Workplace Report October 2008

Health & safety - HSE Monitor

Reducing violence risks

An online toolkit to help cut the risk of work-related violence towards shopworkers has been published by HSE, taking on board demands from unions such as Usdaw.

The toolkit gives practical advice on how to conduct risk assessments and the kind of action to take to prevent work-related violence in shops and licensed premises.

The guidance tells employers: “Wherever possible, make sure you have at least adequate staffing levels for surveillance and to meet customer demands.”

Employers are also told they should “consult the union’s health and safety representatives”. The guidance adds: “Representatives will consult members, which can help you work together to identify issues and create strategies to reduce risks of violence.”

Usdaw welcomed the initiative. Usdaw general secretary John Hannett said: “It is a timely reminder that violence is a significant risk for workers in shops and licensed premises, but it is a risk that can be controlled.”

Next month Usdaw will run another Respect week, part of its Freedom from Fear campaign on preventing violence against shopworkers.

The guidance and leaflet can be downloaded from the HSE website: