Workplace bullying - a major concern


Workplace bullying is a major concern across the federal jurisdiction, according to Comcare, which said that workplace bullying creates a risk to health and safety and should be managed the same as any other workplace hazard.

As such, Comcare recently released guidelines and tools for both employers and workers aimed at preventing workplace bullying.

If bullying is identified and dealt with early enough, it can often be resolved successfully and prevented from becoming established behaviour and a risk to health and safety.

In the guidelines, Comcare said managers should ensure bullying complaints are taken seriously and investigated properly as with any other workplace health and safety issue.

In addition, managers should foster a supportive environment, be clear about work expectations, role model desired behaviours and provide constructive feedback and recognition.

Employees also have a role to play, and the guidelines encouraged them to be aware of policies and procedures, talk to people they trust, use organisational support frameworks, remain calm and record events and not to be "a silent witness" to workplace bullying.

"Employees should discuss their concerns with their line manager, employee contact officer, employee assistance program provider or their health and safety representative," said the guidelines.