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Step 3: Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions

The aim of this stage is to think about how you can manage the risks of harm from work-related violence. That can mean avoiding a particular hazard altogether, reducing the likelihood or finding ways to make any harm that does occur less serious. You need to make sure that you have reduced risks 'so far as is reasonably practicable'. 

The risk is the chance, high or low, that somebody could be harmed by hazards identified in step 1, together with an indication of how serious the harm could be. A risk factor is something that can increase the chance of the hazard occurring.

At this stage of your risk assessment you need to establish whether there is a significant risk of violence in your business. You can do this in a number of ways, but perhaps the easiest way initially is to speak to your staff and safety representatives about their experiences. You can also look at sickness absence figures, staff turnover, injury and illness records (particularly incidents of work-related violence), stock losses and police records. Your local police force may be prepared to release crime data for your business to help you establish how you need to tackle violence and crime in your premises. RIDDOR reports can also be a useful source of information, and crime mapping can help you decide where best to target your activities.

Evaluate the risks

Risk factors

Licensed and retail business have, by the very nature of their business, factors which can increase the likelihood of violence occurring. These include:

Your business may also have specific risk factors that are associated with a higher risk of violence:

Decide on precautions

The next step is to decide whether there is anything more you can do. Have you reduced the risks 'so far as is reasonably practicable'? To do this you do this you will need to:

You now need to go to Step 4 - Record your findings and implement them.

Updated 2013-12-12