HSE out to tackle workplace violence

Jul 11 2002 by Brian Amble Print This Article

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published a series of case studies that it hopes will provide employers with valuable tips to help reduce workplace violence.

The study, ‘Work-related violence: managing the risk in smaller businesses’ contains 10 case studies in business environments often prone to violence.

These include a pizza delivery service, a convenience store and a night club.

Chair of the health and safety commission Bill Callaghan said: “Violence at work is totally unacceptable and employers have a duty under health and safety law to take action to tackle the problem, which has devastating consequences on the victims, and real financial costs for their employers.”

According to the HSE there are 1.3 million attacks on workers annually.

The knock on effect for business is also considerable as sickness absence, high rates of staff turnover, higher insurance premiums and compensation payments hit the bottom line. Employers meanwhile can be hit by long-term stress and anxiety.

“Many smaller businesses manage the risk of violence very successfully,” Callaghan said. “They have reduced the potential for violence and increased their ability to deal with difficult situations.”

He added: “These businesses are likely to be more efficient, profitable and able to recruit and retain high quality staff.”