Tube staff trained to cope with violence at work

London
Underground has launched a support plan to help staff attacked at work
following an increase in the number of violent incidents.

A
new two-day course has been introduced to prepare staff for violent incidents,
train them how to deal with incidents as they happen and provide support for
victims of violence.

Workplace
violence has doubled in the last five years, with actual physical assaults
increasing by 27 per cent.

Employee
relations manager Aidan Harris said the increase was caused by the expansion of
the underground system.

Staff
numbers have increased by 22 per cent and the number of passenger journeys has
increased by 21 per cent

He
said, “Our research has shown that violence causes staff to withdraw from
wanting to help customers.

“If
we are an organisation committed to customer care we have a duty to ensure our
staff are as customer focused as possible.

“We
also have to recognise that there are times when the customer does not want to
be reasonable and rational.”

LU
has been working closely with the police, who now provide named officers to
each violent incident to liase with the assaulted employee if their assailant
is prosecuted.

Injuries
have added to the reliability problems on the tube because of work lost through
injury.

According
to LU, 26 per cent of cases result in sickness, meaning each worker loses 19
days’ work on average.

Since
1995, LU estimates it has lost 23,000 workdays since 1995 and expects to lose
4,500 workdays through violence this year.

Workplace
violence also leads to a high turnover of staff at stations and LU estimates it
will cost £2.5 million over six years in lost days at work alone.

www.londonunderground.co.uk

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