One of my colleagues is quite a volatile person. While they never usually mean harm, it can quickly end up in a heated argument with others over something very minor as a result. Typically such instances are rare. However I can usually notice these coming as their key "starting point" is when someone disagrees with him over something, when he believes he is right. It's also worth noting that as a team we argue extremely rarely. We all get along well. Hence I am fond of most of the people I work with.
If an argument with him does occur, it typically becomes very abusive. He often swears excessively, or is overly harsh on the other person. He also appears to exert the aura that he is right, and there is no discussion to be had.
Typically, being the shy person I am, I just try to ignore it and get on with work. However, I am fond of the people I work with, and I don't want anyone to be hurt or offended in the argument. I also do not want either of them to get punished by our superiors for arguing in the workplace.
The workplace environment is such that interaction between colleagues (and myself) are easy and common (and happen many times a day). Due to the nature of the place, if I tried hard enough, I could probably keep my head down and avoid the argument until it has all blown over.
My question is would there be any way to interject an argument about to happen (to prevent it happening or being so heated), without causing offence to either of the people involved, or getting involved in the argument myself?
Please note that while an idea to take the argument outside the workplace would also be possible, I would rather something that would avoid it completely to prevent one of the people involved getting hurt of offended.