Case study: Facing violent customers

Library staff are feeling unsafe following an assault on a colleague at the exit door.  Think Learn Succeed creates a course called Staying Safe Around Aggressive Clients.

Staff identify the work practices most likely to trigger aggression from clients (e.g. issuing library fines). Then they brainstorm ways of minimising aggressive reactions. Scripted role-plays are used to rehearse responses to complaints, abuse, threats of violence and actual physical attacks. Suggestions for improving workplace safety are reported back to management and implemented quickly. Staff feedback includes a comment that the course “gave a rounded way of looking at problems. It also taught me ways to carry out calm and effective responses.”