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Occupational assault claims

If you have been injured because of an assault at your workplace you may be able to bring a compensation claim. Employers have a duty of care to protect workers from acts of violence, including assault, whether by colleagues, clients or service providers such as caterers or cleaners.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports that in 2016/17 326,000 adults experience work related violence. The HSE defines work-related violence as, ‘Any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work. This can include verbal abuse or threats as well as physical attacks.’ 

If you have suffered such an attack you can bring a compensation claim if you can show that your employer failed to keep you safe at work, or that they failed to carry out a risk assessment about the threat of violence and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent you being hurt. 

If you have been assaulted at work try and take pictures of the injury and where it happened; make a note of any witnesses; visit your GP or local A&E department and get a report from your doctor with details of your injuries; if the attack happens away from your workplace report it to your employers as soon as possible; report the incident to the police. 

Occupational assault case study


Assault by a cleaner

N was at work as a civil servant when she subjected to a vicious and unprovoked assault by a cleaner in the toilet facilities. She was repeatedly struck and pushed around by the cleaner who also attempted to strangle her with a scarf and hit her with cleaning equipment. 

The frenzied assault continued with the cleaner knocking her head as she was gripping on to her hair screaming for help. N feared her life was in danger but managed to push the cleaner off and ran free, reporting the matter to the police. 

She suffered significant physical and psychological injuries and an unsuccessful criminal prosecution against the cleaner left her feeling very despondent.  

Leigh Day brought a civil claim on behalf of N. The cleaner’s employer disputed legal responsibility for her actions but we were able to secure a full award for her physical injuries, psychological symptoms and associated expenses which included rehabilitation treatment.

Read our blogs

Workplace injury: vicarious liability & the work Christmas party by Ross Whalley.

To start a personal injury claim relating to work place violence please call our specialist legal team on 0161 393 3570 and someone will get back to you.  If you are unable to travel to our offices we can visit you at home.  

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