Workplace Violence Training is a Problem?
Workplace violence training is a taboo subject that is on the increase and a number of business’s have a tendency to say ‘it never happens in our business or they just have not realised that it does happen’. So let’s sit back and think about the wording of that statement, after all it does strike in the mind all sorts of actions and outcomes, because the workplace refers to the daily chores of the working life, and then you have that so called glamorous version that is used in the movies. However the violence we discuss is of a lower level, a small but rapidly growing concern for many people who manage staff in a variety of sectors.
Take a second now to think of everyone that works alongside you or you have a duty of care for, have you ever thought “what if” they were abused, threatened or assaulted. Then think to yourself how you would react and also what you could do to ensure that this sort of incident wouldn’t happen.
This subject that is workplace violence has been around for a long time, and it has affected people in the workforce from cleaners to bus drivers through to doctors and as many subjects do this does not discriminate between age, sex or status. Even though you may not have been aware that this problem is growing every day and is gaining speed through the frustrations of daily life and pressures, if you at least have a grasp on what instils people to be aggressive then you will have a clear defined idea of how to deter these problems.
So let’s look at how to try and reduce the risk. Firstly any company that sits down and designs a workplace violence policy that is easy to follow and also clearly directs all members of staff on what to do when either dealing with aggressive or potentially violent situations will immediately reduce the risk. It has been proven that staff who do not understand what to do will undoubtedly do what they think is right, and sometimes that can result in an escalation of the situation to a point of no return instead of reduction. Therefore, having a policy not only gives staff confidence that management have taken responsibility for their safety, but it will also raise confidence and positive actions for any director or manager responsible. Having a clear understanding of steps to follow after an assault has taken place is very important and a policy can support with steps such as, interviews, inspections and possibly fines.
It is easy for anyone to sit and copy and paste of various internet websites, but if it is not directed towards the staffs risks it is not worth the paper it is written on, so speaking to staff and going out on the shop floor or out to the site will enable you to identify the problems that they may face.
Do not get me wrong as it is not easy to sit down and write a policy on a subject that you may never have thought of before. Questions such as, where do you start, will it be worthwhile in the long run, or is it yet another document that I never really need or will even my staff take any notice of it? Answer is what if you didn’t do it and a member of staff is either assaulted or assaults a member of the public what then? Well, for starters you will be held accountable and uncomfortable questions will be asked, as to why you didn’t provide a safe system of work and why didn’t you carry out a risk assessment when it was clearly defined by staff that they were concerned or unhappy with certain aspects or areas. This subject has moved on drastically over the past few years and it is becoming more recognised and drawing more attention to it each day, by either lone workers being left without access to help or support to shop assistants being abused by aggressive and arrogant shoppers.
The process to protect your organisation, colleagues or staff is no hard task, but if you take the time to sit and review your organisation and then design a workable document or bring in a professional organisation like ours, it will enable you to identify the areas of concern that need to be addressed. Then implement a training programme that not only address’s everyone’s concerns, but is effective and productive and will therefore reduce the risk of workplace violence.
If you would like any further information on any of our workplace violence training please contact us below.