SA: campaign launched to tackle retail violence and aggression

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of the Workplace Health and Safety profession. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Sunday, 10 July, 2022 - 12:15
Policy & legislation
South Australia

SafeWork SA will be conducting a state-wide compliance campaign throughout the year focusing on managing the risks associated with violence and aggression in the retail sector.

Workers within the retail sector provide a valuable service to the community, however, the regulator said a number of these workers are young and may work in isolation and may be unfamiliar with managing aggressive customers.

Work-related violence and aggression are common in the retail sector and include any incident in which a worker is verbally abused, threatened or physically assaulted in circumstances relating to their work.

Work-related violence can cause both physical and psychological harm to workers, and result in significant economic and social costs to them, their family, the business where they work and the wider community.

SafeWork SA inspectors will be auditing retail outlets both in metropolitan and regional areas, and audits will be undertaken to ensure that businesses have:

  • appropriate policies and procedures in place to address the risk of violence and aggression
  • relevant training for workers, and
  • suitable control measures in place to protect workers.

SafeWork SA said inspectors will educate PCBUs to ensure they are informed of their work health and safety obligations, responsibilities and how to appropriately manage risks, while further information is available via the regulator’s violence and aggression in retail page.