Safety Demands Action Week

Reporting abusive customer behaviour is a key step towards a safer store.

The SDA is dedicated to ensuring that retail, fast food and warehousing workers have a safe and healthy working environment.

Each year during Safety Demands Action Week, we speak to thousands of workers across the country about the health and safety issues that are important to you, and how to help make workplaces safer.

Talking to workers about the health and safety issues on their sites helps the SDA and members to take action for safer workplaces.


This Year's Focus

The focus of this year’s Safety Demands Action Week was ‘customer abuse and violence is a workplace health and safety issue’.

Our aim was to create awareness about reporting customer abuse and violence, and to find out more about why many workers don’t report incidents.

The SDA encourages workers to report all incidents of abuse and violence that occur at work — whether it happens to them or their workmates. We ask workers to take a pledge and commit to reporting all incidents.

If incidents are not reported, the process of addressing abuse and violence in the workplace and getting better protections for workers is much more difficult.

When someone gets injured at work, you report it.

If you were to slip from a spill on the floor at work, you would report it.

If you were burned by hot oil, you would make a report.

Being on the receiving end of abusive or violent behaviour is a safety hazard too.

It can have a serious impact on your mental and physical health.

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure health and safety issues are appropriately addressed.

That’s why you should report it. 

It’s difficult to hold employers to account if there is no report of abuse and violence — reporting creates an accurate record of the abuse.

The safety chats we had with workers across the country will be used to form a national report and to let companies know what safety issues are important to our members.


How do I report an abusive or violent customer?

The process for reporting health and safety issues such as abusive and violent customer behaviour is different depending on your employer and your store.

Find out the correct procedure in your store and when an incident occurs always report it to your supervisor.

You should also report it to your SDA Health & Safety Rep or Delegate and your Health & Safety Committee if your store has one.

Remember, you’re not alone.

If you’re reporting incidents but don’t feel like you’re being appropriately supported, get in touch with the SDA for help.