The 2019 OHS Network began with a sketch so the participants could experience one of the many forms that workplace violence can take. This role-playing plunged the entire room into the thick of the action and the Network was off and running.
The following elements were discussed in painting a picture of workplace violence:
- What is workplace violence?
- Some numbers on violence.
- Workplace violence: an under-reported phenomenon
- Perpetrators of violence.
- Contributing factors.
- Consequences of workplace violence.
In exposing these points, the participants were reminded that, regardless of their age, gender or work environment, healthcare professionals are exposed to many risks that endanger their health, safety and physical and psychological well-being.
Violence is one of these risks. According to the World Health Organization, it is the intentional use of physical force, threats against others or oneself, a group or community, violence causes or is likely to cause trauma, psychological damage, developmental problems or even death.
Moreover, according to the International Labour Organization, workplace violence is any action, incident or behaviour that deviates from a reasonable attitude by which a person is attacked, threatened, aggrieved or injured, in the course of or as a direct result of her work.