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Workplace Violence Prevention Programme
Wednesday, 25th September 2019
Workplace violence isn't just about physical assaults it also includes a wide range of actions that are delivered by internal as well as external threat sources. It was a pleasure to deliver our Workplace Violence Prevention Programme to senior managers within an international financial institution earlier this week.
Trident Manor has been directly involved in the protection of staff across a wide range of organisations from the risks posed by workplace violence since 2016. There is a common misunderstanding that workplace violence happens to others and never exists within mainstream organisations. Unfortunately, that isn't the case and figures from 2016 show that for every 100 workers in the UK 1.4% will have been the victim of workplace violence.
So, what is workplace violence? A workplace, by definition is where a person works. However, sometimes it isn't that easy to define; what about a bus driver, a delivery agent or even a door to door sales representative; where is there workplace? In fact, it can be singular or multiple venues, but it can also be time spent travelling from meeting to meeting across a city or even country. When I fly to the Middle East I am working and work on my computer whilst at airports or on the plane (non-sensitive stuff only), where is my workplace in these situations? A common-sense approach is normally taken and if your work takes to a number of venues, they can all be classed as workplace; just as travelling between them does not mean you aren’t working.
The world health organisation describe 'violence' as, "the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal-development, or deprivation," For us the important thing about this definition is that it highlights that 'threats' and 'psychological harm' are included; therefore mental trauma; that hidden harm is also included.
There are misconceptions about who is responsible for carrying out workplace violence. For ease I split the threat sources into two categories; internal and external threats. The internal threats come from colleagues, managers or others with whom you are working within the 'workplace' with. External threats range from criminals, family members, ex-clients and even protesters.
In many cases the senior managers within an organisation do not see, want to see or accept that workplace violence can, and does impact every organisation. Many do not have time to consider wider consequences or that they have a duty of care to manage the risks faced by their staff whether from terrorism, armed attack, bullying or sexual intimidation.
By being proactive in the identification, management and as far as possible the prevention of workplace violence senior managers are empowering their staff to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to workplace violence. At the same time they can introduce sensible and pragmatic steps to manage and mitigate the impact of such events, not only on individuals but also on teams and the wider organisation.
Therefore, it is always a pleasure when Trident Manor is asked by global organisations, charities and even those involved in offender management to work with them to discuss and implement strategies; including training programmes that help reduce their exposure from these threat sources.
This week, on behalf of California based clients, we were able to travel to London and work with over 35 managers helping them understand workplace violence, how it can manifest itself and the proactive steps that they can introduce that can have a positive impact.
For further information about how Trident Manor can work with and support your organisation in managing the risks posed by this threat feel free to contact us to discuss further.