P2 Group Occupational Violence Workshop Banner Image
Earlier this month I was invited to participate in P2 Group’s Effective Prevention and Resolution of WorkCover Claims Workshop Series. P2 wanted me to use our company’s 15 years’ experience to advise their clients on the best options and approaches for the successful management of the impact of aggressive behaviours towards their staff.

The sessions covered:

– What is occupational violence and how does it occur?

– Identifying the early warning signs and environmental risk factors to occupational violence

– Strategies for de-escalating emotive and stressful situations

– Recognising the impact of occupational violence on workers – a physical, cognitive and psychological response

– Developing a protective and supportive workplace culture

– The importance of de-briefing following confronting and traumatic circumstances

– Developing resilience, practical skills and tools to enhance personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of co-workers

Alarming Survey Results

In order to better contextualise my presentation we asked the audience in advance to anonymously share their personal experiences of occupational violence and the worst incidents of violence that staff in their organisations had experienced.

The results of this survey were alarming, both in the number and severity of the incidents experienced.

30% of those who responded to our survey had experienced physical violence at work first hand. These experiences included “grabbed and slammed into a wall”, “assaulted by a member of the public- broken wrist” and “punched and head butted by a family member”.

70% of respondents detailed the worst experiences that had been reported in their organisations including:

“armed robbery and shooting”

“customer bringing a gun in”

”bomb left on doorstep”

“being held at knifepoint by a client”

“client shoved staff member through window causing massive shard of glass into back”

“death threats and vehicle attacks on 2 staff members”

Based on the above experiences the focus of my presentation was to share the fundamental steps organisations can take to manage foreseeable risk and thus reduce preventable work-related violence.

Know Your Problem

In our experience under reporting is one of the biggest issues for organisations exposed to escalating incidents of aggression.

Minor incidents are often the precursors to major incidents however in many cases the first incident report comes too late.

Organisations with an open door policy and a proactive and supportive approach towards managing incidents of aggression will have a higher success rate.

Continuous safety improvement is reliant on nurturing a culture of transparent incident reporting and continual analysis of the data being collected. To read our blog on the 60 Second Incident Report .

Personal Safety Leadership

Organisations with a meaningful staff safety culture and successful application of their risk management strategy are generally those with both a top down and bottom up approach to staff safety.

In order for staff wellbeing and safety programs to have impact, personal safety leadership must be endorsed and championed by all levels of management.
Image of Travis Holland presenting

Travis Hol­land
Man­ag­ing Direc­tor
Hol­land Thomas
Travis Holland email address

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The team at Holland Thomas supports organisations to manage the impact of aggressive behaviours on their staff, the people they support, and the organisation itself. Our goal is to create safer workplaces that enhance wellbeing for all concerned whilst also delivering improved operational and financial performance.

We provide a range of flexible and tailored staff safety solutions including consultancy, eLearn and face to face training, and technology driven safety solutions.

This blog draws on our years of experience delivering our M.A.B.™ (Contextualised Prevention and Management of Aggressive Behaviours) staff safety training across Australia and the development of My Safety Buddy, our smartphone app and web portal based lone worker safety solution.

Should you wish to discuss strategies to improve your staff’s safety in their work environment, please feel welcome to contact Holland Thomas.