Violence in the workplace- everything you need to know

Violence in the workplace - everything you need to know

SWITCH on any news or current affairs programme and you’re likely to hear reports of violence at work, particularly in the NHS where the statistics are particularly shocking.

It’s a common problem and one which sadly appears to be one the rise with more than 680,000 incidents of work-related violence reported in 2019-20 alone.

So what steps should you take to minimise the risk of members of your team becoming victims of violence in the workplace. In this blog we’ll explain more, and give you more information about the ways in which the team at Acorn Safety Services can help.

What is violence in the workplace?

While it might seem obvious, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has guidelines which sets out exactly what violence at work means.

The definition of workplace violence is determined as: ‘any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work.’

This can include verbal abuse or threats, including face-to-face, online or via the telephone or physical attacks. This might include violence from members of the public, customers, clients, patients, service users and students towards a person at work.

Violence in the workplace can have a huge affect on morale, days lost through sickness and the mental health and wellbeing of your team.

All of these factors mean that it should be high on the list of priorities for all businesses, but particularly those with public-facing roles.

What do employers need to know?

Everybody has the right to come to work feeling safe and supported and employers have a legal obligation to ensure – as far as is reasonably practicable – the health, safety and welfare of their staff.

As part of your health and safety programme, you should assess your workplace for the risk of violence and take steps to mitigate those risks should they be identified.

The HSE suggests considering the following measures:

  • Look at space and layout, ensuring good visibility throughout your workplace
  • Identify areas where tension could grow and implement queuing systems or CCTV cameras
  • Introduce carefully worded signage and visual displays to remind people to respect each other and not abuse workers

You should also do everything possible to maintain communication at all levels of your business and consider ways to reduce the possibility of aggression or violence if your business has a public-facing role.

How can Acorn Safety Services help?

At Acorn Safety Services we can support you with all areas of health and safety as part of a regular programme of assessments.

We can assess your business for risk and then develop an individual plan to tackle any problems which may arise.

We’ll work with you to implement your health and safety policy and provide training to all staff members should it be required.

If the worst should happen, we’ll be by your side too, supporting with any investigation which needs to be carried and helping you with any paperwork which may be required.

At Acorn we provide a complete health and safety service so we can help with other things too including fire and legionella risk assessments and asbestos surveys.

If you need our support, we’ll be there.

Why not arrange a FREE 30-minute consultation with a member of our team today to talk about any concerns you might have? We’ll come up with a plan and get you on the path to health and safety happiness in no time.

You’ll also find more information about the services we offer on our website at www.acornhealthandsafety.co.uk

For all your health and safety needs visit https://acornhealthandsafety.co.uk/ today or contact us at info@acornhealthandsafety.co.uk or on 01604 930380.


More Health and Safety Articles

Help with health and safety

How nudge theory can help with health and safety

A behavioural nudge is a psychological technique used by organisations to encourage good decisions in various scenarios. Essentially, behavioural nudges can guide employees towards a favourable behaviour as opposed to a dangerous one.   Originally conceived by American economist, Richard ...

Develop Safe Systems of Work

How to develop Safe Systems of Work and why you need them

Safe Systems of Work (SSoWs) are designed to protect employees where workplace risks cannot be fully eliminated – a legal obligation for employers under the Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974. SSoWs are a fundamental element of health and ...

managing health and safety

5 easy steps for smaller businesses in managing health and safety

Managing health and safety can be daunting for smaller businesses with limited resources, but by implementing a few health and safety basics you can get to grips with your obligations as an employer and comply with the regulations. But where ...

Fire Risk Assessments

Fire Risk Assessment – not just another tick box exercise

A fire risk assessment plays a fundamental role in our national health and safety regime. A fire rsik assessment is a mandatory requirement for commercial, industrial, and all other non-domestic premises. When used correctly a fire risk assessment can safeguard ...