14 February 2010

Australian Workplaces face Bullying Blitz - WorkSafe Victoria inspectors will conduct 40,000 workplace visits a year.

  • Respect at Work initiative launched
  • Follows waitress's suicide
  • Inspections, training, interviewing

MORE than 40,000 Victorian businesses will be subject to a blitz on workplace bullying following the suicide of teenage waitress Brodie Panlock.
Special Inspectors from the state's workplace safety body, Worksafe, will conduct snap inspections, lift awareness of bullying with training and interview employees, the Herald Sun reports.
Businesses that don't comply will be issued with notices forcing the employer to adopt an anti-bullying strategy.
The crackdown on bullying will also occur alongside a major advertising and awareness campaign.
WorkSafe wants workers who are being bullied to report the offences and keep a record of the events.
The safety body has been overwhelmed by stress-related and bullying calls since the details of Ms Panlock's case became public, WorkSafe Minister Tim Holding said.

"This is something that everyone needs to take responsibility for and it should be stopped in its tracks," he said.
Ms Panlock committed suicide in September 2006 after enduring more than a year of bullying at a Victorian cafe.
Ms Panlock's former workmates - Nicholas Smallwood, 26, Rhys MacAlpine, 28, and Gabriel Toomey, 23 - all pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of persons.
Cafe owner Marc Luis Da Cruz and his one-man company, MAP Foundation, pleaded guilty to two charges, including failing to provide and maintain a safe working environment.
The four men were hit with a total of $335,000 in fines.
Ms Panlock's parents have called for tougher penalties, including jail sentences, to send a message that bullying will not be tolerated.
Victorian Premier John Brumby branded workplace bullies lowly cowards who would not be tolerated.
"Like any parent I want to know that we have safe and secure workplaces," he said.
"Like most parents, I found the case of Brodie Panlock very distressing," he said.
"Workplace bullying is a cowardly, low act.
"Respect At Work is all about helping young and vulnerable Victorians tackle workplace bullying."

WorkSafe flying squad to crackdown on workplace bullies

State launches anti-bullying campaign

1 comment:

  1. Hi Cath,
    We are running a petition calling for reform in the Australian laws and sentencing acts regarding bulling and psychological abuse. We would love to have your input. You can find us at http://antibullyinglaw.org