Protecting your workers from violence and aggression


Violence and aggression at work can have a serious impact on your workers' physical and mental health. In 2019-2020 there were 688,000 reported incidents of violence at work.


HSE has refreshed its guidance on violence at work to help you protect your workers. It has been updated to:

  • simplify the navigation to help you easily find the information you need
  • remove outdated content and replace it with up-to-date practical guidance   
  • remind you that HSE’s definition of violence includes aggression, such as verbal abuse or threats – this can be face to face, online or over the phone 

The guidance defines violence and aggression at work and explains what you can do to prevent it, and how you can protect workers from it. Subjects covered include: 

  • relevant legislation  
  • how to assess the risks  
  • putting the right controls in place to protect workers 
  • reporting and learning from incidents

They have specific guidance on how to support your workers after a violent incident. This includes any help with resulting stress and mental health conditions. 

There are also examples drawn from typical situations. These illustrate simple steps you can take to effectively prevent violence at work. Each one describes a violent situation and how employers have made changes to avoid similar incidents.   

They cover a variety of sectors, including: 

  • retail 
  • education 
  • social care 
  • transport 
  • healthcare 
  • waste and recycling  

HSE has separate advice for workers, which explains how they can help employers prevent violent incidents at work. This information and other useful links can be found below.

Useful links