Personal safety at work
Violence in the workplace covers a wide range of
behaviour, from threats and verbal abuse to intimidation
and physical assault. It may also include sexual or
racial harassment. It can be carried out by customers,
suppliers or colleagues.
Your employer has a legal duty to protect you from
violence and abuse while you are at work and should have
a policy for dealing with the risk of violence to staff.
You can help to reduce your personal risk by planning
strategies to deal with difficult situations before they
Check which aspects of your organisation’s policy
on preventing work-related violence are relevant to
you and your work.
Make sure you know which procedures to follow if
a violent incident happens.
Be aware of risk factors and the possible causes
of violence arising from the work you are doing
If you work alone, or away from your workplace,
try to make sure someone knows where you are going
and when you expect to come back.
You may feel safer carrying a mobile phone,
personal alarm or pager.
If you find yourself in a situation that could turn
try to stay calm;
be aware of your own body language and the other
try to keep a safe distance and avoid physical
contact if possible;
if you are cannot calm the situation down, call
for help or look for opportunities to move away; and
report all incidents to your employer
For more information:
Ask your union representative for more information.
Contact the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which
publishes guidance for employers on how to prevent and
control violence at work. (HSE and local authority
inspectors are also responsible for inspecting and
enforcing health and safety in workplaces).
Phone the HSE information line on: 08701 545500 or visit
the HSE website.