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Adverse Incidents

The InfoNotes here look at how to deal with unexepcted and adverse incidents and how to support employees who are affected.

Workplace Wellness determines a critical/adverse incident as:  “Any situation faced by an individual that causes them to experience unusually strong emotional reactions that have the potential to interfere with their ability to function either at work or at home.” 

Violence and accidents in the workplace are often precipitants of trauma, as are death or sudden health problems amongst colleagues. 

An adverse incident will have some clear indicators that it is an event which has overwhelmed local resources, is outside of the experience of the organisation, and can only be dealt with by the onsite presence of a trained Critical Incident professional.

What support is available?

The nature of the support we deliver will vary from incident to incident, and will be determined by liaison with one of our Case Managers.  We will support Managers immediately over the phone, and are able to provide on-site support where appropriate.

Where it is appropriate for onsite support to be, it is widely recognised that this should not take place within the first 72 hours following the incident, as there is a risk that earlier intervention could interfere with an individual’s automatic coping mechanisms which can be detrimental to them.  Typically our onsite support will involve at least two hours of group time to facilitate dialogue between participants, and will often allow some time for individual drop-in support on the same day.

What should I do if I think we require Critical Incident Support?

Telephone on your freephone number and speak to us.

What will happen?

We will obtain brief details of the incident that has taken place, and arrange for a dedicated Case Manager to contact you. They will then:

  1. Discuss the incident that has taken place
  2. Provide initial support to you as a Manager on how to support your staff and colleagues in the immediate aftermath of an incident
  3. Identify appropriate intervention, which could range from Management support, to the on-site presence of a trained critical incident professional and discuss costs involved 
    Where there is the presence of a trained Critical Incident professional, we will also provide a written report to the manager who commissioned the work, outlining the issues and highlighting any risks.