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Workplace Standards > Safety > Workplace bullying

What is workplace bullying?

Bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or group of workers that creates a risk to their health and safety.

Differences of opinion, conflicts and personality clashes can happen in the workplace and do not amount to bullying. However, if the behaviour goes beyond a one-off disagreement, if it increases in intensity and becomes offensive or harmful to someone, it becomes bullying.

Bullying can be psychological violence and/or physical violence, and can include:

  • Persistent and repeatedly aggressive behaviour
  • Physical abuse
  • Repeated verbal abuse, including yelling, screaming, personal comments, offensive language, sarcasm
  • Vindictive, offensive, cruel or malicious behaviour
  • Unreasonable removal of status and authority
  • Repeatedly having impossible deadlines, workload or pressure
  • Being given meaningless tasks
  • Persistent nit-picking and unjustified criticism
  • Constantly being ‘singled out’ or targeted for practical jokes or gossip
  • Deliberately being ostracised, isolated or ignored.


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