Licensed premises

Are you doing enough to prevent and manage violence or anti-social behaviour in your workplace?

Why should you be concerned?

Impact on your staff

  • Physical injury
  • Work-related stress – which can have long-term effects on health
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Job dissatisfaction and poor performance

Impact on your business

  • Lost staff time from injuries and stress
  • Higher staff turnover, leading to increased recruitment and training costs
  • Damage to the reputation of your business
  • Potential compensation claims by staff

What should you be doing?

You have a legal duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of your employees, under the The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This duty includes all forms of work-related violence, which HSE defines as: ‘Any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work’. This means: -

  • physical violence – including kicking, spitting, hitting or pushing, as well as more extreme violence with weapons
  • verbal abuse – including shouting, swearing or insults, racial or sexual abuse
  • threats and intimidation.

Tackling the risk of violence is the same as dealing with any other possible cause of harm in the workplace, such as slips and trips and lifting heavy loads.

You are required by law to carry out a risk assessment. Go to the Health and Safety Executive website for advice on how to carry out a risk assessment.

The risk assessment will help you find out whether violence is a problem for your staff and your business, and how you can improve the situation. It will help you devise a policy and procedures for dealing with violence, as part of a wider health and safety policy for your business.

How to report an incident

Employers, the self-employed and those in control of premises have a legal obligation to report specified workplace incidents.

Find out what is a reportable incident and how make a RIDDOR report on the Health and Safety Executive website.

Provision of first aid

If an injury is caused arrangements must be in place to ensure the employee receive immediate first aid attention. Information about these requirements are available on our First aid at work section.

Ways of reducing the risk of violence at licensed premises

For further information please download The Health and Safety Executive's guide to "Managing work-related violence in licensed and retail premises" 

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