ISBN 1 873878 98 2
This book claims to offer 'a comprehensive account of how to
increase safety at work'. The contents do not match the claim.
The book touches the areas of risk assessment, dealing with
aggression face to face, victim support, dealing with perpetrators
and developing local policies. It offers a review of existing
literature but fails to push the boundaries or offer anything new.
It partly succeeds in offering the reader a guide, albeit
incomplete, to much of the current literature available on the
subject - eight of the book's 72 pages are given over to
The claim that the author offers 'the best strategies for
dealing with aggression face to face' and ways to 'most effectively
reduce risk' is over ambitious.
Inevitably many of the references made to complex issues such as
balancing care and control are so cursory that their value can be
lost. It is also unlikely that readers unfamiliar with any of the
methods suggested, such as cognitive behavioural approaches, will
find the few paragraphs devoted to such topics comprehensive enough
to be of practical worth.
Clarity is lost in the attempt to remain concise. For example,
although both areas are covered, the link between health and safety
and the mandatory requirement for employers to complete a risk
assessment is not made. Self-defence, break-away techniques and
control and restraint are emphasised by distinct subheadings, while
the whole area of diffusion techniques is omitted, or lost under
the general heading of 'assertiveness'.
The work is sound and sensible, yet its few pages cannot do
justice to the subject let alone provide a comprehensive account of
the best strategies available for either practitioner or
Ray Braithwaite is a trainer and consultant in staff care and
author of Violence, Understanding, Intervention and Aggression