Guidelines for handling violence and threats

Approved by the University Director 22.05.2014

1. Purpose

These guidelines shall help prevent violence and threats and ensure that violence and threats related to employees' work environment are handled effectively. These guidelines regard handling of third-party violence and threats.

2. Basis

These guidelines form part of the University of Bergen (UiB) Regulations (Part 3 Human Resources and HSE), and are based on the Working Environment Act (section 4-3(4)), the Regulations Relating to Systematic Health, Environment and Safety Activities in Enterprises (Internal Control Regulations), Regulations concerning the Performance of Work and the UiB Emergency Preparedness Plan.

3. Scope and area of application

These guidelines cover third-party violence and threats and apply to the entire organisation and all UiB employees.

In this context, "third-party" means persons who are not UiB employees and who threaten or are violent towards a UiB employee in the context of the latter's work situation.

Violence and threats between employees and/or leaders are handled in accordance with UiB's Guidelines for conflict management (NO) and Guidelines for Notification (Whistleblowing).

4. Definitions

  • Violence: Physical or psychological injury to an employee in the context of their work situation.
  • Threat: A verbal attack or action that targets the employee's health, well-being and security.
  • Line manager: University Director, appointed Dean, Faculty/Division Director and Head of Department.
  • Third-party: Persons other than UiB employees.

5. Responsibility

Within their areas of responsibility, the line managers are responsible for:

  • initiating and following up on the guidelines
  • preventing, handling and following up on violence and threats as part of the on-going and systematic health, environment and safety work.

Employees shall:

  • participate in developing measures to prevent violence and threats
  • comply with safety routines and local adaptations of measures against violence and threats
  • inform their line manager as soon as possible if they have been the target of violence or threats
  • inform their line manager as soon as possible if a colleague has been the target of violence or threats and are not able to report this
  • report violence and threats in the HSE non-conformities system

6. Handling violence and threats

6.1 Prevention

Preventing violence and threats is part of the systematic HSE work. It entails mapping dangers, assessing risks, preparing plans and prioritising measures, and implementing measures to reduce the risk factors.

Mapping and risk assessments
The line managers shall ensure that risks are mapped and assessed. The mapping will identify activities that may entail a risk of violence and threats. The Safety delegate and employee representatives shall participate in this work along with the line manager.

When the risks have been mapped and assessed, the line manager shall prepare plans and ensure that measures are implemented to reduce the risk factors.

Information ang training
The line manager is responsible for ensuring that the employees receive necessary information and adapted training related to the completed risk assessment, so as to enable them to effectively handle violence and threats.

6.2. Handling

Employees shall follow "Advice and routines for violent or threatening situations".

An employee who has been the target of violence or threats or who has observed another employee be the target of violence or threats must contact their line manager as soon as possible and inform them about the incident.

If necessary, the line manager must initiate the UiB Emergency Preparedness Plan.

The line manager shall, if necessary, notify the emergency management according to line.

The line manager shall ensure that the targeted employee is taken care of and referred to medical personnel/the Occupational Health Service.

The line manager shall ensure that violence and threats are reported in in the HSE non-conformities system and followed up by implementing measures.

6.3. Follow-up

Incidents related to violence and threats shall be evaluated. The evaluation shall be an integrated part of the university's systematic HSE work, internal plans and regulations.

7. References

The Working Environment Act
Regulations relating to Systematic Health, Environment and Safety Activities in Enterprises (Internal Control Regulations) (NO)
Regulation Concerning the Performance of Work (NO)
UiB Emergency Preparedness Plan (NO)
Guidelines for the reporting and follow-up of HSE non-conformities

For further references to relevant acts, regulations, guidelines, guides and tools, see the HSE-gateway.

Drawn up by: The HSE Section, Division of Human Resources
Adopted by: The Working Environment Committee 07.05.2014

Show revision history
Date Comment Entered by
Thursday 16 November 2017 12:39:33 pm Minor adjustments Olaug Eiksund
Thursday 16 November 2017 12:36:52 pm Updating chapter 7 Olaug Eiksund
Thursday 16 November 2017 10:41:00 am Updating chapter 7 Olaug Eiksund
Thursday 16 November 2017 10:25:11 am Updating chapter 7 Olaug Eiksund
Thursday 16 November 2017 10:23:43 am Updating chapter 7 Olaug Eiksund
Tuesday 07 November 2017 1:47:26 pm Updating chapter 7 Olaug Eiksund
Monday 06 November 2017 10:48:43 am Updating chapter 7 Olaug Eiksund
Wednesday 18 October 2017 8:10:52 am Minor adjustments Olaug Eiksund
Wednesday 18 October 2017 8:09:52 am Minor adjustments Olaug Eiksund
Wednesday 18 October 2017 8:07:09 am Minor adjustments Olaug Eiksund
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