Do You Have A Strategy for Preventing Workplace Violence?

blog-publish-date

12 Jun 2018

blog-read-duration

In 2016/17, there were 642,000 reported incidents of violence at work. In the same period, 326,000 adults claimed to experience workplace violence.

What is Workplace Violence?

Claims of violence carry serious implications for any employer. A claim of violence, abuse, or harassment can quickly escalate. For this reason, it's important to define what workplace violence actually is. The HSE defines work-related violence as "any incident in which a person is abused, threatened, or assaulted in circumstances related to their work." So, to put it in simpler terms, that is any form of verbal abuse, threat, or physical abuse or assault. The term "workplace violence" doesn't just refer to actions by violent employees, it can also include violence committed by the general public towards an employee.

How Can I Prevent Violence at Work?

Some occupations will be more predisposed to violence than others. For example, employees working in care homes may occasionally have to deal with unpredictable individuals under their care. Similarly, those who work with the general public will be at higher risk than those working in an office. It is your duty as an employer to assess potential threats and address them in your health & safety policies and procedures. A clear statement to staff that you will not tolerate violence or verbal abuse is a good start. Include a clause that encourages staff to report incidents. Keep an eye out for employees who aren't getting along. If you think a workplace dispute could escalate, address it with an informal meeting.

Are There Any Workplace Violence Laws to Protect My Employees?

There are five pieces of health & safety legislation that relate to violence at work, these are:

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act (HASAWA, 1974).
  • The Safety Representative and Safety Committees Regulations (1977).
  • The Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations (1996).
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999).
  • The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR, 2013).

So, of these workplace violence laws, the following are the most significant: Section 2 of HASAWA states that employers have a duty of care to employees because violence is a foreseeable risk. Additionally, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states that employers must consider the risk of foreseeable violence, decide how significant those risks are, and determine how best to prevent or control those risks, and under Regulation 3 must complete a risk assessment. Finally, RIDDOR states that employers legally must report any injury, incapacity, or death as a result of workplace violence, to the authorities.

The Consequences of Workplace Violence

Treat violence at work with the severity it deserves. Not only does violence affect the well-being and morale of your employees, but it can also lead to:

  • Employees taking time off work.
  • Potential health & safety issues.
  • Civil claims and employment tribunals.

An act of violence towards an employee can also have a devastating effect on the morale of the rest of the workforce. The law supports the employee when it comes to ensuring their safety at work. If an incident occurs and the employee makes a claim, there is a high possibility that costly legal action comes next. You must make sure you have adequately assessed and controlled the risks of workplace violence.

Expert Views

For any help in handling incidents of violence at work or aggressive employees, contact Croner on 0808 145 3383.

Free to Download Employer Resources

  • Pay Awards & Forecast (September 2018)

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Pay Awards & Forecast (September 2018...

    Read Croner Reward's expert settlement and forecast report for September 2018

    Read more
  • Sample Health & Safety Policy Statement

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Sample Health & Safety Policy Stateme...

    Here we’ve included a free sample Health & Safety Policy Statement that UK business owners can refer to.

    Read more
  • Pay Awards & Forecast (June 2018)

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Pay Awards & Forecast (June 2018)

    Read Croner Reward's expert Settlements and Forecasts report for June 2018

    Read more
  • How Much Does Employee Turnover Cost Your Business?

    BLOG

    How Much Does Employee Turnover Cost ...

    A recent Glassdoor survey revealed that almost 35% of hiring professionals expec...

    Read more
  • Staff Turnover: What Do You Need to Know?

    BLOG

    Staff Turnover: What Do You Need to K...

    Having a high worker turnover can have mean two things: A negative impact on you...

    Read more
  • What is Wrongful Dismissal?

    BLOG

    What is Wrongful Dismissal?

    If you breach an employee’s contract, you could be liable for wrongful dismissal...

    Read more
  • bemrose-school-derby

    CASE STUDY

    Bemrose School Derby

    “Having Croner-i saves us a lot of time and money, as we do not have to use cred

    Read more
  • wmtr

    CASE STUDY

    WMTR

    “I’d definitely recommend the Croner OnSite services and I have done already, I

    Read more
  • certikin

    CASE STUDY

    Certikin

    “Our Distribution Manager had a particularly technical query relating to respira

    Read more

Ready to focus on what you do best?

Get your free consultation and speak to an expert today.