Skip to content

Returning to work following work-related violence and aggression

Best practice

When managing return to work for a worker affected by work-related violence and aggression (WVA), identify and assess the risk and implement effective environmental controls and safe systems of work.

You may need to consider complex factors including how to return a worker to the same workplace where the incident occurred, and how to support a worker exposed to WVA.

Why this is important

In the past five years there has been an 81 per cent increase in claims of WVA in Queensland, particularly in the residential care, retail and construction industries. Within these industries, more than half of all lodged claims were for anxiety or stress disorder.

In the residential care and retail industries, between 20 and 25 per cent of workers affected by WVA did not return to work in these industries.1

Your toolkit

  • Read the new WVA guidelines, covering the three industries with the highest risk–retail, construction and residential aged, disability and youth care.
  • Review Safe Work Australia’s guidance to understand your responsibilities and for advice on preventing WVA, including family and domestic violence in the workplace, and online abuse.
  • Learn more about vicarious trauma, its symptoms, and self-care strategies. If you work in the healthcare industry, check out this webinar about trauma informed care and vicarious trauma in healthcare.
  • The Workers' Psychological Support Service can provide free and independent support and guidance to workers who have experienced WVA, connecting them with community services appropriate to their needs.
  • Domestic and family violence can also impact on the workplace. Find out more about how to support a worker experiencing violence in the home. Another useful resource to refer to is 1800RESPECT.
  • Read general information about workplace wellbeing and how work plays an important role in promoting and maintaining mental health.

1Queensland scheme analysis database (QSA) claims data provided by insurers with database maintained by Office of Industrial Relations. Data as at 31 Jan 2021