The consequences of traumatic incidents and traumatic stress management were on the agenda at this week’s Public Transport Security Conference in London.
As part of the Transport Security Expo 2013, operational stress and leading PTSD expert, Professor Neil Greenberg, spoke to delegates about the significance and consequence of traumatic incidents in the workplace.
Professor Greenberg, consultant, occupational and forensic psychiatrist and director of psychological resilience consultancy, March on Stress, said: “Traumatic incidents are, unfortunately, all too frequent an occurrence in the public transport industry. The effects upon staff involved can significantly impair their ability to work effectively, presenting significant risks in security and safety critical environments.
“It is entirely possible to substantially mitigate the effects of serious trauma on workplace functionality; however, by ensuring robust, evidence-based, traumatic stress policy and procedures are in place. The emphasis of these procedures is on supporting and training staff to keep them functioning well after experiencing trauma.”
Professor Greenberg, who worked with the Foreign Office after 9/11 and the 2002 Bali Bombings and the London Ambulance Service following the 2005 London bombings, continued: “Evidence shows that, in most circumstances, finding a way to keep people at work is good for their mental health and recovery from a significant incident. Effective organisational trauma management equips staff to be more resilient, not only to serious traumas, but to other workplace stress.
“Being well prepared before trauma events occur helps organisations to maximise resilience and minimise the effects of workplace trauma and stress upon both staff and business. Being prepared allows organisations to demonstrate that they are exercising their duty of care while at the same time avoiding the economic, legal and reputational risks associated with insufficient psychological support.”
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