Department of Health


The Department of Health and Human Services strategy Reducing occupational violence in Victorian hospitals (June 2016) outlines the the department's strategic objectives to prevent and reduce occupational violence and aggression (OVA) in Victorian health services. It is based on a culture change approach, with strong themes of prevention, early intervention and post-incident response. The strategic objectives and initiatives to achieve them are focused on raising awareness, building knowledge and capability among the workforce and leadership teams, and embedding systems and processes for action at the individual, service and system levels.

The strategy is articulated in a summary document and infographic, including anticipated timelines, desired outcomes and key performance measures.

Find out more about the strategy.


The department commissioned an independent expert review of health services' responses to the prevention and management of occupational violence and aggression. The review included site visits to 12 health services (metropolitan and rural) and consultation with sector representatives, including clinical, management, administrative, health and safety, and security staff.

Aspex Consulting's Expert Review of Health Services' Occupational Violence and Aggression Responses Final Report Executive Summary (2017) provides an overview of the findings and recommendations. The review findings guided the development of the framework.

The Framework for preventing and managing occupational violence and aggression (2017) guides health services on how to prevent and respond to the risk of OVA from an organisation-wide perspective. The framework covers six domains: governance, prevention, training, response, reporting and investigation.

The Framework for preventing and managing occupational violence and aggression: guide to implementation (2018) provides information for health services to consider when implementing each element of the framework, together with links to useful resources.

The Framework for preventing and managing occupational violence and aggression: tool for health services (2019) assists health services to assess progress with implementation of the framework and supports consistent implementation across Victorian public hospitals.

Preventing occupational violence: a policy framework(2011) is the department's overarching policy framework for preventing and managing OVA within Victorian public healthcare services.

Post-incident support

This online resource is for staff, managers and leaders in healthcare services. It provides practical information about people react to OVA in the workplace, with tips and advice on providing support to others, helpful ways to look after yourself, and strategies and services to promote recovery. It also includes a simple, 10-question self-assessment tool to measure psychological distress.

The online resource is supported with downloadable guides for leaders, managers and staff.

Body-worn cameras policy template

The department has developed a Body-worn cameras policy template (2017) to provide guidance for health services that decide to procure and use body-worn cameras.

The department has approved a submission to the Health Service Violence Prevention Fund from Ambulance Victoria to procure and trial body-worn cameras in 2017.

WorkSafe handbook

WorkSafe Victoria's handbook Prevention and management of aggression in health services: a handbook for workplacesExternal Link (September 2008) provides a framework to identify, prevent and manage aggression and violence in health industry workplaces. The handbook being updated, and a new version will be released shortly.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation's strategy to tackle violence and aggression in Victorian health services is outlined in A 10-point plan to end violence and aggressionExternal Link (October 2014).

Partnerships with Victoria Police

The department and Victoria Police have developed a coordinated approach to the management of weapons and dangerous articles within healthcare settings, including consideration of the issues of search, seizure, storage and disposal or return of such items. The approach is outlined in High-impact interventions for occupational violence: building better partnerships between police and health services.

Reviewed 16 April 2024


Contact details

Worker Wellbeing Department of Health

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