Personal safety – how to deal with violence and aggression at work



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.

Training 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


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
  • Corporate managers
  • Culture, media and sports occupations
  • Elementary administration 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
  • Teaching and research professionals
  • Transport and mobile machine drivers and operatives


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.

The 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.

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

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