develop and promote health and safety policy and key initiatives
- have clear policies and procedures for reporting
- encourage reporting and act on these reports
- investigate incidents and review risk control measures
- consult and support employees
- monitor and report on performance outcomes; act on issues and opportunities, and
- ask questions about violence and aggression prevention systems in your workplace
- identify risks of work-related violence in your work area
- support worker development in de-escalation and processes for early intervention and management
- allocate resources to prevention and management
- promote a culture that does not accept work-related violence, and
- seek assistance where necessary for you to do your part
Encourage workers to report incidents of work-related violence
Workers who have been affected by a work-related violence incident in the workplace may feel it's a waste of time reporting incidents because 'nothing will be done'.
It is critical to engage and provide training for your workers, so they know:
- why they need to report incidents
- the reporting policies and procedures at their workplace
- they will be supported when they report
- what will happen after they report, and the feedback they can expect to receive, and
- their reporting has contributed to positive changes to reduce future risks