Policies and procedures
You should ensure you have clear policies and procedures which set out how you will prevent, manage and respond to work-related violence. Having a policy and good procedures demonstrates your commitment to tackling violence and ensuring the safety of your staff.
You should make sure that all your staff, including new and part-time employees, are aware of these procedures and policies and know what they are expected to do. You may need to train staff and managers on how to implement the procedures and policies.
You should develop any policies and procedures in partnership with your staff and unions, if appropriate, and you should make sure your policy covers the risks to everyone. It is also important that you make these policies clear to customers as well, for example displaying your policy on requesting identification for the sale of alcohol. This gives staff something to refer to if customers query the actions of your staff.
What should my policy cover?
- The purpose of the policy, its scope and definitions of work-related violence, including the recognition that it is a health and safety issue.
- Indication of commitment from top management and support for staff actions that aim to create an environment free from violence.
- A statement that violence will not be tolerated, that it is unacceptable and that it does not show failure of staff if it occurs.
- Information on what procedures you have for working with other businesses and agencies, eg the police, local authorities etc.
- Information about who the policy and procedures affect. In the case of work-related violence this is likely to be a risk for most of your staff.
- Responsibilities for implementing the policy and procedures, for example managing directors, the board and staff. What action will be taken if staff or managers do not use the policies and procedures?
- How you will go about assessing the risks of work-related violence and where your risk assessment will be kept.
- Details of measures aimed at preventing, controlling and eliminating violence including environmental design, job design and training.
- Specific policies on aspects which are more likely to cause conflict and violence. For example, what is your policy on refunds or excluding persistent troublemakers? What is your policy on not serving underage customers?
- What reporting and recording systems you have in place and when staff should use them.
- The actions staff and managers should take if a violent incident occurs. Staff should know how to deal with it, how to support other staff members involved in incidents, and what support is available. For example, is it acceptable for a staff member to leave their till if they are being verbally abused?
- Information about arrangements for consultation, monitoring and review of the policy, as well as how the policy will be communicated to staff.