5 Key Tips for Workers When Confronted By Workplace Violence
Workplace violence takes many forms; it can be verbal threats or abuse or physical assault. In a perfect world, you won’t have to deal with any of these, but it is impossible to eliminate violence. That is why it’s best to have some tips for when it happens; that way, you can deescalate the situation before it gets out of hand. Incident management software is one way to reduce violence in the workplace by identifying incidents and possible solutions. When you are faced with a violent incident, these are five things you can do.
- Keep Calm
When confronted by violence, remain calm to the best of your ability. Please do not respond to abuse or threats because it will escalate the situation; it might make the other person or group of people angrier, which will lead to more confrontations. Be careful with what you say if you have to talk in such a situation. If the situation is out of hand, and you are in danger, you can scream or use any means to signal others for help. Engaging violent people in an argument will only prolong the situation. If you want to get out of it quicker, remain calm while seeking a solution.
- Seek Help
Don’t be a hero by trying to deal with a violent situation alone. Safety is crucial. If your colleagues are present or close to you, try and seek their help. You can call them or signal them to join you and help with the situation. Having more than one person present might help you contain workplace violence; it’s also a way to ensure you are safe if things go from bad to worse. It will be better to get superiors involved, but your workmates will help if they are not close.
- Let The Person Talk
If a violent person confronts you, keep them talking because at least they will not be acting on their violence. Interrupting them while still talking can make them act violently towards you. If you have to interrupt, do it calmly. Keep them talking long enough for you to get help or leave the place; don’t turn your back on them while they are talking. It may upset the individual and worsen the situation.
- Be Aware Of The Surrounding
Some offices have buzzers placed around the office or under the desk that is used to summon help. Even if you are not involved personally in the violence, you can help other staff members by using your immediate surroundings. Beware of things you can use to protect yourself or others around the office if such a situation occurs. Doors locked from outside may come in handy if you want to contain a violent person in the office until help arrives. Always make sure you have a clear exit route you can use if need be.
- Use The Workplace Violence Plan
“Your organization should have a plan in place on what employees should do when confronted by violence at the office.” notes David Rowland from Engage EHS. Follow the steps on how to report the violence immediately and who to summon. If you are required to alert the security, then that’s what you should do. Sometimes following the plan might help diffuse a high-risk situation at the workplace. Workplace violence can be tricky because most of the staff is close to you. To avoid taking sides and being caught up in the middle is to report immediately. If your workplace doesn’t have a violence plan, this is an opportunity to create one.
Workplace violence can occur at any time; knowing how to prevent it is the best way to enjoy a peaceful work environment. Your workplace can adapt incident management software to help the staff identify risky incidents. Knowing how to react properly to a violent incident is very important; reacting in the wrong way can cause irrevocable damage and threaten your safety.