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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 anti-social behaviour, or they may be exhibiting it themselves.