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Ahead of the Lone Worker Safety Expo, we speak to the event organiser. Nicole Vazquez, pictured, of Worthwhile Training. Here as background she tells us about some of the training that her company offers.
It can include ‘drama-based workshops’, actors helping to deliver scenarios of conflict situations typical to what those doing the training encounter. For as Nicole points out, it’s one thing to say how you would react to a situation; when it’s there realistically and literally in front of your face, you might find that it’s surprisingly different.
Managing violence and aggression, she says is about dynamic risk assessment; ‘reading signs’ and interacting in a way that doesn’t inflame a situation, but defuses it. That comes with confidence; hence the training in scenarios, that puts the trainees under stress as they might face in their workplace. What you can also get from such training is feedback, not only from the trainer and colleagues who may be watching you, but the actor, who is playing the part of the aggrieved or aggressive customer. It’s not usual that you get feedback about your management of a conflict situation from the person who’s caused it!?
Nicole says that more companies are now buying into the value of drama-based, immersive workshops, ‘because if you are trying to get people to change behaviours, you have to do something that somehow connects with them emotionally, and sitting down and talking about it doesn’t always make a connection … it really is powerful.”
Worthwhile can also deliver ‘train the trainer’, and work with managers on how they are meeting their legal responsibilities to lone workers. And besides a ‘duty of care’ to all staff under health and safety law, Nicole points to the business benefits from competent and productive lone workers; and the moral obligations, of doing right by your staff, ‘not necessarily in that order’.
About the Lone Worker Safety Expo
It next runs on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at the same venue as previous years; Olympia Conference Centre, west London. Among the speakers are Patrick Dealtry, one of the men behind the British Standard on lone worker safety management, BS 8484. Visit www.loneworkersafetyexpo.com.