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  • Writer's pictureDorset Health and Safety

Work-related violence

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. This blog explains what HSE is doing to address the issue of work-related violence and provide access to a range of information.

Legal Requirements

Health and safety law applies to risks from violence, just as it does to other risks from work. The main pieces of relevant legislation are:

  • The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act) Employers have a legal duty under this Act to ensure, so far as it is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees.

  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 Employers must consider the risks to employees (including the risk of reasonably foreseeable violence); decide how significant these risks are; decide what to do to prevent or control the risks; and develop a clear management plan to achieve this.

  • The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) Employers must notify their enforcing authority in the event of an accident at work to any employee resulting in death, specified injury, or incapacity for normal work for seven or more days. This includes any act of non-consensual physical violence done to a person at work.

  • Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 (a) and The Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996 (b) Employers must inform, and consult with, employees in good time on matters relating to their health and safety. Employee representatives, either appointed by recognised trade unions under (a) or elected under (b) may make representations to their employer on matters affecting the health and safety of those they represent.

HSE Advice on preventing workplace harassment and violence

For more information and to download resources on this subject go to the website:

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