What to do about workplace violence

Share

You should never put up with workplace violence. Here are eight things you can do if you or someone you know is a victim of violence in the workplace. For more information, visit our Workplace violence page.

1. Tell your boss

You should always report any incidents to your employer and ask for your report to be recorded. If you don't think it's safe to report to your employer or manager, you can always contact their supervisor. Ask for a copy of the incident record immediately.

2. Tell others

Other people you should tell about violence at work include:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Workplace health and safety representatives
  • Union representatives

3. Keep a diary

Keep a written record of any incidents that happen at your work. Diaries can be used as evidence in a court or commission hearing. 

You should include:

  • When it happened (date and time)
  • Who was involved and the names
  • Contact details of any witnesses  
  • Photos of any injuries (if you can)

4. See a doctor

It's important to visit a doctor if you've been hurt or injured at work. Tell the doctor to record:

  • When the incident(s) took place
  • The nature and extent of any injuries
  • What treatment - if any - was neccessary 

Get medical certificates and have photos taken of the injuries.

5. Contact WorkSafe

You should contact WorkSafe Victoria (new window) if you think your health or safety is at risk because of:

  • Violence
  • An unsafe work environment

6. Contact the police

Some forms of workplace violence may actually be criminal acts, (for example, assault, sexual assault, threats to kill or stalking).

You should contact the police and ask to make a statement if the following happens:

  • Physical injury
  • Threats of harm
  • Damage to property 

If a crime has been committed, contact the police and insist on making a statement. If you have the names and contact details of witnesses, give these to the police.

7. Contact CASA (Centres Against Sexual Assault)

If sexual assault or attempted sexual assault has occurred, CASA (new window) provides free services including:

  • Crisis counselling
  • Support services
  • Information and advocacy

To contact a CASA closest to you call the 24-hour, state-wide, confidential telephone service on 1800 806 292 (free call).

8. Get legal advice

Legal help is available for victims of workplace violence, including:

  • Intervention orders (civil action which can be taken in some instance to stop perpetrators of violence)
  • Action taken under various Victorian and Federal legislation (for example, health and safety, discrimination)
  • Compensation for unfair dismissal ("constructive dismissal" may apply if someone is forced to quit because of workplace violence)
  • Police investigation in cases of criminal offences (for example, stalking, assault, sexual assault, threats to kill).

For free legal advice about workplace violence, you can contact: 

Links

JobWatch
Victorian community legal centre specialising in employment law.

Community Law - Federation of Community Legal Centres
Provides a range of legal resources including topics on employment and discrimination. You can also find the contact details of your nearest Community Legal Centre.

Centre Against Sexual Assault
A range of information and advice about sexual assault and what to do if you have been sexually assaulted. Includes contacts details for local Victorian CASA centres.

Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
Information about the Victorian legislation and what it means for both employees and employers.

Victoria Police - Your Local Police
Search for the contact details of your local police station.