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Violence in the Workplace

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What is considered to be Violence in the Workplace?

Workplace violence arises where people, in the course of their employment, are aggressively verbally abused, threatened or physically assaulted.

Violence is a potential hazard in all Organisations where there is interaction between Employees, Customers, Clients and stakeholders. This is a hazard which must be assessed appropriately.

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 and associated regulations require Organisations to ensure the health and safety of its Employees. It is required that Organisations carry out risk assessments of the workplace and prepare a Safety Statement by:

  • Finding out if there is a problem and how serious this problem is by identifying any hazards and assessing the risks to health and safety from violent acts and implementing appropriate safeguards.

In some instances it may be necessary for the Organisation to examine the arrangements made for Employees getting to and from work, or moving around the Organisation grounds if there is a possibility that Employees are vulnerable to an attack – For example lone workers or night workers. Organisations should consult with Employees and Stakeholders in relation the potential risk and measures to be taken in order to minimise this risk, and monitor its effectiveness.