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Anti-social behaviour in the workplace

Last updated August 2023

This chapter explains the health and safety risks associated with exposure to anti-social behaviour, and how to manage the risks to comply with health and safety legislation.

What is anti-social behaviour?

Definition: Anti-Social Behaviour

Anti-social behaviour is conduct by a person that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons.

The term anti-social behaviour is broad and captures varying degrees of negative behaviour that is aggressive, intimidating and destructive, which negatively affects the quality of life of others.

Anti-social behaviour can be categorised into the following types of behaviour:

  • negative acts directed at others;
  • intentional environmental damage;
  • misuse of public or private space; and
  • disregard for personal and community safety and wellbeing.

Common examples of anti-social behaviour include:

  • vandalism;
  • loitering;
  • harassment;
  • violence;
  • indecent exposure;
  • unlawful assembly or out-of-control gathering;
  • racism;
  • offensive behaviour;
  • neighbouring disputes;
  • obstructing others;
  • reckless driving;
  • intentional property damage; and
  • drug use or drunken behaviour.
Caution: A particularly dangerous way that anti-social behaviour may be carried out is through the use of vehicles, e.g. tailgating, speeding or driving in a threatening manner. This behaviour may also breach road rules. Workers who drive for work purposes may be exposed to this kind of antisocial behaviour, or they may be exhibiting it themselves.

If your organisation requires workers to drive vehicles on public roads or on a closed site, they must be instructed to follow the road rules and not engage in any aggressive road behaviour.