Employee wellbeing: Shop workers suffering PTSD after surge in violence

Keely Rushmore comments in The Independent about shop workers who were attacked with machetes and axes that are now suffering with PTSD.

“In the unfortunate event of an attack on an employee, it’s crucial that employers ensure the wellbeing of all affected staff”, says SA Law Employment Partner Keely Rushmore.

Shop workers are suffering major mental health problems including post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of violence in stores, which has surged to a five-year high, according to a report.

According to the Home Office, assaults and threats against the retail sector soared from 524 incidents per 1,000 premises in 2016, to 1,433 in 2017. Last year, more than 42,000 assaults or threats were recorded on retail premises, the industry’s trade body found.

Companies must take stronger action to protect employees, prevent attacks and to help staff when incidents do happen.

“It’s highly advisable for employers to have a written policy that addresses preventing and dealing with workplace violence, and to ensure that staff receive training on it. Taking practical steps to deter violent attacks before they occur, rather than ‘picking up the pieces’ afterwards is also important. This includes implementing clearly signposted security and surveillance systems.

It’s important to meet with them, providing pastoral support and taking medical advice as needed.

Such support may be needed on a long-term basis, bearing in mind that violent incidents will often affect a victim for months, if not years.”

Read the full article featuring Keely Rushmore’s comments published in The Independent by clicking here

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