Not all workers are aware of what to do if they find themselves the victim of a workplace bully. Most people are of the opinion that bullying is a juvenile activity, reserved only for the schoolyard. But statistics have proven that bullying is rife in workplaces across Oz and the consequences of this anti-social behaviour can be seen in every aspect of victim’s lives.
New and young workers are particular vulnerable to bullying however this is not the only type. Supervisors and managers are also a major source of bullying because of abuse of authority.
If you feel bullied on site but are not sure if you will be taken seriously, there is recourse that you can follow. Firstly tell the person doing the bullying that they are behaving in an unreasonable manner and ask them to stop. If approaching them in a professional and calm manner doesn’t work you can seek advice from your Health and Safety Representative.
You should also keep a clear and accurate record of the events as they occur, such as the names of the people involved as well as those that witnessed the bullying. The records you keep should focus on the facts and you can use the WHS procedures of your workplace to report the incident.
There is no doubt that bullying can be emotionally taxing and result in depression which can lead to serious consequences such as suicide. The emotional scars can be deep, so don’t try to ignore bullying or handle it on your own. If necessary seek professional counselling or try talking to people you trust at your workplace such as a supervisor, manger, health and safety representative, union representative or someone from human resources.