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.