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Work-related violence

Work-related violence is any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work.

This definition covers a broad range of actions and behaviours that can create a risk to the health and safety of workers. Work-related violence can result in both physical and psychological injuries to workers, and cause significant economic and social costs to them, their family, the business where they work as well as the wider community.

A guide Preventing and Responding to Work-Related Violence (PDF 219kb) has been developed to help Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking and workers in identifying work-related violence hazards and finding ways to eliminate or minimise these risks. This guide will also assist in the development of work systems for the prevention of violent incidents and in response to them should they occur in the workplace.

The guide covers two types of work-related violence:

  • External violence - usually associated with robbery or other crimes with the perpetrator someone from outside the workplace. It can happen in any industry but often occurs in the retail, hospitality, security, cash-handling, finance and banking industries.
  • Service related violence - arises when providing services to clients, customers, patients or prisoners. It generally occurs in the hospitality, retail, health, aged care, disability, youth services, education and enforcement industries.

Free printed copies can be ordered from our Customer Service Centre.


Prevention and management of customer aggression
A guide for employers. Link to Comcare website

Incident Notification Fact Sheet
Link to Safe Work Australia website

Guide for Handling Cash-in-Transit Security
Link to Safe Work Australia website

Prevention and management of aggression in health
A handbook for workplaces. Link to WorkSafe Victoria website

Armed Robbery - How to prevent business crime
Including Armed Robbery Prevention Kit. Link to SA Police website

Australian Standards
Link to Standards Australia website

Gendered Violence Research Network
Link to UNSW website

Violence against women in the workplace
Link to Office for Women website

SafeWork SA Catalogue

Further resources can be accessed from SafeWork SA's Library catalogue