Reporting and recording violent incidents
What should I report and who should I report it to?
Employers have a legal duty under RIDDOR regulations to make a formal report to the Incident Contact Centre if any of their staff experience a physically violent incident which results in death, major injury or absence from work for seven days or more.
Instances of violence and crime should also be reported to the police. Police use this data to identify hot spots and their interventions.
What should I record?
You should record incidents of work-related violence that you or your staff experience.
- It helps you build up a true picture of the risks and triggers for work-related violence in your premises and therefore helps you to put relevant control measures in place.
- It helps you to assess whether your control measures are working.
- It can contribute towards the evidence needed for legal options such as Anti-social Behaviour Orders.
We know that, in general, staff don't record work-related violence because:
- they think violence is part of the job.
- they think reporting violence will make them look incompetent and just add to their stress.
- they don't know how to record and report violence.
- recording and reporting procedures are time-consuming or too complicated.
- management don't encourage them to record violence.
- they think that management or the police won't take any action.
- they think the reputation of the business may be damaged.
- they are concerned about licence or insurance implications.
You need to try and overcome these obstacles by developing a recording system that is quick and easy to use, promote its use amongst staff, and demonstrate that you will act on the findings.
How should I record incidents of violence?
- You may already have an accident book that you use to record accidents and incidents at work - you could make a record in that.
- A brief note of what happened, when, and who was involved should be enough to get you started, particularly in the case of verbal abuse. Alternatively, why not ask staff to make a simple note in a diary or discuss at a staff meeting if verbal abuse is experienced frequently?
- You may want to devise a simple report form specifically for recording incidents of work-related violence. This might be particularly useful to help you capture details of the incident and perpetrator, which could then be used if the police take any formal prosecution action. This might be particularly important for more serious incidents of work-related violence.
- You might also want to record details of any circumstances you or your staff think might have contributed to the incident, eg overcrowding, drinks promotions, special events, football match crowds, so you can review your risk assessment and see if any more measures are needed.