Workplace Violence

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Information about Workplace Violence
Entertainment

Published on December 14, 2007

Author: Cubemiddle

Source: authorstream.com

TEXAS WOMAN’S UNIVERSITY WORKPLACE VIOLENCE:  TEXAS WOMAN’S UNIVERSITY WORKPLACE VIOLENCE Types of Workplace Violence :  Types of Workplace Violence Workplace violence is not always initiated by an employee. In fact, individuals from outside the workplace commit the majority of threats and violent acts. A current or former customer, client, or patient is often the assailant when the company or organization provides services to the public. A spouse, relative, friend, or acquaintance may be to blame when the incident involves a domestic or romantic dispute. And in some cases, it may be that the assailant has no relationship to the company or its employees, but rather enters the establishment with the intent of committing a crime. Violence in the Course of a Crime:  Violence in the Course of a Crime An individual who has no legitimate relationship to the workplace, usually commits workplace violence that occurs during the course of a crime. While he may feign being a customer as a pretext to enter the establishment, his primary motive is to commit a robbery or other criminal act. Employees who are at greatest risk from this type of violence have face-to-face contact and exchange money with the public. They often work alone or in small numbers, and work late at night and early into the morning. Prime hours for such attacks are between 7 PM and 2 AM. This type of violence accounts for the majority of workplace homicides, and represents irregular occurrences in the daily life of any particular at-risk establishment. Violence in the Course of a Crime cont..:  Violence in the Course of a Crime cont.. Primary Motive: Robbery Characteristics of At-Risk Employees: Have face-to-face contact with the public Exchange money with the public Are responsible for guarding valuable property Work during late night/early morning hours Work alone or in small numbers Work in high crime areas or community setting Violence in the Course of a Crime cont..:  Violence in the Course of a Crime cont.. High-Risk Workplace: Taxicab Liquor work areas Gas stations Convenience work areas Grocery work areas Hotels/motels Bars Restaurants Violence in the Course of a Crime cont..:  Violence in the Course of a Crime cont.. Typical Victims: Janitors (working after hours) Security guards Cashiers Supervisors or proprietors (in charge of lock-up) Violence by a Current/Former Client, Patient or Customer:  Violence by a Current/Former Client, Patient or Customer Threats and other acts of violence committed by current or former clients, patients, and customers are increasing in number, and for many service establishments, represent a daily occurrence. At greatest risk from this type of violence are public and private service sector employees who provide professional, safety, administrative, or business services to the public. Motives for this type of violence vary significantly. There are assaults against law enforcement officials; it may be revenge or simply an effort to resist arrest. For other service providers, violence may be brought on by an attempt to resist treatment or by a general dissatisfaction with services received. And in some cases, it may just be a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and getting caught in the crossfire. Violence by a Current/Former Client, Patient or Customer:  Violence by a Current/Former Client, Patient or Customer High-Risk Workplaces Health care facilities Unemployment offices Welfare eligibility offices Probation offices Homeless shelters Child welfare agencies *Including acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, inpatient facilities, and residential sites. Violence by a Current/Former Client, Patient or Customer:  Violence by a Current/Former Client, Patient or Customer Typical Victims Medical care providers Mental health care providers Alcohol/drug treatment providers Social service providers Social welfare providers Law enforcement personnel Violence by a Current/Former Client, Patient or Customer cont.:  Violence by a Current/Former Client, Patient or Customer cont. Public safety personnel Correctional personnel Justice system employees Public transit employees Customer service representatives Delivery personnel Violence that is Employment-Related:  Violence that is Employment-Related The primary target of employment-related violence is a co-worker, supervisor, or manager. In committing the assault, the individual is typically seeking revenge for what is perceived as unfair treatment. Some circumstances that may trigger an attack include: An unsatisfactory review Disciplinary action Unresolved conflicts Drawn-out grievance period Unfavorable grievance resolution Violence that is Employment-Related cont..:  Violence that is Employment-Related cont.. Loss of pay or benefits Demotion Termination or layoff Increased productivity demands Increased performance expectations Violence that is Employment-Related cont..:  Violence that is Employment-Related cont.. Increasingly, however, this type of violence involves domestic or romantic disputes. In such cases, an employee is threatened in the workplace by an individual with whom he or she is having a relationship outside of work. While most employment-related violence is limited to threats, verbal harassment, and nonfatal injuries, fatalities often attract significant media attention. Therefore, they are made to appear much more common than they actually are. Statistics prove, however, that the other two types of workplace violence account for the vast majority of fatal episodes. Violence that is Employment-Related cont..:  Violence that is Employment-Related cont.. Primary Motives Revenge (for what is perceived as unfair treatment) Relationship troubles Violence that is Employment-Related cont..:  Violence that is Employment-Related cont.. Assailants There are two different basic issues in dealing with violence in the workplace. There is the management issue of protecting the workplace - setting up security systems, adding more lights, implementing personnel policies, etc. Then, there is the employee's issue of protecting themselves - being more aware of co-workers behavior, knowing the procedures for getting help, reporting to supervisors about threats or aggressive behavior in the workplace. Violence that is Employment-Related cont..:  Violence that is Employment-Related cont.. Obviously, the typical worker cannot implement new personnel policies or set up a security system. The worker should focus on those areas he/she can control - protecting himself. Many people don't want to deal with the issue. They feel that their employer should take care of them. But look around you. In most environments, there would be ample opportunity for a robbery, rape, or assault, even if you have a security guard. The guard can't be everywhere at once. Violence that is Employment-Related cont..:  Violence that is Employment-Related cont.. The employees must be an integral part of any security system that is set up. They must be aware that they should report any unfamiliar people hanging around the facility, or parking area. They should go to their supervisor or manager if any threats or aggressive behavior occurs in the workplace. Any information about vandalism or thefts, or verbal or physical abuse, no matter how minor, should be reported. Recognizing the Potentially Violent Employee:  Recognizing the Potentially Violent Employee The following material will give employees grounding in what is known about individuals who become violent. Companies that have experienced workplace violence often learn, too late, that it is possible to identify a potentially violent employee. Recognizing the Potentially Violent Employee cont..:  Recognizing the Potentially Violent Employee cont.. Profile: potentially violent employee Like many employees in today's workforce, this individual has experienced prolonged periods of stress. He may be under pressure to improve performance, unable to resolve differences with a supervisor or co-worker, or threatened by the likelihood of a layoff. He may also be experiencing personal problems, coping with a drug/alcohol addiction, or trying desperately to meet financial obligations. However, the difference between this employee and other employees, is that he lacks the ability and support systems to deal with stress effectively. He may believe that his only recourse is to threaten or physically harm the individual (or organization) that in his mind, is the source of the problem. Recognizing the Potentially Violent Employee cont..:  Recognizing the Potentially Violent Employee cont.. Typically this individual: Has a low self-esteem Performs at a marginal level Has few interests outside of work Views work as the core of his identity Possesses a basic mistrust of others Is unable to control impulses Recognizing the Potentially Violent Employee cont..:  Recognizing the Potentially Violent Employee cont.. Externalizes blame Exhibits an entitlement mentality Has difficulty adapting to change Has a spotty work history Has trouble accepting authority Harbors resentment Fantasizes about revenge Is unsuccessful in relationships Recognizing the Potentially Violent Employee cont..:  Recognizing the Potentially Violent Employee cont.. General Characteristics White male Loner, without a family Owns or has easy access to weapons Likely to have a military background Recognizing the Potentially Violent Employee cont..:  Recognizing the Potentially Violent Employee cont.. Characteristics of a Lethally-Violent Employee Over 30 Few outlets for frustration No history of violence or substance abuse Delusional, paranoid Recognizing the Potentially Violent Employee cont..:  Recognizing the Potentially Violent Employee cont.. Characteristics of a Non-lethally Violent Employee Under 30 History of substance abuse Some history of violence toward women, children, or animals Handling Potentially Violent Employees:  Handling Potentially Violent Employees To prevent situations from escalating into violence, supervisors and managers must be on the lookout for employees who fit the profile and are under a great deal of stress. They should also be alert to the warning signs and circumstances that typically precede a violent outburst. Handling Potentially Violent Employees cont..:  Handling Potentially Violent Employees cont.. Violence is often preceded by warning signs, such as: Personality or attitude changes Behavioral changes Obsessive behaviors increased absenteeism Chemical dependency Verbal threats Handling Potentially Violent Employees cont..:  Handling Potentially Violent Employees cont.. Threatening actions Extreme disorganization Depression Isolation Preoccupation with weapons Declining performance Emotional outbursts Extreme defensiveness Handling Potentially Violent Employees cont..:  Handling Potentially Violent Employees cont.. Circumstances that may trigger violent behavior include: An unsatisfactory review Disciplinary action Conflict with a co-worker Conflict with a supervisor Unfavorable grievance resolution A denied promotion Handling Potentially Violent Employees cont..:  Handling Potentially Violent Employees cont.. Loss of pay or benefits Demotion Termination or lay-off Personal crisis Impending deadline An unacknowledged request Handling Potentially Violent Employees cont..:  Handling Potentially Violent Employees cont.. Supervisors and managers should intervene at the first signs of trouble. Many times, all that is needed at the early stages is a listening ear. However, if the warning signs involve threats or other prohibited behaviors, it is imperative that the employee be disciplined in accordance with TWU Human Resource Operating Policy. This will send a clear message to the employee that threats and other such acts will not be tolerated. Handling Potentially Violent Employees cont..:  Handling Potentially Violent Employees cont.. When meeting with a troubled and potentially-violent employee, a supervisor or manager can increase his or her chances of getting through to the employee by conveying a genuine concern, using effective listening skills, and remaining focused on observed behavior. He or she must remember that the purpose of intervening is not to lay blame or judge the employee, but to determine the cause of his problems and appropriate measures that can be taken to resolve them. Handling Potentially Violent Employees cont..:  Handling Potentially Violent Employees cont.. Event Measures If you are robbed at gunpoint, stay calm and speak to the robber in cooperative tone. Do not argue or fight with the robber and offer no resistance whatsoever. Hand over the money. Never ever pull a weapon during the event. It will only increase your chances of getting hurt. Always move slowly and explain each move to the robber before you make them. Handling Potentially Violent Employees cont..:  Handling Potentially Violent Employees cont.. Post-Event Measures Do not attempt to follow or chase the robber. Stay where you are until you are certain the robber has left the immediate area, then lock the door of your work area and call the police immediately. Do not touch anything robber has handled. Write down everything that you remember about the robber and the robbery while you wait for the police to arrive. Do not open the door of the work area until the police arrive. Workers in Office Buildings and Businesses :  Workers in Office Buildings and Businesses This information is aimed at you, the employee, providing information so that you can better protect yourself. Obviously this category of "employee" is very broad, covering many different types of jobs. Because so many people work in office buildings, and there are hazards specific to that type of environment, this section gives some warnings to those workers. Workers in Office Buildings and Businesses cont..:  Workers in Office Buildings and Businesses cont.. When you work at an office building: Be familiar with your office building and any crime problems in or around the area Lock all doors when leaving, even for brief periods. Also, keep the office door locked as much as possible when such access is not necessary for the operation of the business. Avoid working late in office buildings. If you must, keep doors locked, and don't open them to anyone you are not expecting. Make sure someone knows you are working late and have him or her keep in touch with you. Have your telephone close at hand and in a location where it can be immediately used in times of emergency. Workers in Office Buildings and Businesses cont..:  Workers in Office Buildings and Businesses cont.. Know your neighbors. Know who works at what time and who can be of help during emergencies. Extend your cooperation to your neighbors should they need your help. Be especially careful when leaving your office and going to your car. Garages and parking areas are prime attack locations. If possible, have yourself escorted to your car after dark. Should a suspicious person enter your office, immediately proceed to give them a story that indicates that someone is going to arrive very soon. Such a "white lie" just might prevent the stranger from trying something, since he believes someone is going to arrive soon. Workers in Office Buildings and Businesses cont..:  Workers in Office Buildings and Businesses cont.. Elevators Never get into an elevator if you are uncomfortable with a person in the elevator. Should you arrive at your desired floor and see a suspicious person lurking on the floor, don't get out. Take the elevator to another floor where there are other people. The safest way to ride is with someone you know someone who lives, works in, or visits the building. Be wary of riding with people, who simply appear, by their nature, suspicious. When entering an elevator, always position yourself within hands reach of the control panel. This will enable you to hit the alarm button should the need arise. Avoid taking the elevator to the basement especially at night. Basements are prime assault and rape areas of a building. Homicides in the Workplace :  Homicides in the Workplace Homicide is the third leading cause of death from occupational injury for all workers. Guns are the most commonly used weapons. Employers and workers should take the following steps to protect themselves from homicide in the workplace. Homicides in the Workplace cont..:  Homicides in the Workplace cont.. Be aware of which workplaces and occupations have the highest risk of work-related homicides: Workplaces Taxicab establishments Liquor work areas Gas stations Detective/protective services Justice/public order establishments Grocery work areas Jewelry work areas Hotels/motels Eating/drinking places Homicides in the Workplace cont..:  Homicides in the Workplace cont.. Occupations Taxicab drivers/chauffeurs Law enforcement officers (police officers/sheriffs) Hotel clerks Gas station workers Security guards Stock handlers/baggers work area owners/managers Bartenders Homicides in the Workplace cont..:  Homicides in the Workplace cont.. The factors that may increase the risk of homicide: Exchange of money with the public Working alone or in small numbers Working late night or early morning hours Working in high-crime areas Guarding valuable property or possessions Working in community settings Evaluate your workplace and take steps that may prevent homicides Homicides in the Workplace cont..:  Homicides in the Workplace cont.. Preventive measures may include the following: Make high-risk areas visible to more people. Install good external lighting. Use drop safes to minimize cash on hand. Carry small amounts of cash. Post signs stating that limited cash is on hand. Install silent alarms. Install surveillance cameras. Increase the number of staff on duty. Provide training in conflict resolution and nonviolent response.   EXAM:  EXAM Any Questions about: Types of Workplace Violence? Violence in the Course of a Crime? Violence by a Current/Former Client, Patient or Customer Workers in Office Buildings and Businesses? Homicides in the Workplace? Please proceed to take the online exam. A training certificate will be sent to you shortly. Contact the Safety Office for any questions or comments.

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