Verbal abuse and threatening behaviour are the most common types of violence at work but physical violence at work still occurs. Risk of violence can be managed by providing workplace security measures, establishing safe systems of work (especially for lone workers) and providing information and training.
Violence at Work Risk Factors
Certain occupations and types of work are associated with an increased risk of violence.
The following factors are common to those occupations:
- Cash Handling – any work that requires the handling of cash or valuables puts workers at risk of violence
- Lone working – any work that the lone worker is in urban areas or in contact with members of the public in an isolated or vacant area
- Representing Authority – for example, the police, traffic wardens, etc.
- Dealing with people under stress who are less capable of handling their emotions and can lose control
- Dealing with people under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When normal behaviour has been affected
The first step in managing the risk of work related violence is to establish if any of your employees are at risk and in what way.
Questions that need answering:
- Have there been any previous incidents?
- What happened and how were they dealt with?
- Do your staff feel safe?
- Can you identify any areas where your employees may be exposed unnecessary?
Once these questions have been answered, identifying and implementing effective preventative measures will be much easier.
Violence at work is a matter that should be taken very seriously. As an employer it is your duty to ensure the safety of your employees and the public. For guidance and support speak to one of our consultants today.
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