I am worried about being assaulted at work. How can I make sure I am safe?

Usdaw, the shop workers' union, recommends these pointers to a safer workplace:

  • Be prepared – know what to do if there is a robbery; your employer should have a procedure in place. The procedure should make it clear to staff that they should not risk their safety to protect property.
  • Physical protection – depending on what is appropriate, your employer should have installed security devices (such as CCTV and panic buttons) and you should be shown how to operate them.
  • Training – your employer should train you so that you know what to do, how to follow safe working procedures, and how to operate security equipment.
  • Cash handling – cash should be kept out of sight and not allowed to build up in the till.
  • Banking – where possible, banking should be done by specialist security staff. You should not go to the bank on foot or by public transport, you should not go alone, and you should have had proper training.
  • Armed robbery – you should be trained to handle robbery situations. You should do what the robber tells you, not resist, avoid sudden movements, and not raise the alarm until it is safe to do so.
  • Working alone – avoid working alone at high-risk times, such as late at night. Employers should take extra precautions to protect staff working alone such as workers in petrol kiosks, and provide safe transport home for you if your shift ends late. Report incidents to your supervisor or manager.
  • Make sure you enter any accident or incident in the accident book.
  • Employers should review procedures, in consultation with staff, to make sure procedures are working properly.
Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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