A friend of mine was telling me about an article he’d read on a solicitor’s website about a care-worker who had won damages as a result of her claim for personal injury when a patient she was dealing with grabbed her by the wrist . The prosecutors position was that the employer was negligent for not making sufficient assessment of the risks to health and safety of their employee. A settlement to the tune of £220,00 compensation was agreed.

My friend brought this to my attention not because he’s a health and safety fanatic and knows of my work and personal interest in this area but to ask advice. He too had been grabbed by the wrist by a patient (he’s a care-worker) and while there was nothing serious to report about it, the patient being very frail he wondered what was the best way to release a grip such as this and ensure no harm to either himself or the patient.

So this week I thought I’d share with you my top tips for releasing yourself safely from a grip such as this.

Single Handed Parallel Grip.

If the agressor grabs you with the thumb on the inside of the wrist. Thumb – Inside- Turn In. Pull your hand back towards your own body to break contact with their palm. Push your elbow forwards towards the aggressor’s forearm. Step back to re-create the personal safety buffer zone.

I can’t go without a least a comment on the health and safety side of things that this example highlights. Employers put themselves, their employees and their clients/patients at risk if they do not ensure appropriate and regular physical intervention, personal safety skills and conflict management training . When deciding on a course please ensure it covers the legal side of things such as Health and Safety legislation and that your supplier has the appropriate accreditation such as edexcel the UK’s largest awarding body for qualifications and The Institute of conflict management.