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Since 2004, BAA Edinburgh Airport has maintained a reputation for high quality staff training and customer service. They have created a safe and healthy working environment for their staff, a vital part in the smooth running of one of Scotland’s busiest airports. As part of this process they are currently working towards a Silver Healthy Working Lives Award.
Airports can have a highly charged atmosphere causing a quite natural increase in anxiety of customers. Some customers may feel nervous about flying or uncertain about new rules which can be put in place often with immediate effect, such as carrying liquids on-board. In addition, queuing in confined spaces contributes to some customers becoming verbally abusive and intolerant towards staff. Occasionally this anxiety is released through aggression towards frontline staff.
Training staff is the key to success At Edinburgh Airport staff are trained to recognise and assess passengers’ behaviours through a Behavioural Pattern Recognition Programme. The training is delivered internally to frontline staff. Security teams are trained to help them recognise potential problems before they occur or escalate.
Training provided to all staff within the airport terminal, covers personal space, touch, eye contact, gestures and expressions, and non verbal communication.
This training enables staff to deal effectively with potentially violent situations by making them aware of the triggers of abusive behaviour and how to avoid them.
This ensures their own personal safety and passengers safety, while maintaining the productivity of the organisation and making BAA Edinburgh a safer place to work.
Staff feedback Through the Health and Safety management procedures staff are encouraged to report all instances of abusive behaviour so that the overall situation can be monitored and trends identified.
The annual employee survey includes a section on dealing with violent or abusive behaviour. The results of this assist managers to identify key problem areas and put appropriate measures in place.
Involvement in the Healthy Working Lives Award programme was seen as a continuation of BAA Edinburgh’s commitment to provide a healthy and safe working environment.
Healthy Working Lives Since receiving the Bronze Healthy Working Lives Award, Security Standards and Training officers Carol Lawton and John Drummond have seen an increase in the level of staff participation at the health initiatives.
Carol believes that the key to their success over the past few years has been to continue to engage staff, find out what their concerns were and provide appropriate solutions.
“We’ll continue to ask staff what they feel they need and repeat successful events. This is the best thing we’ve ever done to improve health at work. Staff feedback is that people look forward to finding out what’s happening in the coming months and that can only be good for their health at home and at work.”
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