Each year, half the assaults, and a third of threats, are by clients or customers already known to you. The most risky situations include:
- working on your own. This may be in the clients' homes, in an isolated office, or at times of the day when your colleagues are off duty;
- working under pressure, so that your clients are frustrated by poor services due to staff shortage or heavy workloads;
- when you can offer no alternative support to a client;
- crowded workplaces that are too busy, with public areas that lack seating, refreshments, access to a telephone or recreation area for children;
- when a customer is stealing or attempting fraud, e.g. using a stolen credit card;
- handling customers who have drunk excessive amounts of alcohol or taken drugs; and
- when you confront a suspected shoplifter.