The recent death of a Victorian surgeon who was assaulted by a member of the public when leaving work has re-highlighted the risk and potential cost of violence experienced by healthcare workers.
The aim of this article is to outline the risk of occupational violence experienced by doctors, and general practitioners in particular, and to discuss practical measures that can be taken to manage this risk.
The majority of doctors have experienced aggression or violence in their workplaces in the past 12 months. Risks for violence include elements of workplace design, policy and procedures, and client factors. A series of practical tools designed to assist the assessment and management of risk of occupational violence are discussed