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New guides released on work-related violence

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has published guidance to help organisations manage the risk of work-related violence. The guidance covers work-related violence and aggression (WVA) in the three industries with the highest risk: retail, construction and residential aged, disability and youth care.

Persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) must manage risks from work-related violence and aggression. If it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate them, they must be minimised. Workers have duties too. They must take reasonable care of their own health and safety and ensure they do not adversely affect the health and safety of others. They must comply with any reasonable instruction and co-operate with any reasonable policy or procedure given to them by the PCBU that relates to managing the risks to health and safety from WVA.

The new guidance includes important statistics for each of the industries over the past five years, each highlighting a growing incidence of work-related violence claims.

Residential care:

  • 195% increase in WVA claims in the Queensland residential care services sector
  • 25% of claimants didn’t return to work
  • 62.5% of all lodged claims were for anxiety or stress disorder
  • 25% of accepted claims were aged and disabled carers
  • 79% were female
  • 40% were over 45 years of age.


  • 114% increase in WVA claims
  • 75% of accepted claims lodged by women
  • 54% of all lodged claims were for anxiety or stress disorder
  • one in five injured workers did not return to work in retail post injury.


  • claims for WVA injuries have more than doubled over the past five years, predominantly affecting men under 34 years of age
  • 20% of construction apprentices reported experiencing severe workplace bullying
  • 13% had high levels of psychological distress, indicating probable severe mental illness
  • nearly 30% had poor quality of life that may indicate depression
  • 30% of apprentices reported having experienced suicidal thoughts in the past 12 months.

Further information

Read more about preventing and responding to occupational violence.