Providing support after an incident

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Despite conducting a risk assessment and putting control measures in place, there may be times when your staff experience work-related violence. Physical violence against staff is uncommon, but verbal abuse can happen more regularly. Either way, if an incident occurs you will need to support your staff and may have to consider whether further actions are needed.

There can be numerous consequences for staff following incidents of crime or violence, including verbal abuse. These consequences can either affect the member of staff directly involved or those who witnessed the incident. They include:

The support you provide to your staff will depend on the severity of the incident and how much your employees are affected. The key points to remember are:

It is important that staff of the appropriate level within your company are dealing with post-incident situations and that they are fully trained in the procedures.

Dealing with the immediate aftermath of an incident

How you and your staff react immediately following an incident of work-related violence will depend on the severity of the incident and the specific needs of the victim. If your staff experience verbal abuse, it may be enough to provide friendly support for the victim, and report or record the incident.

For more serious incidents, here are some actions that may be necessary:

Providing medical care


Providing support to the person affected by an incident and their colleagues could help to reduce the risk of longer-term, stress-related illness. This applies to incidents of verbal abuse as well as physical violence.

Changes to job role or working conditions for those affected by an incident

In some cases you may need to consider changing an individual's job role or working conditions if they are particularly affected by the incident.

Investigation and reporting

Legal issues

Updated 2022-10-17