Violence at Work (UK)

Handling Confrontations

If you find that you have become the focus of the other person's anger, or you are becoming angry yourself, distance yourself immediately.

Keep your distance from the other person and always keep your escape route open. Do not let yourself become cornered/ hemmed in to a situation.

Avoid standing directly in front of them (always stand to one side).

Avoid using any sudden movements.

Don't use any words, gestures or other behaviour that could be interpreted as patronising, overbearing, insulting, aggressive or expressing a loss of interest

Avoid denying the problem that is the cause of the other person's anger. Offer practical solutions instead.

Avoid trying to carry out tasks which will require fine manual dexterity. Ability to perform these tasks is adversely affected by "threat pressure" and failure to accomplish them may be interpreted as a sign of weakness by the other individual.

As far as possible, avoid misunderstandings. Make sure you know what the person needs and why they may be upset, frustrated emotional or feel threatened.

Nevere criticise the other person directly.     

Don't put your hands in your pockets or fold your arms or cross your legs in a way which might restrict their immediate use

Don't look away at any time - even for a fraction of a second. (Most attacks are launched when the victim isn't looking. Remaining alert and focused on the threat at all times can really help to inhibit an attack from starting.)