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Occupational assault claims

Contact us to investigate an occupational assault claim and receive guidance and support after an injury at work

35+ years' experience in the field

No one should feel threatened at work. If you have been injured because of an assault at your workplace, you may be able to secure compensation with an occupational assault 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.

Workplace assault can cause serious physical and psychological damage, leaving a lasting effect on someone’s overall health as well as the reputation of the company where it took place.

Our expert team has represented lots of people who have suffered from the effects of occupational assault. Talk to us for support and to investigate a claim.

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What our clients say

What are occupational assault claims?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines work-related violence as, ‘Any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work’.

While we all deserve a safe workplace, occupational assault can happen in any profession. Some of the most common include:

  • Social services
  • Community work
  • Medical and mental health service staff
  • Public transport workers
  • Security staff.

If you have suffered from an occupational assault, contact us to discuss a compensation claim.

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Types of occupational assault claims

Some of the most common claims for workplace assault include:

  • Physical attacks – pushing, kicking, slapping or scratching.
  • Aggressive behaviour – including spitting and hair pulling.

Common occupational assault injuries

The injuries caused by occupational assault can vary. Common injuries include:

  • Bruises and soft tissue damage
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Stab wounds
  • Head injuries, including concussion
  • Psychological damage.

No matter how minor the injury, if your employer is liable for the workplace assault, you may be able to secure compensation.

Your employer’s responsibility

Your employer is responsible for your safety and wellbeing while you are at work. It is part of their job to protect you from a workplace accident or assault.

If you have suffered an occupational assault, 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 take the reasonable steps to prevent you being hurt.

It can be difficult to know when your employer is liable for such an injury. Here are a few examples of when your employer would be held responsible:

  • Lack of training or PPE (personal protective equipment) – Particularly when working in an environment where you may encounter aggressive or violent clients/customers.
  • Working alone or understaffed – Not having the appropriate staff support can leave you more vulnerable to assault. Prison officers, security guards and carers for individuals with potentially challenging behaviour can be more at risk.
  • Ignoring previous violent behaviour – An employer may be liable if they ignore the previous violent behaviour of a member of staff, client or patient and that person assaults another staff member.

Our work with occupational assault claims

Our client was at work as a civil servant when she was 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. Our client 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. Leigh Day brought a civil claim and were able to secure a full award for her physical injuries, psychological symptoms and associated expenses which included rehabilitation treatment.

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What to do if you’re injured at work

Our expert lawyers can offer guidance on the steps to take if you’re injured while at work.

Primarily, your health is the most important factor. Your first step should be to seek medical treatment.

If you need to visit the hospital, be sure to provide an accurate account of the incident.

If you’re not in need of emergency hospital treatment, you still should make sure your GP has an accurate report of the incident as soon as possible. Your medical records will be requested during an occupational assault claim.

Get in touch with a solicitor as soon as you can. You have three years to start Court proceedings.

Be sure to report the incident to your employers. Then, ask for a copy of the accident book entry. This will become important evidence for your claim.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) may also investigate depending on the severity and type of injury.

Aside from a brief accident report, you do not need to make a statement to your employers. Typically, it is inadvisable to make a signed statement, particularly in the period immediately following the incident.

Make sure to report your incident to the Department for Work and Pensions, as this can help you apply for state benefits.

Make note of any witnesses and give this information to a specialist work injury lawyer as soon as you can.

Talk to your shop steward or safety representative and ask them to take photographs of the incident scene.

Photograph your injuries as soon as possible after the incident. Then, continue to do so throughout your recovery.