Quell Training

Conflict in the Workplace: Should I report if I am threatened after work?

Should I report if I am threatened after work?

Every now and then I get a question that can make me pause and question myself to think “did I hear that right”.

I was out and about recently training and doing a risk assessment on workplace violence for a particular company, when during this visit a delivery driver who was delivering parts and equipment to this company asked me what I was doing for the company as he had seen me walking around the site asking questions.  When I briefly explained to him what I was doing he asked if I would mind giving him some advice on the subject of him being threatened after work, so I asked him what exactly happened:

He told me that he was late delivering some equipment on a Friday afternoon because of disruption on the roads and when he eventually arrived the manager threw a fit about it. The driver said that he was also in a bad mood and probably didn’t reply that well to the situation and had thoughts of whether the job was worth this type of grief etc. but he made the delivery and moved on.  However when he was out on the Saturday night with his wife he bumped into the same manager who walked straight up to him and stated that if he was late again their would be consequences!

This type of incident in my experience is rare, but still not a position anyone would want to be in. So what did he do? Nothing as his wife was present and he didn’t want to make a scene. His question to me was what should he do now?  I said report it and speak to your line manager, or does he have a guideline or policy on what to do in the event of this happening, to which he replied (wait for it) this happens all the time and he has even been assaulted in work a few times.  At this point I questioned him if I had heard him correctly.

This situation may seem to be a bit extreme and thankfully it is not as common as you may now be thinking.  For me the main message that I tried to impress on him was the importance of reporting everything to his manager without delay.  I know I have no confirmation or proof to say if his organisation is looking out for their drivers and I hope this is the case and that they are not hiding behind the fact that they have a Bullying & Harassment Policy, or some other document that they can pay lip service to without actually taking on board real life incidents that their drivers are face.

The HSE definition is:

Any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work

Let’s hope he will do something before he seriously gets hurt or worse.

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Blog by Will Holland


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