Quell Training

Reasons to have a workplace violence policy (A Legal perspective)

Reasons to have a workplace violence policy (A Legal perspective)

Whenever we hear the word legal or anything to do with inspection or audit, a cold shudder can sometimes follow, as it also can mean that someone could be liable for blame. The approach we have taken and that of a significant number of our clients is that every precaution must be taken to protect all our staff from not only abuse, threats and assaults, but that of being accused of participating in any of the these subjects. Inclusive of everyone knowing the guidelines for lone working and therefore sticking to them, through simple things like booking in & out, to carrying out the correct equipment and most of all reporting of incidents.

As a point, if you look at our client list you will see a diverse range of companies that we have had and still do have the pleasure of working with in the subjects of workplace violence through conflict management, lone working and dealing with difficult people. What might surprise you is that this is only about 40% – 45% of the organisations that we actually work with as a high degree of them do not wish their clients or customers to know that they have certain issues in relation to workplace violence.  However, they still use our products and services to protect their staff through a well thought out policy and recognised and realistic training packages, that not only equips the staff as a whole on how to defuse issues, but also what, and what not to do if a situation arises of an aggressive nature.

I sometimes have come across Managing Directors, Directors, HR Managers and the list can go on where they say no policy or training will protect the staff from everything, and I totally agree, but what I do point out to them is that if you don’t give a person direction on what to do in the key areas identified through the risk assessment, or have something that they can refer to they will act on their own experience and emotions, resulting in worse case scenarios someone being injured and someone being liable!

Our job as responsible people is to not ignore or panic when situations happen, but it is to react when a risk is identified and place in measures to protect our staff.


  1. You will have better protection against litigation. You are less likely to be claimed against when you have active policies in place.
  2. You can help ensure the safety of the public or the service user. We must also be aware of protecting the public against angry or aggressive staff members.
  3. These policies can be used as evidence to counter litigation against the company. You can prove that risk assessments and safe systems of work and staff training, supervision and instruction were in place.
  4. A good policy could help financially with respect to liability insurance.
  5. The policy can be used as an evidence trail against persistent offenders should an incident become serious enough to involve the Police or the HSENI.
  6. The policy could be used to collect evidence of gross misconduct of a staff member that has shown poor behaviour to other staff or the public.






Will Holland

If you would like advice or help with any of the subjects relating to a  workplace violence policy, please do not hesitate to contact me or any members of our team.


Comments are closed.