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Have you considered a violence related risk assessment for your business?

This might seem a little obscure but recently, a well known firm of bookmakers was prosecuted and received large fines following a robbery, when their staff was attacked and money stolen.

In short, the robbery followed advice to the company, following a review of health and safety by local council H & S enforcement officers. The advice included measures to prevent violence and abuse, which was considered to be a high risk of occurence.

The advice was only partially followed up on. If it had been fully implemented, it is presumed that the robbery might not have occurred. Also, the injuries sustained by one member of staff were not reported under RIDDOR to the enforcing authority. The report does not include whether the assaults were recorded on site or not.

The court fined the company a total of £10,000. Other potential consequences under these circumstances might include claims for damages by staff, increased insurance premiums and adverse licensing consequences. 

What is the moral of the story? 

  • If you have not already considered a violence related risk assessment (even if it is a negative one), think about it now.
  • If you consider that there is a real risk, make the necessary records, devise a plan to reduce the risks to an acceptable level and implement the plan.
  • And don't forget, involve the people who do the work in the process. They know their work far better than anyone else.