Wollongong Hospital is "unsafer than ever" for staff and patients alike following the recent sacking of a security guard.
Fellow health and security assistants, who wished to remain nameless, told the Mercury they also feared for their jobs.
"The sacking of the security guard has made the place unsafe. Security officers are now going to be afraid to confront an unsettled person simply because we might also get the sack," the security workers said.
The security workers joined fellow staff and Health Services Union members at a protest outside Wollongong Hospital on Tuesday.
Those at the rally called for better security arrangements at the hospital and demanded more security officers, with increased powers and better equipment.
HSU secretary Gerard Hayes said staff were still disappointed with management's decision to sack the security guard earlier this month, following a violent incident with a patient in the mental health unit in early December.
"That security officer has intervened to protect a health worker and at the end of the day his job has been put on the line and indeed it is in the balance," he said.
"At the end of the day there is a policy in place that if people are going to have to take someone down there should be five people involved, that never happens.
"They are not addressing their own policies. We have a situation here where one security person has had to deal with a person by themselves and hope for the best."
Mr Hayes said the protest aimed to highlight the issue of security in hospitals.
"Hospitals are becoming more and more dangerous every day," he said.
"People come to hospitals because they are injured, they are sick, they are unwell and now we are seeing them being injured in hospitals and that is just an unacceptable situation.
"I note that in Lismore last weekend, another person has been shot on or near the hospital grounds. That's three people shot in three years.
"Society's changing. Hospitals need to be able to keep up with it from a resourcing point of view and also from a professional approach to health security, as opposed to being at the back end of the health budget at the moment."
This view was backed by a security guard, who added on a good day he was just spat at and abused verbally by aggressive patients.
"These patients are going through some sort of psychosis but they are making life difficult for other staff members we have to protect," he said.
"I've been attacked with knives and forks.
"I frequently have to take on patients who are much larger than me and have obviously taken some sort of substance where they are incredibly strong and very hard to hold down.
"You don't know what they are capable of."
A fellow security guard added it wasn't uncommon for up to five police officers to drop off an unsettled person to the emergency department.
"They drop them off to two, maybe three security officers. It's not enough, we need support."
Wollongong MP Paul Scully told those at the rally Labor would commit an extra 250 staff to NSW hospitals if the party were elected to form government following Saturday's election.
"Importantly along with those staff comes additional powers requested by security guards as well as the training that comes with that," he said.
"We want to make sure hospitals are as safe as possible for patients, for staff and for friends and family who come along and visit people."