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Preventing 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 behavior 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 building CA Penal Code Section 71 – Prohibits any person from threatening or inflicting unlawful injury upon any public employee OSHA GENERAL DUTY CLAUSE: 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 workplace 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 workplace violence. 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 others 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 department. 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 violence Caveat: Threats don‟t always lead to physical violence 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 control? What To Do Remain calm Putspace between yourself and the other person 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 claims 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 terminated. Prevention 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 violence Workplace Violence Prevention Program Elements Management commitment and employee Involvement 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 incidents Versus… “I should have done something”! Management Commitment: What You Can Do Be aware Improve your supervisory and communication skills 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 Reporting “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 Professionals Additional Resources Supplemental information Thank you!
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