Who is at risk of Abuse, Threats & Assaults?
Anyone who comes into contact with clients or customers has a level of risk. We may make it sound like everyone that speaks to someone can face a potential threat – well, as we have found through our experience over the years it is not as simple as that.
Each Industry has its own set of risks in relation to abuse, threats & assaults. For instance, a bus driver would meet a high number of customers throughout a shift and would be subject to dealing with different states of minds and emotions that can sometimes be hostile. However his risk is slightly different than most as not only does he have to concentrate on traffic and potential road rage but he can sometimes have 30 – 40 passengers on board that could also be in various moods depending on day to day stresses, the season or even something as simple as the weather.
Let’s look at the Bus driver in more detail –
- His only way out is through his way in.
- Communication for support can be difficult to reach, depending on incident or location.
- His vision and attention is distracted by driving the vehicle
- He can work unsociable hours
- His personality/accent/look/etc could affect certain customers
The above is only a small fraction of the potential risks faced by a Bus driver. When you compare it to the risks faced by a social worker that carries out home visits you will see a different spectrum of risk
- Knowledge of the area
- Entering unfamiliar house, flat or bedsit
- Access to immediate support from other staff through communications
- Can enter an already high emotional situation
- If assaulted it could result in shock, stress and anxiety escalating situations further
This again is a small fraction of things that may happen. We all go through life with two simple sentences that are used subconsciously ‘Worry about it when it happens’ and ‘It will never happen to me’ and this can blur our rational decisions.
Remember, if we look realistically at our roles and identify a risk that is related to workplace violence then we should be proactive instead of reactive as it will drastically reduce the chances of an incident. This will not only protect you and your staff, but raise the levels of morale and performance as any member of staff that feels protected by superior’s works harder and has less cause to rebel against the organisation.
For further guidance please get in touch with a member of Quell as we are always ready to help.