Assessing risk of violence and aggression in the workplace

How to assess the risks of violence and aggression in your workplace

Violence and aggression risk assessment

To assess these risks, you need to follow the same steps used for other risks.

  1. Identify the hazards.
  2. Establish who might be harmed and how.
  3. Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions.
  4. Record findings and implement them.
  5. Review assessment and update if necessary.

You can read more on how to carry out a general risk assessment.

Employee involvement

Involving your employees while carrying out a risk assessment is crucial. This ensures risk assessments are appropriate to manage workplace risks.

Sometimes risk assessments can be carried out from the service user’s point of view, forgetting the safety of employees. The duty of care to employees is as important as that for service users.

While the responsibility for risk assessment rests with managers, the benefits of involving employees and trades union safety representatives are that relevant issues are addressed using the experience and knowledge available in the organisation.

You want to involve your staff as all of the risks may not be obvious to you. For example, it would not be particularly effective to carry out a risk assessment involving employees during the day for care employees involved in ‘tuck-in’ procedures in the homes of service users at night. Those working in the community, such as refuse collectors or street wardens, will be aware of the areas where they feel most at risk that you might not be aware of.