What is workplace violence & aggression?

Work-related violence and aggression can be defined as any incident where staff are abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances related to their work, involving an explicit or implicit challenge to their safety, wellbeing or health.

How can I risk assess violence & aggression?

In order to reduce or prevent the risk, Violence and Aggression needs to be risk assessed with controls put in place 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

Also, BeSMART.ie is free online tool that lets you generate your own workplace risk assessments and safety statement. It will guide you through the entire risk assessment process using simple language and easy-to-follow instructions. On completion you will have a workplace-specific safety statement that can be printed, downloaded and implemented.

Where do Violence and Aggression related incidents typically occur?

The vast majority of incidents involving violence and aggression occur in Public Administration and Defence. Education, retail settings and transport also experience frequent levels of violence and aggression.

Do I have to report incidents of violence and aggression? Who do I report to?

Accidents arising as a result of workplace violence and aggression when an employee is injured at work and cannot perform their normal work duties for three consecutive days after the accident, are required by legislation to be reported to the HSA.

As good practice, every employer should keep a record of all V&A related incidents experienced by employees.