What is Suzy’s Charter?
“Suzy’s Charter” provides a personal safety framework that can help organisations become fully compliant with excellent personal safety policy and protocols. Personal safety of employees in the workplace can only be effectively and sustainably achieved when employers and staff work together and fulfil their responsibilities. For 33 years, Suzy Lamplugh Trust’s mission has been to ensure people are safer and feel safer. We strive to ensure what happened to Suzy Lamplugh, who disappeared without trace in the course of her work, does not happen to anyone else. We have trained over 100,000 people across the public, private and voluntary sectors on personal safety over the last three decades.

An estimated 374,000 adults of working age in employment experience violence at work annually, including threats and physical assault. The human costs of personal safety incidents for employers are far-reaching and can amount to as much as £6,500 for non-fatal injuries and £12,300 for ill-health per case, due to loss of productivity, insurance claims, administrative and legal costs and health and rehabilitation costs. In the case of fatalities, costs can soar to almost £100,000.

Why Become Suzy’s Charter Compliant
The objective of Suzy’s Charter for Workplace Safety is to mitigate the prevalence and increase in aggression and violence against workers. We have brought together employers, employees and unions, to achieve a solution oriented approach to tacking aggression and violence in the workplace. We want to work across all sectors to combat aggression and violence, leading to a more productive and
confident workforce. This will help to minimise the risk of physical, psychological and emotional harm to staff; as well as corporate litigation, negative publicity, loss of talent, loss of reputation and increased insurance costs to employers.

See our leaflet here to find out how to sign up to the Charter

Suzy’s Charter for Workplace Safety 
Guidance for employers and employees to Stay Safe At Work  

  1. Embed a workplace personal safety culture 
  • Employers can do this by ensuring regular consultation and dialogue with staff about the risks they face and the steps they would like to see implemented. This should counter any perceptions or acceptance by employees of violence and aggression being ‘part of the job’. 
  • Employees must follow all safety policies and procedures provided by employers which support them to feel and be safer. 

    2. Implement robust risk assessments 

  • Employers must carry out regular risk assessments to mitigate risks for all employees and ensure compliance with legislation and guidance for the protection of the personal safety of workers.  
  • Risk assessmentsi should include specific consideration of lone workersii as well as risks related to all specific environments that different staff work in, such as private homes, out of hours work in usually-populated workplaces, and remote locations etc.  
  • Risk assessments should include consideration of all forms of violence, aggression, stalking and harassment, both online and offline. This should include behaviours motivated by prejudice on the basis of a worker’s personal characteristics or perceived personal characteristics (e.g. race, gender, identity etc.). 
  • Risk assessments should include the impact of stress and mental health implications of violence and aggression connected to work. 
  • Risk assessments should be regularly reviewed by the department responsible for personal safety, with employees to reflect the changing reality of their work. 
  • Training should be implemented to ensure that all employees have understood the risk assessment once written. 
  • Dynamic risk assessments should also be carried out to take account of any temporary changes in the work environment or nature of the work. 

    3. Provide robust reporting procedures 

  • Employers should provide access to reporting tools for all employees, including remote workers and options to report anonymously, to enable immediate reporting of all personal safety incidents relating to, or impacting on, work. 
  • Reporting procedures should include incident follow-up with employees to ensure employee wellbeing and wider risk mitigation for the organisation, as well as sign-posting to support services where required. 
  • Employees and employers should  be encouraged to report incidents to the police. 
  1. Provide personal safety training
  • Employers should train (iii) all employees in preparing for and responding to personal safety risks i.e. violence and aggression related to work, as well as skills in conflict de-escalation, to support and embed policies and procedures, according to specific risk assessments. 

   5. Implement a tracing system 

  • A designated colleague, called a ‘buddy’, should always be informed about the whereabouts and contact details of a specific employee while they are lone working, including out of normal office hours. 
  • Employers should ensure employees share contact details of the person they are meeting with their buddy. This should include travel details, the exact location (e.g. coffee shop, flat/room number and block name etc) and time of appointment as well as name and contact details of the person they are meeting where relevant. 
  • Have a clear procedure to follow if a colleague does not return or check in when expected with clear lines of escalation inside and outside the organisation. 

   6. Have a system in place for colleagues to covertly raise the alarm 

  • Enable employees to alert colleagues in case of an emergency while working alone e.g. use of a code word, panic alarm installed in the workplace etc. 
  • Where possible have discreet lone worker devices available or provide access to an alert system to covertly call for immediate help even in areas without phone signal. 

   7. Offer staff a personal safety alarm according to their risk assessment  

  • Depending on the outcome of risk assessments, employees should be offered a personal safety alarm which they carry to distract an aggressor where appropriate and aid escape from a personal safety incident. 

   8. Regularly consult on and review safety policies and procedures with employees 

  • Keep these updated, inform staff and provide access to, and training on, all personal safety measures available. 

Download the Charter here

For advice on any aspect of the charter and its implementation please contact Suzy Lamplugh Trust on [email protected], Tel: 020 7091 0014 or see www.suzylamplughtrust.org