Step 1: Identify the hazards
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Work-related violence refers to incidents where people are abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances related to their work. Violence may range from verbal abuse from customers to assault by thieves, and it can cause harm to your staff. The first step in your risk assessment is to identify the hazards - things that can cause harm to people - in your workplace. There are number of ways to do this, but here are some tips:
- Ask your employees and safety representatives about their experiences and what they think.
- Read information on HSE's website, including this toolkit and related case studies.
- Look back at your accident and ill health records.
When we asked a number of people who worked in pubs/clubs about violence they said causes included:
- disagreements between customers;
- customers being intoxicated;
- customers who have used illegal drugs.
When we asked a number of people who worked in shops about violence they said causes included:
- the unpredictable behaviour of shoplifters and drug users;
- verbal abuse (this is more common than physical violence).
A hazard is anything that can cause harm to people. In this case we are interested in the hazard of work-related violence, threats or intimidation, and verbal abuse.
You now need to go onto Step 2: Decide who might be harmed and how