WA authorities are working on a new code of practice covering violence and aggression at work.

WA’s Commission for Occupational Safety and Health is seeking public comment on a revised Code of Practice on Violence and Aggression at Work.

Since 2014, the State has operated under a Code of Practice on Violence, Aggression and Bullying, but the Commission’s Legislative Advisory Committee made the decision to separate this into two Codes - one dealing specifically with violence and aggression and the other with bullying and harassment.

Early this month, the Commission endorsed the draft violence and aggression Code and agreed to a three-month public consultation period. A separate Code of Practice on Bullying and Harassment is being developed and will also be released for consultation in the future.

“The Commission for Occupational Safety and Health is made up of the main stakeholders in workplace safety and health in WA, and it has recognised that this is an extremely important issue,” WorkSafe Western Australia Commissioner Darren Kavanagh said.

“As a result of the acknowledgment of this priority issue, the Commission has produced a publication on which it is now seeking public comment.”

UnionsWA has expressed agreement on the importance of the Code, saying that violence and aggression is unacceptable no matter where it occurs, and that violence towards workers that causes both psychological and physical harm is increasing.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA agrees that the Code is a positive step, saying it is a sad reality that employers in many industries have to take steps to protect employees from violence by members of the public.