As a business (PCBU) you must manage the risks associated with occupational violence and aggression in the workplace and establish a zero-tolerance policy for acts of violence and aggression towards others in the workplace.

Occupational violence and aggression: a definition

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.

Occupational violence and aggression: examples

A range of sources can expose employees, contractors and volunteers to work-related violence, including co-workers, clients, customers, patients, people in custody and members of the public.

Examples of work-related violence include:

  • biting, spitting, scratching, hitting, kicking
  • pushing, shoving, tripping, grabbing
  • throwing objects
  • verbal threats or abuse
  • threatening someone with an object or weapon
  • armed robbery
  • sexual harassment and assault
  • online harassment, threats or abuse
  • assault with a weapon

Occupational violence and aggression: Prevention and management

As a business (PCBU), you must manage the risks associated with work-related violence, and prevention is always better than cure.

Here are some of the things you can do to prevent and manage incidents of workplace violence and aggression:

  • set and maintain standards from top down that prevention of violence and aggression is important
  • be proactive in promoting both physical and psychological safety in the workplace
  • create policies and procedures to prevent and manage work-related violence and have a zero-tolerance to non-compliance
  • provide training, such as the Sentrient occupational violence and aggression online course, to help equip staff with a better understanding of what work-related violence is and their role in preventing it
  • share knowledge about new and improved ways of preventing work-related violence
  • support people to call out poor behaviours and misconduct and to talk about any feelings or issues, either perceived or actual
  • report all incidents of occupational violence and aggression and ensure actions are taken to mitigate hazards and risks as they are identified
  • recognise and reward people for promoting and contributing to a healthy and safe workplace

Need some help with training for occupational violence and aggression as part of your workplace relations and safety training agenda?

To find out more about the Sentrient working alone course, you can visit the website page for our occupational violence and aggression online course or the Sentrient main website.