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What Type of Incidents Do You Report?

We use well known phrases like the Health & Safety Executives (HSE) definition of work-related violence…

Any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work, whether the behaviours are explicit or implicit in nature or design, is a reportable incident.

What does the HSE’ Definition Mean to You?

These incidents are not only distressing but also have significant implications for your safety and well-being at work.

According to HSE guidelines, you should be reporting instances of work-related violence to ensure proper measures are taken to prevent such incidents and protect your health and safety at work.

As the above definition encompasses many and various forms of abuse, threats, or physical assaults that occur within our working environments one of the many problems is coming up with factual examples and thresholds that you and others in the team can relate to.

Understanding Workplace Violence

Work-related violence and aggression can manifest in different forms, including verbal abuse, threats, physical attacks, and harassment (ie; psychological impact).

It can occur from various sources such as customers, clients, patients, service-users, colleagues, or even members of the public.

Instances of violence and aggression can take place in any work setting, ranging from retail environments, healthcare facilities, transport services, local authorities, housing groups, enforcement agencies to office spaces.

Guidelines on Reportable Incidents

The HSE outlines that certain instances of work-related violence are reportable incidents (see above definition).

These include situations where you are injured due to a violent incident, suffer a physical attack, or experience a threat to your physical safety.

Additionally, any incident that leads to serious injuries, major accidents, or situations posing an immediate danger to you should be reported in line with the rules of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).

Examples of Reportable Incidents

  • Harassment and Intimidation Persistent harassment or intimidation that affects your well-being and creates a hostile work environment should be reported to the appropriate authorities.

  • Verbal Abuse and Threats Instances where you are faced with verbal abuse or threatening behaviour that causes significant distress or fear to your safety are also considered reportable incidents.

  • Physical Assault When you are physically attacked by a client, patient, member of the public or any individual within the workplace resulting in injury, falls under the category of a reportable incident.

Reporting and Preventive Measures

Reporting such incidents is crucial towards ensuring your well-being and preventing future occurrences.

You should have clear reporting procedures in place and be provided with support, and welfare support if needed.

Prevention strategies, including communication (written/oral), training programmes, security measures, and fostering a culture of respect will go a very long way towards the aspiration of eliminating all risks.

Learning Lessons

Workplace violence, as defined by the HSE, encompasses various forms of abuse, threats, or assaults that affect the health, safety and well-being of employees.

Recognising these incidents and reporting them according to guidelines is essential if you want to improve your safety and the safety of the people around you.

Improvement in safety will ultimately enhance the overall safety for all (staff, the people you support and visitors/contractors) parties.

Remember, if you or anyone you know experiences such incidents in the workplace, it's important to report those incidents to the appropriate authorities or your company's designated points-of-contact.

How do you perceive the threat of violence and aggression towards you or around you?

How can we help you?

Trevel Henry - Director, NFPS Limited


Since 1994, Trevel has been a training consultant in the prevention and management of abusive, disruptive, aggressive and violent behaviour. 


As an expert witness, Trevel provides advice and support on the use of force and physical intervention including the use of personal protective equipment.


He has worked on numerous case incidents within the police and prison services, Security Industry Authority, Home Office, Young Offenders Secure Institutions, Independent Police Complaints Commission, health services and social care.


During his time with Kent Police, he was a member of the Police National Practitioners Group for Personal Safety Training where he gained significant expertise in legislation, policies, risk management and assessment, training design, post incident management and welfare review of work-related aggressive and violent incidents.


As a member of the Security Industry Authority (SIA) expert group, he reviews qualifications for the management of work-related violence and aggression. He also provides guidance to NHS Trusts on policies, procedures and working practices.


He consults and trains across all work sectors on reducing the need for restraint and restrictive interventions.




Legal: Trevel has worked on high profile restraint related death cases, as well as cases of abuse allegation and compliance failures within care settings.


Training: He has delivered training, presentations and talks to operational and support staff across the UK, Europe, South Africa, Canada, USA and the Caribbean.


Report: He was co-author of the report ‘Occurrence of Injury During Officer Safety Training at Kent Police’ in 2009.


Media: He has appeared as an expert spokesperson across TV and radio on reasonable force and the physiological and psychological effects of fear and stress.



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