A survey commissioned by the NSW government has found that 45 per cent of the Western NSW Local Health District staff witnessed bullying in the workplace.
The NSW Public Service Commission’s People Matter Employee Survey 2018 also showed that 23 per cent of staff admitted to facing bullying at work in the past 12 months.
Sasha Pauline, the secretary at the Orange branch of the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association, said there had been unintentional bullying or harassment between staff members because of workloads.
She said some nurses might feel intimidated because of the number of patients they had to tend to.
It does happen on that level that we experience an unsafe workplace.Sasha Pauline, Orange branch of the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association
“We recently witnessed an episode of a patient threatening our lives in [the] workplace. It does happen on that level that we experience an unsafe workplace,” she said.
A WNSWLHD spokesperson said bullying was unacceptable to the local health district and it has a wide range of programs and strategies in place to address any issues of bullying.
Data showed that a fellow worker was responsible for 34 per cent of bullying incidents, an immediate manager or supervisor was blamed in 21 per cent of incidents, and a senior manager was behind 19 per cent of bullying incidents.
It was also found that three per cent of employees suffered physical harm or sexual harassment in the local health district, which provides services in the Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo local government areas.
A member of public was responsible for causing harm to employees in 55 per cent of cases, while fellow workers were blamed in 26 per cent of assault cases.
The WNSWLHD spokesperson said the survey results showed that about 89 per cent of the respondents knew how to address a work, health and safety issue in their workplace.
“The responses are important because we know we provide better care to our patients and our communities when our culture is strong, and our organisation functions well,” the spokesperson said.
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