A Policy on Violence
A Policy on Violence provides a useful vehicle for management to use to:
- Show recognition of the difficulties being encountered by staff
- Express concern
- Condemn all forms of violence
- Publicly declare commitment to tackle the problem.
Publishing a Policy on Violence also provides for an organisation to:
- Describe kinds of workplace related violence and the associated dangers.
- Raise awareness to the specific problems being encountered at the workplace.
- Confirm to employees that they are not expected to accept or tolerate any kind of violent behaviour.
- Reassure members of the public that everything reasonable and practicable is being done to minimise the risks.
- Explain the management ‘controls’ that are in place and the strategies being employed to minimise the risks.
- Emphasise workers ‘personal responsibilities’ for safety and health – in particular the requirement to report (safety) concerns and incidents that happen.
- Leave employees and members of the public in no doubt about what constitutes a ‘Reportable Incident’.
- Caution all employees to be alert.
- Set particular goals and targets (e.g. to achieve an overall reduction in the numbers of physical attacks on staff).
- Clarify conduct expectations of employees – and members of the public.
- Define what is unacceptable behaviour.
- Set rules governing staff and public conduct.
- Explain the organisation’s ‘dispute resolution’ mechanism that employees and members of the public should use to resolve differences and complaints.
- Detail what action should intially be taken by staff who witness, or are a victim of a ‘rule contravention’ (e.g. bullying by a supervisor) and what subsequent action the organisation may take.
- Advise staff on how best to react if they feel threatened by the presence or actions of another person.
- Describe the safety procedures for ‘serious and imminent’ violence.
- Make it quite clear that staff are not required to be violent to others in any aspect of the job.
- Show ‘care and consideration’ for workers who become affected, (by making available appropriate ‘after-care’ provisions, including professional counselling, for any worker in need of such assistance).
Example policy on work-related violence
HSE has produced an example Policy on Violence at Work which provides a useful template if you need to create one for your workplace.
Click Here to download it (FREE) from the HSE website.