Campaign targets workplace violence

Wednesday, 26 May, 2021

Campaign targets workplace violence

A campaign highlighting the need for employers and the community to come together to stamp out violence in the workplace has been launched by WorkSafe Victoria.

Work-related violence, including within the healthcare industry, has a devastating impact on workers and can cause severe mental and physical injuries.

WorkSafe data reveals that, although only 2.5% of claims relate to violent or aggressive incidents in the workplace, many incidents are unreported. These can range from verbal abuse and yelling to spitting, swearing, use of demeaning language, gendered violence and physical assault.

The new campaign has appeared across major television, radio, online and in print media with the simple message that violence in the workplace is never okay. It builds on the previous ‘It’s Never OK’ campaign, which focused on workplace violence and aggression towards healthcare workers.

Featuring incidents from the healthcare worker’s perspective, the campaign aims to remind employers and the community that violence and abuse is never ‘just part of the job’ and that everyone has a right to a healthy and safe workplace.

A series of videos detailing the experiences of real healthcare staff and public transport workers will also be launched online and through social media to show the challenges faced by real workers.

WorkSafe is also running additional education and awareness campaigns with employers to remind them of their obligations to protect workers from violence and aggression in the workplace. This includes targeted inspection programs in the high-risk healthcare and corrections industries and the provision of new guidance for employers.

WorkSafe Chief Executive Colin Radford said the campaign would send a clear message to the Victorian community that everyone deserves to be treated with respect while at work.

“Just because someone works in health care or in volatile situations does not mean they should be exposed to work-related violence or aggression,” Radford said. “As a community we need to recognise this behaviour is unacceptable, because of the crippling psychological and physical trauma it can have on the health of those subject to it.

“Violence in the workplace is never okay, no matter if you are another worker, customer or member of the public.”

Image courtesy of WorkSafe Victoria

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