Workplace bullying can be defined as offensive, intimidating, malicious, insulting or humiliating behaviour, abuse of power or authority which attempts to undermine an individual or group of employees and which may cause them to suffer stress.

The 2016 TUC safety representatives’ survey found that 46% of safety representatives identified bullying as one of the top five problems in their workplace. A 2015 poll, carried out for the TUC revealed that nearly a third of people (29%) are bullied at work. The groups most likely to become victims of bullying and harassment are black and Asian employees, women and people with a disability.

Many workers also face the threat of violence because of their work. There were estimated 698,000 incidents of violence at work in 2015/16, comprising 329,000 assaults and 369,000 threats.

Workers in the protective services, for example police  and prison officers, were most at risk of violence at work, with 8.4% having experienced violence. Health and social welfare associate professionals, including nurses, medical and dental practitioners were also at relatively high risk. Shop workers and teachers also suffer from high levels of violence in the workplace. The HSE has advice on Work related violence