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5. Dangerous Behaviour - Danger Zones!

Identifying different levels of imminent risk
Danger Zones

The Danger Zones are designed to help staff know which set of skills they need to employ at anyone time.

Of course, we would hope that most staff do not find themselves in danger all the time. For the vast majority of their working lives they are doing what they get paid to do - all those tasks itemised in their job description. This might include listening, problem-solving, sign-posting, supporting, enabling, assessing, report-writing and so on. That is the GREEN ZONE and is not the subject of this blog. The main thing is that they use supervision and training to constantly improve their effectiveness in their chosen profession.

Often staff will be aware of potential risks. This might be about:

  • an individual or individuals; there may knowledge of a past history of violence or the individual might be unknown

  • a time: it may be an upcoming anniversary, court appearance, the person may be reducing their medication and so forth

  • a place: it may be that a visit is taking place in a high crime area

  • a role: it may be that the staff member has to give bad news, enforce some action and there presence is not welcomed

This is the YELLOW ZONE : the risk is known but the danger is not right now, but possibly at some future point. This is a standard Health and Safety issue - if a risk is known, it should actively managed. A plan should be put in place to mitigate the risk and staff should be vigilant for any signs of imminent risk and have a plan to deal with it. This is not the major focus of this blog either, although we will touch upon some principles later on - particularly in relation to disturbed and proactive aggression.

The AMBER ZONE, and the RED ZONE are the focus of this blog and in my next posting I will begin to address these in turn.

Stay Safe!


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