Violence and Aggression in Healthcare

Slamming Fist on Table

Violence at work occurs when people are verbally abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances related to their work.

The victim can suffer both immediate and long term effects. Physical effects may require medical treatment and some injuries may result in long term disability. Victims and witnesses to violent incidents may suffer psychological effects resulting in loss of confidence or morale and stress.

There are instances in healthcare where, for a variety of reasons, a situation of conflict arises which may escalate to violence. In addition, violent or aggressive client behaviours may be a component of the service.

Violence and aggression can be considered a potential hazard in the healthcare sector and must be risk assessed. Where there is a risk to health and safety from violence appropriate safeguards must be put in place.

Further Information