Policy on Management of Work Related Aggression and Violence

Ensuring the safety of employees and service users is a priority concern for the HSE.  The HSE is committed to creating a safe environment within which to work or to be treated.  While it is accepted that the provision of health services can involve situational conflicts, this recognition should not be equated with considering any form of aggression and/or violence as being inherent, inevitable or acceptable. 

The HSE Policy on Management of Work Related Aggression and Violence sets out a framework:

  • to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to provide safe systems of work in relation to the risk of aggression and violence.
  • to ensure that resources are available for the provision of risk assessment and for appropriate education in the management of aggression and violence. 

Its purpose is to give guidance to the HSE, our managers and employees on how to manage work-related aggression and violence with a focus on risk assessment and management.  In publishing this policy the Health Service Executive has adopted the EU definition of work-related aggression and violence as:

“Any incident where staff are abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances related to their work, involving an explicit or implicit challenge to their safety, well being or health”.*

The policy should be read in conjunction with the HSE Corporate Safety Statement.  This policy applies to all employees and extends to agency staff, contractors, volunteers, students and those on work experience. 

* Linking Service & Safety: Together Creating Safer Places of Service, McKenna K., 2008 ISBN :978-1-906218-16-4.  Published by HSE