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Preventing and Managing Conflict, Hazardous and Aggressive Behaviour

Updated: Jul 26, 2021

Improving overall safety

Legislation, policies and training designed with the intention of improving the overall safety of staff, the people they support and third parties must be reviewed, evaluated and implemented with the intention of reducing the need for assertive communication, restraint and restrictive interventions.

Accountability is very rarely 50/50 but everyone has a role to play in the ‘duty of care’ responsibility when it comes to overall management of risk in the workplace area.

Once policies, procedures have been reviewed and introduced it is more likely that staff through the face-to-face support they provide are more likely to become immediately aware of any changes, particularly negative changes, in conflict, hazardous and aggressive behaviours from people.

With this in mind, staff have a duty to report ‘all’ incidents of work-related violence (see HSE definition below) towards themselves or the people around them, including behaviours which potentially or do lead towards people self-harming.

Reduce the risks

Whilst the aspiration should be to eliminate all risks of conflict, hazardous and aggressive behaviour (Hierarchy of Risk Controls), management and staff must work together to reduce these risks ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’ which in turn will enhance the services provided by organisations towards the people, customers, patients, etc; they support.

Reporting for learning and change

The reporting of conflict, hazardous and aggressive behaviour is a meaningful way of collating data (ie, behaviour types, incident locations, etc) to analyse and review towards removing, reducing or isolating these behaviours.

A-B-C incident reporting is one way of evidencing your observations a person’s behaviours. Example headings of A-B-C reporting:

  • Antecedents – what happened immediately before of leading up to the behaviour occurring

  • Behaviour – what were the specific behaviours or actions of note

  • Consequences – what happened immediately after the behaviour occurred

Recording incidents in this way will intelligent information towards the introduction of strategies to prevent and manage conflict, hazardous and aggressive behaviour.

Following the submission of reports by staff (managing upwards), management have a duty of care responsibility to review and disseminate the decision outcomes of their review to all staff who may be affected by the outcome of their decisions; including the person who submitted the initial report. Openness, clarity and honesty are a must in this process!

HSE (Health and Safety Executive) definition of work-related violence

Any incident in which a person is ‘abused’, ‘threatened’ or ‘assaulted’ in circumstances relating to their work, is a reportable incident, whether the other person’s behaviours were explicit or implicit in design or nature


We have a duty of care to ourselves as well as the people we support and the people around us!

Please look through our other posts for more information on how you can help prevent and manage risk for you and your staff.

Please feel free to contact me if you require help or information on ensuring you have the correct producers in place and stay in control.

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