The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines work-related violence 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 as well as physical attacks.
Employers are responsible for identifying and managing the risk of harassment and violence at work. They should provide clear policies in relation to harassment and violence, detailing their own responsibilities, as well as those of their workforce, to raise awareness of related issues among the workforce, and set standards for workplace behaviour. Workers should be aware of the behaviour expected of them and the options available to them should they feel they have been victims of violence and/or harassment.
A 4 step stage management process has been set out:
Step 1 - Finding out if you have a problem
Step 2 - Deciding what action to take
Step 3 - Take Action
Step 4 - Check what you have done
To help victims of work related violence, employers should consider:
- Debriefing and letting victims talk through their experience without dismissing their feelings
- Time off work
- Legal help in serious cases
- Provide guidance and / or training to help other employees react appropriately
To read more about how to manage work-related violence: