New national work health and safety guidance developed on workplace aggression

New national work health and safety guidance developed on workplace aggression

by Freya Lucas

February 05, 2021

Safe Work Australia has developed new national work health and safety guidance to provide practical suggestions to workplaces who find themselves dealing with issues such as workplace sexual harassment, violence, aggression and domestic violence.

 

Under Australia’s model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws, employers must proactively manage risks to health and safety arising from work. This includes both physical and mental health. The new information provides guidance to anyone who has a WHS duty to protect the health and safety of workers.

 

Sexual harassment 

 

While sexual harassment is a less common issue in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, given the disproportionate balance of male and female employees, it is not absent from the sector, and, as a recent report from the Australian Human Rights Commission showed, sexual harassment is prevalent within Australian workplaces, often causing great harm. 

 

WHS duties require employers do everything they reasonably can to prevent sexual harassment from occurring at work, as with other risks to health and safety.

 

The new guide Preventing workplace sexual harassment is the first comprehensive WHS guidance in Australia to focus on preventing sexual harassment. The guidance supports business and organisations to meet their WHS duties with practical steps to identify risks and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

 

The guide is supported by information sheets for small businesses and workers:

 

A specific webpage, Workplace sexual harassment web page has also been created to support.

 

Violence and aggression 

 

The Preventing workplace violence and aggression guide provides information for persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs), such as employers, on how to manage the risk of violence and aggression in the workplace, including gendered violence.

 

The guide is supported by information sheets for small businesses and workers:

 

 

The information sheet Family and domestic violence has been developed to provide PCBUs with guidance on managing the risk of family and domestic violence at the workplace. The information sheet provides guidance on how businesses can help provide a safe environment for workers and where to seek more advice.

 

Workplace violence and aggression offers further information and support.

 

Safe Work Australia has a range of resources and guidance to assist employers in meeting their safety obligations. For more information on their services, please visit the website, here

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