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The Law

Reasonable Force Law

All too often people are expected to make decisions regarding personal safety, use of force or physical intervention with no real understanding of the law and Government guidelines.  As such, policies promoting a ‘No Touch’ or ‘Hands Off’ ethos are created, leaving front-line workers at great risk from assaults or worse. Furthermore, the employer is at great risk from litigation for failing to uphold their duty of care to the employee as well as the service user, whether that is a pupil, elderly resident, patient or even a member of the public.

The effects of assaults can be felt by the organisation concerned as well as the victim for a long time after the initial incident.  The victim’s emotional and psychological well-being could be affected, such as depression or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Dependent on the severity of the injuries received, the victim may lose part or all movement in a limb or even a large area of their body. Worse still they could be killed.

This page highlights the underpinning legislation requirement for fit-for-purpose training in relation to use of reasonable force.   This legislation falls under criminal law and any violation of any part could be tried in Court as a criminal offence.   This list is not exhaustive, but highlights the most relevant in relation to use of reasonable force;

The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974

Human Rights Act 1998 Article 2

Criminal Law Act 1967 Section 3 (1)

Common Law

The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (24A)

Employment Rights Act 1996 Section 44 (1) and Section 100 (1)

Children’s Act 1989

The Education and Inspections Act 2006

If you would like to discuss any of the above legislation in relation to your specific workplace, or how it provides as reasonable force law please contact us.

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