Employers' Duties

Find guidance for employers about managing work-related violence.

Whatever the cause of the violence, employers have a duty under health and safety law to protect employees health, safety and welfare whilst at work. This means that they must assess threats to employees and work out how they will eliminate or minimise them.

All employers must have proper systems for managing health and safety, and these should cover threats of violence just as they should any other hazard in the workplace.

Some violent incidents cannot be predicted but many are foreseeable. Employers have a duty to identify these and seek to prevent them.

Risk Assessment

Carry out a violence at work risk assessment to:

  • identify those at risk
  • list all significant risks of violence
  • develop suitable control measures, including systems and procedures; information and training; work planning; non-threatening work environment; use of C.C.T.V and surveillance; alarm systems and panic buttons
  • make sure all incidents are recorded and where necessary reported - as required under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 and to the police
  • consider providing counselling and aftercare to minimise post-traumatic stress disorder.

Some Jobs Involve Greater Risks

Including if you:

  • handle money
  • provide care, advice or information - face to face or via telecommunications
  • work with violent people
  • deal with complaints
  • have the power to act against the public such as inspecting premises and enforcing legislation
  • work alone
  • work unsocial hours

Some Workplaces Put Employees at a Higher Risk

Including if you work:

  • on your own, away from other employees
  • in the community
  • in a workplace that's badly lit
  • not on your own employer's premises
  • in multi-occupied premises


A to Z of Services