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Psychosocial hazard #11 – Violence and aggression

by | Oct 22, 2023 | C1: Commitment, C2: Capability, C3: Competency, C4: Culture, Employee Engagement, EVP, Psychosocial hazards

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The eleventh psychosocial hazard that is listed in Safe Work Australia’s Model Code of Practice on Managing Psychosocial Hazards at Work is “violence and aggression”.

Why is violence and aggression a psychosocial hazard?

This hazard involves violence or threats of violence from other workers including workers of other businesses as well as customers, suppliers, contractors, patients, inmates or clients. It includes assault and other aggressive behaviour like yelling or physically intimidating.

Some questions that you might ask to assess whether there are any low job control related psychosocial hazards in your workplace include:

  • Do your people provide care or services to people who are distressed, confused, afraid, ill, affected by drugs or alcohol or receiving unwelcome or involuntary treatment?
  • Are your people engaged in enforcement activities as police or prison officers or parking attendants or security guards or government compliance inspectors?
  • Do your people work in high crime areas?
  • Do people work in workplaces that handle high value or restricted items or ones that are restricted in movement or poorly lit?
  • Are people working alone, in isolation or in a remote area with a limited ability to call for help?
  • Do workers’ jobs require them to work in the community or in peoples’ homes or in any other unpredictable environment where another person may pose a risk to the worker?
  • Does work involve employees interacting with customers or other people face-to-face or online or by phone?
  • Are there any service methods or policies that cause or escalate frustration, anger, misunderstanding or conflict?

This list is not exhaustive and while we have based these posts on the model code produced by Safe Work Australia, there can be differences in the specific details for each State or Territory. So you need to check that in the jurisdiction in which your workplace lies.

Need help?

Give us a call on 1300 108 488 to arrange your free first consultation to see how we can help with advice and support on this or any other HR matter.

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