According to recent work health and safety data, violent incidents in the workplace are increasing.  “Work related violence” is any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work.  These behaviours create a risk of health and safety to workers.  Workers can be exposed to work related violence from clients, patients and members of the public.

The most common industries to have work related violence incidents are health, aged care, disability services, youth services, law enforcement, hospitality and finance.  Yet it can happen to anyone.

Work Health and Safety

Work health and safety laws in Queensland are designed to ensure the health and safety of workers and others in the workplace.  ‘Health’ includes physical and psychological health.  A person who conducts a business or undertaking (“PCBU”) has a primary duty of care to ensure the health and safety of their workers and others in the workplace.  They must provide and maintain, so far as is reasonably practicable, a safe and healthy working environment and they must consult with their workers about health and safety issues.

Work related violence, particularly in these industries, is a consideration for employers when identifying and assessing hazards and risks.  Employers need to provide information, instructions, training and supervision to their workers to enable them to perform their work in a way that is safe and without risks to their health.

What is considered a reasonable response to a violent incident will vary depending on the nature and severity of the incident.  Employers should consider implementing a policy that lets workers know what to do at the time of, and immediately after an incident.

If you have any questions in relation to workplace injuries and workplace safety please contact our office on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

Bronwyn Green
Compensation Law