Violence at Work (UK)

Do your own personal 'Risk Assessment' of your duties

Try to picture yourself in different parts of your workplace and ask yourself:

  • What would you do if someone becomes abusive and threatening towards you?

  • How would you react if somebody becomes physically violent to you - or someone else?

  • Who would help you?

  • In "real time" terms how far away is Police / Security assistance?

  • Can you rely on other employees helping meanwhile?

  • To what extent?

  • How likely are such incidents to happen?

  • Could the risks be reduced?

  • How?

If the exercise raises (or confirms) concerns, inform your line manager / safety representative without delay.

Ask for advice and make your suggestions for safety improvement / risk reduction.

If you have serious concerns that still remain after reporting to your line manager / safety representative, put the report in writing to make it official.


Do I have to do dangerous work?

Nobody can insist you perform work you think is unsafe.

You have a legal duty as well as a right to withdraw from dangerous situations (S44 Employment Rights Act 1996)

So, make your own mind up, based on what an "ordinary cautious person" would do.

(Remember, if you carry on working, you are in effect consenting to take the risk and may be forfeiting your right to compensation if you get injured, on grounds of contributory negligence.)