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Every firm should have a Visitors' Book prominently displayed at Reception. You should ensure that all visitors to your premises sign in with their details. There are a number of reasons why this is important, particularly for safety reasons; this procedure will enable you to keep track of who is in the building, and where they are. This will be important in times of emergency evacuation of the premises or a fire safety incident. It might also be of help if there were an incident affecting personal security.
'Personal security' covers issues such as violence and aggression in the workplace, whether from employers, fellow employees, visitors or the public.
The Health and Safety Executive’s definition of work-related violence is: ‘any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work’. So, 'violence' can range from a life-threatening physical attack to verbal abuse.
Unfortunately, verbal abuse and threats are relatively common – actual physical attacks, thankfully, are still comparatively rare.
As an employer, you need to ensure that your workplace is as free as possible from the danger of violence. For example, if a female employee has to work late and is alone in the office, what hazards could she face?
You have a duty to identify and deal with any potential risk to your employees. Working through this four-stage process should help you ensure a trouble free environment at work:
You have a special obligation towards any employee who works alone in the workplace, at whatever time of day. It is your duty to assess the risks to such lone workers (office cleaners, the computer programmer who doesn't want to go home, the secretary trying to get a report finished) and to take steps to avoid or control these risks. The potential areas of concern include:
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→ Download our Risk Assessment Form
→ Download our Risk Assessment Form - Worked Example
→ Visit our page on Violence and Agression
→ Visit our page on Lone Working
→ Visit Violence at Work (external site)
→ Read Working Alone in Safety (external site)
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