Violence at Work (UK)

A Policy on Violence at work

A Policy on Violence provides a useful vehicle for management to use to:

  • Show recognition of the difficulties being encountered by staff

  • Express concern

  • Condemn all forms of violence

  • Publicly declare commitment to tackle the problem


Publishing a Policy on Violence also provides for an organisation to:

  • Describe kinds of workplace related violence and the associated dangers.

  • Raise awareness to the specific problems being encountered at the workplace.

  • Confirm to employees that they are not expected to accept or tolerate any kind of violent behaviour.

  • Reassure members of the public that everything reasonable and practicable is being done to minimise the risks.

  • Explain the management 'controls' that are in place and the strategies being employed to minimise the risks.

  • Emphasise workers 'personal responsibilities' for safety and health - in particular the requirement to report (safety) concerns and incidents that happen.

  • Leave employees and members of the public in no doubt about what constitutes a 'Reportable Incident'.

  • Caution all employees to be alert.

  • Set particular goals and targets (e.g. to achieve an overall reduction in the numbers of physical attacks on staff ).

  • Clarify conduct expectations of employees - and members of the public.

  • Define what is unacceptable behaviour.

  • Set rules governing staff and public conduct.

  • Explain the organisation's 'dispute resolution' mechanism that employees and members of the public should use to resolve differences and complaints.

  • Detail what action should intially be taken by staff who witness, or are a victim of a 'rule contravention' (e.g. bullying by a supervisor) and what subsequent action the organisation may take.

  • Advise staff on how best to react if they feel threatened by the presence or actions of another person.

  • Describe the safety procedures for 'serious and imminent' violence.

  • Make it quite clear that staff are not required to be violent to others in any aspect of the job

  • Show 'care and consideration' for workers who become affected, (by making available appropriate 'after-care' provisions, including professional counselling, for any worker in need of such assistance).