Updated: Dec 6, 2022
Increased violence in our modern-day society?
Want to know why?
Workplace violence, aggression and challenging behaviour are steadily growing problems that reflect the increasing violence in our modern-day society. These issues brought on by Covid… mental health anxieties leading to stress, causing people to be less tolerant, people lacking respect for authority, drinking too much alcohol, addictions to drugs and a lack of resources all contribute to the levels of violence today.
Before we begin to know more, let’s ask ourselves
“What does challenging behaviour mean to you; as an individual; as the person responsible for workplace safety; as the most senior person in your company and therefore have a general duty-of-care for the safety of your employees?”
Here is the definition of workplace violence as defined by Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) related to the reporting incidents:
“If you are abused, threatened, or assaulted in circumstances relating to your work, whether the (other) person's behaviours are explicit or implicit in their design or nature”
Anytime you feel, abused, threatened, or assaulted at work you should report the incident to ensure that measures are put in place to improve your safety, and wellbeing.
Building a set of standards to prevent and manage challenging behaviour:
Workplace strategies should include how to avoid, prevent and manage challenging behaviour. The strategy will empower you to respond appropriately to challenging behaviour or reflect on past experiences that you have faced that have left you feeling concerned for your safety and the safety of people around you.
Here are the set of appropriate actions which can be taken when faced with situations with challenging behaviour. A-CUDSA, a systematic approach to managing conflicts:
Avoid the situation (ie; eliminate or reduce the risk)
Confront the conflict
Understand each other’s position
Define the problem(s)
Search for and evaluate alternative solutions
Agree upon and implement the best solution(s)
As a confident and competent staff member, you feel empowered that you can carry out the A-CUDSA strategy and will therefore be able to exit from any harmful situations ie; walk away to a safety or call out for support. Under no circumstances should anyone be expected to remain in a situation where they believe or perceive they are about to be harmed. At the start of your shift and following the team daily briefing, your plans must have an exit strategy built into them!
So, whose reality are we referring to?
Whatever actions we take as individuals to remain safe at work, they need to be viewed as being ‘reasonable’ in the circumstances. The test of reasonableness…
“A person may use such force as is (objectively) reasonable as s/he (subjectively) believes to be appropriate in the circumstances”
It is how we as individuals perceive the threat of challenging, aggressive or violent behaviours towards us or around us which triggers us to take appropriate actions/interventions to remain safe, to exit or to verbally manage the situation.
Who is responsible for your safety in the workplace?
The law states that employers have a general duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of their employees while at work. Furthermore, employers have a duty under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to carry out accurate and appropriate risk assessments of all the staff’s work activities.
The above is legislation which applies to the issues of violence, aggression and challenging behaviours at work. Employers responsibilities and liabilities are key issues towards protecting their staff’s health, safety, and wellbeing.
How can we help you?
Choose your training provider wisely so you are not be creating a lot more work for yourself that could have been avoided with a little bit of effort here and trust me, it’s worth putting in that effort now.
We can help you improve staff safety whilst enhancing services.
Wanting to improve staff safety, confidence or morale then let me help you. Otherwise, you may end up incurring a massive liability that could cost you tens, hundreds of thousands of pounds plus all the indirect costs that the bad publicity may bring in – and the stress that goes with it!
You can book a FREE 30 Minute No-obligation strategy call to discuss your needs here, book a meeting or you can email me directly at email@example.com
Talk to you soon,