VIOLENCE TO STAFF

1. This statement sets out Sports Alive Policy on the prevention and management of violence and aggression in the workplace. 

2. Sports Alive categorically declares its opposition to all forms of aggression and violence in the workplace. 

3. Sports Alive strives to provide the highest standard of support to its service users in a caring and professional environment. Whilst upholding the rights of service users, Sports Alive upholds the rights of all employees to work in a safe and caring environment, free from the threat of harassment, aggression, intimidation or violence. 

4. Sports Alive is committed to ensuring an organisational culture and environment where violence in any form to service users, staff and visitors (verbal threats to actual physical attack) is recognised as unacceptable behaviour, and will seek to minimise the risk of such incidents occurring. Sports Alive also recognises its responsibilities under Health & Safety legislation and is committed to providing, in so far as is reasonably practicable, a safe and harmonious working environment for all employees, service users and visitors. 

5. The aims of this policy are: 

  • To reduce the risks to staff by undertaking risk assessments and by providing safe systems/methods of work to adopt when a likelihood of violence is present in the workplace. 
  • To provide training in the safe systems/methods of work and to make staff aware of the potential for violence through training and learning from staffs’ previous experiences. 
  • To provide a safe working environment. 
  • To provide support to staff involved in violent incidents. 
  • To ensure that all incidents of violence/aggression are recorded and reported. 

6. This policy applies to all staff at Sports Alive. All staff have a duty and a responsibility to co-operate with one another and the Charity to enable the requirements of this policy to be performed and complied with, working together to help reduce and manage incidents of violence in the workplace. 

Definition 

 7. Violence to staff can be defined as: “Incidents where persons are abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work, involving an implicit or explicit challenge to their safety, well-being or health” 

 8. Violence to staff can result in injury or distress, which can affect staff on a longer-term basis.  

9.Violence to staff can include: 

  • Verbal abuse  
  • Swearing 
  • Spitting 
  • Posturing 
  • Making threats (race, religion, gender, physical make-up etc). 
  • Use of a weapon (anything from a pen to a knife or gun). 
  • Actual physical attack (being scratched, punched, kicked, hit, hair being pulled, etc.). 

 Sports Alive’s Obligations 

10. The protection of staff is of paramount importance. Staff will receive training and guidance in preventing violence and in dealing with violence. 

11. Sports Alive recognises the right of staff to put their own personal safety before the need to protect or retain the Charity’s property. 

12. Sports Alive will enable staff who have been subjected to a violent incident to identify appropriate sources of support eg counselling services.  

13. Sports Alive recognises that where there is a real or imminent risk of injury to staff, service users, or others, a staff member may act reasonably to avoid this occurring. It is important that staff act in accordance with the Charity’s policies, guidelines, protocols, and professional standards. Staff should seek guidance from their manager regarding what may be reasonable action in their circumstances. 

14. Staff where appropriate will be supported and legally advised in the event of subsequent criticism or legal action. 

Managers & Supervisors 

 15. Managers and Supervisors have a duty to implement this policy and make every effort to continually re-assess the procedures in place to protect staff and service users. Managers will lead the implementation of this policy with their staff and should acknowledge the anxieties expressed by staff and respond sensitively and supportively.

16. Managers must deal with violent and potentially violent incidents promptly.  

17. Managers have responsibilities to: 

  • Recognise and identify situations and environments where employees are “at risk” from violent outbursts from service users, visitors and others. 
  • Carry out risk assessment of “at risk” areas involving the employees in the workplace and implementing recommendations, as far as is reasonably practicable. 
  • Ensure that employees are aware of the Violence to Staff policy and procedures. 
  • Ensure that employees in the “at risk” areas received the appropriate training, support and counselling (if required). 
  • Ensure that employees are fully conversant with the incident reporting procedures and know who to contact in the event of an incident occurring. 
  • Audit and review incidents of violence to staff and review workplace risk assessments (at least annually). 
  • Review the training needs of staff and that staff take up training places on training courses and workshops relating to dealing with violence and aggression. 

Employees 

18. Employees have a responsibility to help to ensure a safe and healthy working environment. Conduct and behaviour must at all times be beyond reproach. 

19. Employees share a responsibility for their own safety and the safety of their colleagues. This means: 

  • Being aware of the Charity’s procedures and operational guidelines which are relevant to their workplace. This is available from your line manager.  
  • Attend training courses provided. 
  • Report to their line manager any violent incident or threats of violence to which they or their colleagues have been subjected.
  • To report defective equipment, especially that provided for the protection of staff and service users. 
  • Encourage colleagues involved in a violent incident to take advantage of appropriate support. 

PREVENTION PROCESS  

20.The early detection and prevention of violence must be the core priority for all situations and employees. Prevention methods and processes are covered in staff training. 

REPORTING ARRANGEMENTS 

21. In the interest of staff safety and for monitoring purposes staff are required to report all incidents of violence or threatened violence. If an incident occurs employees should: 

  • Immediately report the incident to their line manager. 
  • Complete an incident report form and in the case of actual physical injury, an accident form must also be completed. 
  • The incident should be assessed in terms of future risk by the line manager and the risk assessment amended, if necessary staff involved should have the opportunity in addition to the form reporting procedures, to discuss and review the incident with their manager who should endeavour to provide personal support. Staff should be treated sensitively by managers and colleagues. 

THE USE OF MINIMUM RESTRAINT 

22. In situations where preventative measures are not sufficient, it may be necessary to carry out physical restraint on a service user or visitor who is violent and who is a danger to him/herself or others. 

23. The purpose of physically restraining an individual is to prevent injury. Physical restraint is used as a last resort and is used in exceptional circumstances only. 

24. Any employee using minimum restraint must be prepared to justify his/her actions and must use the minimum of force necessary to control the situation. All incidents where minimum restraint has had to be used must be fully documented. 

THE LEGAL POSITION 

25. Employees have the right to report violent incidents to the Police and will be given the appropriate support by their Line Manger if they choose to do so. Reporting to the police is a matter of personal choice by the individual involved – employees are encouraged to report such incidents to the police but will not be pressurised into doing so. 

26. Sports Alive also recognises that employees have the right as private citizens to make complaints to the police following a violent incident and this may be done without prejudice to and irrespective of any other procedures, which the Charity may wish to implement. It is only possible for Sports Alive to pursue criminal charges where vandalism, theft or damage to property has occurred.