The HSC programme will see research commissioned. There will be a publicity drive aimed at raising awareness and guidance will be produced for sectors deemed to be most at risk.
The move has been welcomed by HR professionals, who say high-profile initiatives help secure resources and commitment to further tackle the problem. But they also point to the complexity of the issue and the need to tailor advice to individual sectors.
Lew Swift, HR director at Aintree Hospital, says it is important to recognise that violence in the workplace is not new. It was such a problem in Liverpool at one time, he says, patients attending casualty had to ask for the door to be unlocked before being treated. Training, he adds, is only part of a successful strategy. Most importantly, HR managers need to be proactive to maintain the trust of staff. When an incident occurs, action must be immediate and high profile.
He says, "However good the measures you have in place, you can't prevent violence completely and the danger is that staff then lose confidence and become depressed.
"About four weeks ago we had a member of staff attacked in the car park. Our reaction was immediate - we doubled the lighting and security patrols. It is the psychological effect on the staff that is important. To do nothing creates problems and what you do has to be visible, otherwise morale will plummet, absenteeism will rise and recruitment will become difficult."
The Prison Service is constantly alert to the potential for violent attacks on staff. The service's director of personnel, Gareth Hadley, says getting recruitment right is the biggest challenge.
He says, "We look for those who have the capacity to develop the interpersonal skills that we see as critical. We have to find extraordinary people and I think the key is recruitment.
"What we do in our training of prison officers, and others who work directly with prisoners, is to focus on developing the individual's interpersonal skills so that they are able to defuse situations and establish an appropriate rapport with the prisoners."
Hadley says candidates for the service are put through a series of job simulation exercises specifically tailored to the challenges they will face as prison officers.
"We also set boundaries," he adds. "We are clear with prisoners about what our expectations are so that they know what they are entitled to.
"If a member of staff is