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Assault at Work Compensation Claim – Employers’ Responsibilities

To reduce the risk of an assault at work compensation claim, what should your Employer actually do?

A straightforward 4 stage management process is set out below:

STAGE 1- FINDING OUT IF YOU HAVE A VIOLENCE PROBLEM

The first step in risk assessment is to identify the hazard so as to reduce the chance of an employee making an assault at work compensation claim. You may think violence is not a problem at your workplace or that incidents are rare. However, your employees’ view  may be very different.

Ask your staff

Do this informally through managers, supervisors and safety representatives or use a short questionnaire to find out whether your employees ever feel threatened. Tell them the results of your survey so they realise that you recognise the problem.

Keep detailed records

It is a good idea to record incidents, including verbal abuse and threats as these may come in handy as evidence if an employee makes an assault at work compensation claim. You may find it useful to record the following information:

  1. an account of what happened;
  2. details of the victim(s), the assailant(s) and any witnesses;
  3. the outcome, including working time lost to both the
  4. individual(s) affected and to the organisation as a whole;
  5. details of the location of the incident.

For a variety of reasons some employees may be reluctant to report incidents of aggressive behaviour which make them feel threatened or worried. They may for instance feel that accepting abuse is part of the job.

You will need a record of all incidents to enable you to build up a complete picture of the problem. Encourage employees to report incidents promptly and fully and let them know that this is what you expect.

Classify all assault at work incidents

Use headings such as place, time, type of incident, potential severity, who was involved and possible causes. It is important that you examine each assault at work incident report to establish whether there could have been a more serious outcome.  Again, recording this information will be helpful if an employee does make an assault at work compensation claim.  Here is an example of a simple classification to help you decide how serious incidents are:

  1. fatal injury;
  2. major injury;
  3. injury or emotional shock requiring first aid, out-patient
  4. treatment, counselling, absence from work (record number
  5. of days);
  6. feeling of being at risk or distressed.

STAGE 2 – DECIDING WHAT ACTION TO TAKE

Having found out that violence and assaults at work could be a problem for your employees you need to decide what needs to be done. Continue the risk assessment by taking the following steps to help you decide what action you need to take which again will reduce the chances of an employee making an assault at work compensation claim.

Decide who might be harmed, and how

Identify which employees are at risk – those who have face-to-face contact with the public are normally the most vulnerable. Where appropriate, identify potentially violent people in advance so that the risks from them can be minimised.

Evaluate the risk of an assault at work compensation claim

Check existing arrangements, are the precautions already in place adequate or should more be done? Remember it is usually a combination of factors that give rise to violence. Factors which you can influence include:

  1. the level of training and information provided;
  2. the environment;
  3. the design of the job.

Training and information

Train your employees so that they can spot the early signs of aggression and either avoid it or cope with it.  Make sure they fully understand any system you have set up for their protection.

Provide employees with any information they might need to identify clients with a history of violence or to anticipate factors which might make violence more likely.

The environment

Provide better seating, decor, lighting in public waiting rooms and more regular information about delays.  Consider physical security measures such as:

  1. video cameras or alarm systems;
  2. coded security locks on doors to keep the public out of staff areas;
  3. wider counters and raised floors on the staff side of the counter to give staff more protection.

Record your findings

Keep a record of the significant findings of your assessment for evidence if an employee does make an assault at work compensation claim. The record should provide a working document for both managers and employees.

Review and revise your assessment

Regularly check that your assessment is a true reflection of your current work situation. Be prepared to add further measures or change existing measures where these are not working. This is particularly important where the job changes. If a violent incident

occurs, look back at your assessment, evaluate it and make any necessary changes.

STAGE 3 – TAKE ACTION

Your policy for dealing with violence may be written into your health and safety policy statement, so that all employees are aware of it.  This will help your employees to co-operate with you, follow procedures properly and report any further assaults at work.

STAGE 4 – CHECK WHAT YOU HAVE DONE

Check on a regular basis how well your arrangements are working, consulting employees or their representatives as you do so. Consider setting up joint management and safety representative committees to do this. Keep records of incidents and examine them regularly; they will show what progress you are making and if the problem is

changing. If your measures are working well, keep them up. If violence is still a problem, try something else. Go back to Stages 1 and 2 and identify other preventive measures that could work.

We can help with your Assault at Work Compensation Claim

David Healey at Carter & Carter Solicitors is very experienced in handling Assault at Work Compensation Claims as well as a variety of other accident compensation claims such as serious injury claims, fatalities, catastrophic injuries and amputations to name just a few.

Get in touch now about your Assault at Work Compensation Claim

If you think that you may have an assault at work compensation claim, would like to have a chat about a potential claim or require further information, contact David Healey.

Our Free phone number is 0800 652 0586 

My Direct Dial is 01663 761 892 

Email 

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