Violence at Work

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

In 2009 4.4% of all reported incidents to the HSA were related to violence at work (322 / 7179). The sectors involved are shown below:

Sectors involved in Workplace Violence in 2009
NACETotalAs a % of violence related reports
Public administration and defence; compulsory social security14846.0%
Human health and social work activities11335.1%
Financial and insurance activities165. 0%
Other service activities144.3%
Transportation and storage113.4%


The Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and the Safety Health and Welfare (General Application) Regulations 2007 require employers to ensure the safety health and welfare of their employees. This includes

Finding out if there is a problem and how serious it is by:

  • identifying the hazards
  • assessing the risks to health and safety from violence at work and
  • putting in place appropriate safeguards

The following publications are available for guidance and download in relation to preventing violence at work.

Violence at Work

Prevention of Violence in Healthcare

In September 2010 the European Social Partners signed guidelines to tackle third party violence and harassment at work. The guidelines were signed by the EU level social partners in the healthcare, education, local and regional government, commerce, and private security sectors.