All violence is unacceptable, but being subject to violence at work is particularly unforgivable.
Workplace violence can come in many forms and usually refers to someone being abused, threatened or assaulted at or in relation to their work. It can also include aggressive behaviour by customers, patients or even someone not directly connected with the employment.
Acting for many victims of occupational violence, former partner at Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers, Lisa Paul, says that she has seen a particular increase in WorkCover claims amongst workers in the healthcare and education sectors.
All workers are entitled to feel safe at work, but sadly, and in despite of WorkSafe campaigns around respecting our healthcare workers, the number of physical and verbal assaults in this industry remains too high.
Anyone who is subject to physical or verbal assault, or even the fear of an assault, may be eligible for compensation under a WorkCover or Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal claim.
Lisa explains that if you have suffered a physical or psychological injury caused by assault at work you should immediately report the incident, seek medical treatment, report it to police and lodge a WorkCover claim.
The WorkCover Insurer will pay for whatever treatment, time off and counselling you need. Your employer should also investigate the incident and do whatever they can to prevent such an incident happening again.
Even if you perceive that abuse is common in your role, and nothing can be done to prevent it, you should still always report it and seek medical advice about how it is affecting you.
If you have been a victim of abuse in the workplace, call our Adviceline on (03) 9321 9988 to speak to a lawyer direct.