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Workplace Violence


  • pg 1
Workplace Violence

  CPS Human Resources Services
 Nancy Hartwell
Human Resources Consultant
        Course Objectives
 Understand  what workplace violence is
  and its prevalence
 Recognize types and stages of violent
 Understand some of the risk factors
  associated with workplace violence
 As a supervisor/manager, understand the
  steps you must take to prevent/respond to
  workplace violence
              The Law
 CALabor Code Section 6400 – Requires
 every employer to provide a safe and
 healthful work environment

 CAGovernment Code Section 19572 –
 Prohibits discourteous treatment and
 constitutes cause for discipline.
              The Law
 CA Penal Code Section 171 (b) – Prohibits
 possession of a firearm and other
 weapons within any state or local public

 CA Penal Code Section 71 – Prohibits any
 person from threatening or inflicting
 unlawful injury upon any public employee
       Section 5(a)(1)

Each employer shall furnish to each of their
employees: employment and a place of
employment which are free from recognized
hazards that are causing or likely to cause
death or serious physical harm.
This includes the prevention and control of
the hazard of workplace violence.
          True/False #1

Assaults are the most common form of
 workplace violence.
   Workplace Violence:
    Just What Is It?

  Physical  assaults
 Threatening behavior
     Verbal abuse
     Workplace Violence Facts
1  in 6 of all violent crimes occur in the
 1 in 4 workers report being attacked,
  threatened or harassed on the job
 Of those who commit workplace murders,
  40% commit suicide
  Workplace Violence Facts

 30%of workplace assaults occur
 among public sector employees

 High-riskpublic service jobs include
 law enforcement, mental health,
 social services
         Economic Impact of
         Workplace Violence

 Cost 500,000 employees 1,175,100 lost
  work days each year
 Lost wages: $55 million annually
 Lost productivity, legal expenses, property
  damage, diminished public image,
  increased security: $ billions
True/False #2

    Coworkers pose the
       biggest threat of
The FBI Classification System
 Type   1: Acts by criminals who have no
  connection with the workplace
 Type 2: Acts by customers, patients,
  service recipients
 Type 3: Acts by coworkers (current or
  former), supervisors, or managers
 Type 4: Acts by someone who has a
  relationship with an employee
          True/False #3

Although she has repeatedly asked him to
stop, Janna‟s former long-term boyfriend
has been calling her at work numerous
times each day and sometimes leaves
notes on her car. This is a type of
workplace harassment and violence.
        True/False #4

Violence is a process rather than
    an isolated or single event.
  Stages of Violent Behavior
           Dennis A. Davis, author of
        Threats Pending, Fuses Burning,
    describes three stages of violent behavior

 Stage 1 – Early potential for violence
 Stage 2 – Escalated potential for violence
 Stage 3 – Realized potential for violence
          Stage 1 Behavior
 Belittling others
 Challenging authority
 Regularly becoming argumentative
 Alienating clients
 Originating and spreading lies about
 Swearing excessively; using explicit
  language; verbally abusing others
 Sexually harassing others
             Stage 2 Behavior

 Arguing frequently and intensely
 Blatantly disregarding policies and procedures
 Setting traps for others
 Stealing from the agency or from coworkers
 Making verbal threats of harm
 Conveying unwanted sexual attention or
  violent intentions by letter, voice mail, or e-mail
 Blaming others for all problems or difficulties
           Stage 3 Behavior
 Physical confrontations and altercations
 Displaying weapons
 Committing or attempting to commit
  assault, sexual assault, arson, or suicide
         True/False #5

Individuals are either
dangerous and prone
to workplace violence
or they are not.
 Risk Factors – Work Conditions
  The U.S. Department of Health and Human
    Services lists the following factors that
    increase the risk of workplace assault:

 Public contact
 Exchange of money
 Delivery of passengers, goods, or services
 Mobile workplace
 Working with unstable or volatile persons
 Risk Factors – Work Conditions
  The U.S. Department of Health and Human
    Services lists the following factors that
    increase the risk of workplace assault:

 Working alone or in small numbers
 Working late at night or early in the morning
 Working in high crime areas
 Guarding valuable property or possessions
    Risk Factors – Work Climate
   Frequent employee grievances
   Understaffing
   Poorly defined job responsibilities
   Poor management style
   High injury rate
   Downsizing, reorganizing
   Limited flexibility in how jobs can be performed
   Inadequate or poorly trained security force
   Lack of employee counseling
       True/False #6

 Your coworker, Tim, owns several guns.
     He is more likely to commit an act of
physical violence at work than a coworker
               who doesn‟t own any guns.
           True/False #7

Carol, an Analyst in
the department, has
some psychological
problems. She is
more likely to become
violent at work than
anyone else in the
Workplace Violence Profile
True/False #8

  An act of physical violence
  is always preceded by
  warning signs.
  Warning Signs
 Threats and other warnings
precede incidents of physical

                  Threats don‟t always
                    lead to physical
              Warning Signs
   Fascination with weapons
   Substance abuse
   Severe stress
   Violent history
   Severe changes in psychological functioning
   Decreased or inconsistent productivity
   Social isolation/poor peer relationships
   Poor personal hygiene
   Drastic changes in personality/behavior
     Potential Triggers

Feeling   unappreciated
Inability to make a difference
Disciplinary action
Personal life issues
    That’s a Good Question!
 Do you feel uncomfortable working with
  this person?
 Does he/she have a history of
  inappropriate behavior?
 Are you fearful around this person?
 Does the person show signs of losing
               What To Do
 Remain     calm

 Putspace between yourself and the other

         yourself so that you can „escape‟
 Position
 if needed

 Speak   quietly and calmly
              What To Do
 Acknowledge   the other person's feelings

 Calmly describe the consequences of any
 violent behavior

 Use delay tactics that will give the person
 time to calm down

 Report   what happened
              What NOT To Do

   Argue/reject the person's
   Pose in a challenging manner

   Use communication styles that would generate
    hostility or that could be perceived as a brush-off,
    a runaround, or condescending
          What Not To Do
 Make   sudden movements that could be
  perceived as threatening
 Try to make the situation less serious than
  it is
 Make false statements or promises that
  you can't keep
 Invade the individual's personal space, or
  try to act like a hero
     Prevention: The Key!
 Stephen Paskoff, former labor attorney and current
         President of a legal training group:

“…. Don‟t be timid. Act. Act. Act.”
            True/False #9

Walt brought a hunting knife to work to show
one of his coworkers. The supervisor found
out. Because this violates the zero tolerance
workplace violence policy, Walt should be

 Clear policies
 Safe hiring
 Safe discipline
 Safe termination
       Prevention Strategies
 Implement physical controls
    Create a barrier between the worker and

     the hazard

 Implement administrative controls
    Practices that reduce the likelihood of

      Workplace Violence
  Prevention Program Elements

 Management   commitment and employee
 Worksite analysis
 Hazard prevention and control
 Post-incident response
 Training and education
 Recordkeeping and program evaluation
    Employee Involvement

 Understand   and comply with the policy
 Participate in prevention procedures
  covering safety and security concerns
 Be courteous, respectful, professional
 Promptly and accurately report violent
 “I   should have done something”!
    Management Commitment:
       What You Can Do
 Be aware
 Improve your supervisory and communication
 Inform staff of policies and procedures
 Take reports of incidents seriously
     Management Commitment
                       Dennis A. Davis
               Threats Pending, Fuses Burning

   Prepare
   Address all the issues
   Don‟t get sidetracked
   Listen carefully and respond
   Seek help from/report incidents to
    appropriate person/department
   Management Commitment
 Implement   a clear policy of zero tolerance
  for workplace violence
 Encourage employees to promptly report
  incidents and suggest ways to reduce or
  eliminate risks
 Ensure no reprisals are taken against
  employees who report incidents
   Common Reasons for Not
 “They  couldn‟t have meant that…”
 “It won‟t happen again.”
 “What will happen to them if I report this? ”
 “What will happen to me if I report this? ”
 “What will others think of me?”
     Management Commitment
   Develop a plan for security in the workplace

   Assign responsibility for implementing the plan
    to individuals with appropriate training and skills

   Affirm management commitment to a worker-
    supportive environment

   Set up briefings to address safety issues
     Sources of Assistance

 OSHA www.osha.gov
 DPA Model Program www.dpa.ca.gov
 Public Safety Officials
 Human Resource and Employee Assistance
     Additional Resources
 Supplemental   information
Thank you!

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