Personal safety

How to deal with violence and aggression at work

Personal safety – overview

The risk of being a victim of actual or threatened violence at work may be low (the British Crime
Survey 2010-11 showed that 1.5% of working adults were the victims of one or more violent incidents
at work), but it is higher in some occupations than others and in those cases it is vital that employers
reduce the risk by putting appropriate measures in place and, of course, by training their staff in how
to deal with situations where they find themselves at risk of violence and aggression from others.
This course has therefore been designed to give those at risk of violence or aggression an
understanding of the signs to look out for and the strategies to adopt to ensure their personal safety.

Full details below or download course outline.

Learning objectives

This half-day programme will help participants to:

  • Understand the law relating to violence and aggression
  • Understand the violent behaviour cycle
  • Recognise the physical and mental symptoms of violence and aggression
  • Understand the triggers of violence and aggression
  • Understand the environments and factors that can influence behaviour
  • Keep safe and manage different situations by using the choice methodology
  • Learn proven tactics for dealing with violent and aggressive behaviour
  • Benefit from practical tips on safe working practises
  • Build confidence and awareness
Who should attend?

All staff dealing with customers or members of the public face-to-face are potentially at risk of violence
and agression, but the British Crime Survey highlights the following occupations as being at most risk:

  • Business and public service professionals
  • Caring personal service occupations
  • orporate managers
  • Culture, media and sports occupations
  • Elementary administration and service occupations
  • Health and social welfare associate professionals
  • Health professionals
  • Leisure and other personal service occupations
  • Managers and proprietors in agriculture and services
  • Protective service occupations
  • eaching and research professionals
  • Transport and mobile machine drivers and operatives
Course format

The training shares potentially life-changing tips that will make you think differently from the
minute you attend the training. The course is highly participative and will use a range of activities
to demonstrate and promote learning including group discussions, role play with case studies,
scenarios, action plans and a quiz.
Special features

This is a purely indicative programme, subject to change after discussion between you and the
trainer as to your specific requirements. It can be adapted to reflect and reinforce your organisation’s
personal safety policies and also the environments in which your staff operate (eg, lone working,
home visits, different workplace settings, specific service sectors, etc). The programme can also be
tailored specifically to the responsibilities of employers and line managers.
Expert trainer

Fleur is an independent trainer and consultant with ten years’ experience working in local authority
Human Resources and Corporate Training, including delivering hundreds of courses to groups of
managers and councillors and one-to-one training in IT and other specialist subjects.

Fleur has experience of delivering personal safety training many times to local government
employees and managers. She has completed personal safety training with the Suzy Lamplugh
Trust’s approved course (‘Tutor Certificate to Train in Personal Safety’) and has personal experience
of dealing with violence and aggressive behaviour and understands how this feels when experienced.

Personal safety is a subject of which some course participants may have had personal experience.
Discussing the subject can trigger in them the same feelings that were triggered at the time of the
incident itself. They may even wish to leave the course. The trainer has been trained in how to
manage such course participants and to acknowledge the strength of their feelings and emotions
whilst nonetheless achieving a successful training outcome for all participants.

Personal safety – course outline

1 Violence and aggression

  • What is violence and aggression?
  • What are potential hazards?
  • Methodology – the ‘violent behaviour cycle’
  • Recognising the signs and symptoms
  • How to understand and deal with violence and aggression
  • How to apply a simple choice method to all situations to keep safe

2 Managing different situations

  • Managing different situations – looking at each scenario and methods to use to keep safe.
    • - Working in an office
    • - Working in a semi-open space (eg, retail, leisure)
    • - Risks when travelling
    • - Visiting clients or members of the public at their own office or home
  • Case studies / role play each scenario
  • Practical tips to keep safe

3 Risk assessments and procedures

  • What is a risk assessment?
  • Practical tips to apply to processes and procedures to keep safe
  • Policies and procedures
  • Legal responsibilities – both the employer’s and the employee’s
  • Support from line management and HR

4 Individual action plans and additional guidance

  • Actions to take away from the training
  • Support available
  • Where to find further information and guidance