Violence and aggression within the workplace.

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Written by: Alcumus
2nd November

The HSE definition of work related violence is:

Any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work.

According to a HSE report into violence at work, in the 2015/16 reporting period there were 698,000 incidents of work related violence estimated in England and Wales. Of these 329,000 were classified as assaults and 369,000 classified as threats.

According to an article in the TUC's online publication, Worksmart, professions with a higher risk of work related violence include:

  • security guards and the police services;
  • nurses and other health professionals;
  • careworkers;
  • public transport workers;
  • catering and hotel workers;
  • benefits staff;
  • teachers;
  • shopworkers; and
  • managers and personnel officers.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states:

Employers have a legal duty under this act to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees.

The management of health and safety at work regulations 1999 states:

Employers must assess the risks to employees and make arrangements for their H&S by effective, planning, organization, control, monitoring and review. The risks covered should where appropriate include the need to protect employees from exposure to reasonably forseeable violence.
The consequences of violence & aggression for a company can be far reaching not only for the victim but for the business/organization involved.

What should employers do?

Carry out a risk assessment to identify if there is a potential risk to staff members and if so from whom?
Decide what action is needed, develop a written violence and aggression procedure.
Train employees to spot early signs of aggression and either avoid it or cope with it.

Reporting under RIDDOR

Acts of non-consensual violence to a person at work that result in death, a major injury or being incapacitated for over-seven-days are reportable.  A physical injury inflicted on one employee by another during a dispute about a personal matter, or an employee at work injured by a relative or friend who visits them at work about a domestic matter, is not reportable.

Alcumus provide training on workplace violence and aggression. The course is a half day course and covers:

  • Understanding of what workplace violence and aggression is and the risks/consequences
  • Identify those who may be at risk from violence and aggression.
  • Recognising potential threats/risks
  • Fear, the adrenalin dump, fight or flight.
  • Identify body language of a potential violent person
  • Awareness of surroundings, warning signs/possible threats/dangers.
  • Avoidance techniques
  • Basic self defence techniques to be used when escape has not been possible and an attack is imminent or underway: blocking strikes, breakaway techniques.

For further information please contact Alcumus on 02920 029 308