Act Now to Prevent Violence at Work

Advice and guidance for employees and employers about how you can prevent work-related violence.


  • Do not wait for a violent incident to occur. Raise the issue of violence at work with your employer.
  • Ask for a copy of your employer's risk assessment. By law all employers must carry out a workplace risk assessment, which should include assessing the risk of violence.
  • The next step, having identified whether or not there is a problem, is to implement the prevention strategy. If there is a risk, ask your employer what he or she is going to do to protect you.
  • If you are subject to physical attack or verbal abuse at work, however 'minor', report it to your manager or supervisor - preferably in writing.


  • Find out if you have a problem at your workplace. Ask your staff - verbally or using a short questionnaire. Ask if they have ever been or felt threatened, abused or assaulted whilst at work. This should be done informally and in confidence, as some people will be reluctant to give details, especially if the violence is from a work colleague. Their experience may differ from your view of the problem. Do not single out people to ask their views but carry out a survey of all your staff at the same time.
  • Keep records of any violence reported and bear in mind that, in some cases, you may have to report it to the Police or be required to report the incident to the I.C.C via R.I.D.D.O.R
  • Keep detailed records of incidents (including verbal abuse and threats).
  • Classify all incidents; this may help identify patterns or areas of greatest risks and hence help prioritise action.

The Health and Safety Executive's guidance ( contains further information.

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