Violence at Work – Case Law

The aim behind this section of the web site is to illustrate the way the civil courts interpret ‘duty of care’ responsibilities.

The duty to conduct a (full and sufficient) Risk Assessment

In Ealing Borough Council v Kentucky Fried Chicken (30 July 2002), the fast food chain was successfully prosecuted for a number of breaches relating to inadequate protection of staff against violent attacks by customers. The Court found that had they carried out a specific Risk Assessment for Violence, they would have appreciated that the risk of robbery warranted such protection.

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In the Scottish case of Collins v First Quench Retailing Limited (31 January 2003), an Off Licence manager, following an armed robbery at the store, claimed her employers were at fault for failing to provide her with adequate protection. Although the term risk assessment was not mentioned directly in the judgement, the judge considered what the risk was and, effectively, what control measures should have been in place.

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Provision of ‘health risk’ information to employees

In Waugh v London Borough of Newham Council (2002), a teacher who had been assaulted by a pupil successfully claimed that their employer had, by omitting to warn a pupil escort about a child