James Watson Personal Safety Consultant
Violence to Staff – Reducing the Risk
Physical assaults on staff are becoming more common. For any organisation violence to staff can lead to low morale, stress and a poor company image. For staff, violence can cause pain, suffering disability and even death. Violence, like any other health and safety risk, must be assessed and managed. The recent National Audit Office report on health and safety in the NHS states that: “training should be given to educate staff on how to avoid or defuse potentially violent situations and how to respond appropriately to incidents of violence.”
The report recommends that employers must ensure that staff are given appropriate training on recruitment and when exposed to new or increased risks. This training should be ongoing so as to maximise an employee’s competence, as competence will decline if skills and knowledge are not regularly used or refreshed.
How can I assist you?
By offering you structured training programmes for you, your staff and your management, specifically designed to deal with violence against staff. You can reduce the risk of accident, injury and in extreme cases death, whilst improving an individuals coping ability through increased self-confidence and self-esteem. The training programme also has the ability to have the training identified, as part of the risk assessment process, acceptable under Health and Safety at Work guidelines. Thus ensuring that you as an employer are immediately complying with the responsibilities placed upon you by current and proposed law in reducing the risk of assaults against your staff.
What are the benefits to you?
Your legal position will be improved as you will not only be complying with current law but will also be ready to comply with proposed statute which is being passed through Parliament as a draft bill at this present moment. You will also improve your financial position through reductions in:
· Staff absence and therefore, overtime costs
· The cost of recruiting and training replacement staff through better staff retention
· NHS injury benefit or pension costs
· Insurance premiums
· Fines for breaches of legislation
· Legal costs involved in defending court action
· More competent staff by improved confidence and self-esteem
· Implementable strategy
· Compliance with current and proposed law
· Risk assessment Implementation
Failure of an organisation to provide adequate controls and proper safe working practices can now result in management prosecution under gross negligence should a serious injury or fatality occur at work. If “gross negligence” is proved it can be classed as “management failure” and management can be prosecuted under the new draft bill, and/or, failing in their duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work act of 1974 and any updated acts. It may also be worth noting that if it can be proved that no current safe systems of work are in place and supported by policy, areas such as Public and Employer liability insurance may be void!
The National Audit Office report on Health and Safety issues concluded that: “To succeed in attaining the high standards expected, organisations should aim to develop a more proactive, rather than reactive approach. This involves developing industry-wide strategies to minimise the level of accidents.” Also in a covering letter from the Health and Safety Executive was stated: “Ensuring a safe and healthy environment for both staff and those with which they protect is an important management task and should be a priority of every Security employer.”
The health and Safety Executive has, for many years, advanced the view that there is no contradiction between health and safety and profitability. Those organisations, which perform, well and have high standards of health and safety, are most successful, irrespective of size or industry.
I hope that you will allow me the privilege of working with you to reduce the risk of violence to your staff and in doing so ensuring that you as a business can grow in competence and profitability.
All you need to do to find out if I can be of service to you is contact me and arrange a meeting with me personally to explore the benefits further and in greater detail, I would be delighted to attend. I would also be willing to give a presentation to either your board or a senior management committee at a later stage.
Personal Safety consultant and Trainer
Kickback Martial Arts and Training Centre
George Square, Nelson Street,
Tel: 07939 486 250
PS: From 1st April 1996 the RIDDOR 1995 Regulations came into force and included a new definition of ‘accident’ as: “AN ACT OF NON-CONSENSUAL PHYSICAL VIOLENCE DONE TO A PERSON AT WORK”. This makes the management and reporting of acts of violence mandatory under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992.
PPS: A Managing director of a haulage company was recently prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive, the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for Gross Negligence when an employee died. He had failed to provide a safe operating procedure and a safe system of work. He is currently serving a prison sentence.