Program Highlights Situations that fit the definition of workplace violence Key statistics associated with non-fatal assault Key statistics associated with workplace homicide The types of workplace violence Ten risk factors associated with workplace violence Warning signs of possible workplace violence
What Is Workplace Violence? Workplace violence is any physical assault, threatening behavior, or verbal abuse occurring in the work setting. Examples of workplace violence include:
What Is Workplace Violence? Shootings Stabbings Rapes Beatings Suicides Psychological traumas Threats or obscene phone calls Intimidation Harassment of any nature
TYPES OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE The problem of workplace violence is huge and the circumstances surrounding it are diverse, making it difficult to fully comprehend. To make it easier, we divide the problem of workplace violence into smaller categories. Specifically, we classify it by the type of relationship between the victim and the offender.
Using this classification, there are four types of workplace violence: Violence by Strangers Violence by Customers or Clients Violence by Co-workers Violence by Personal Relations
Violence by Strangers Perpetrator In this type of violence, the perpetrator has no relationship to the worker or workplace. Examples The most common examples of stranger violence include: Robbery Mugging Rape Acts of terrorism are also considered examples of violence by strangers.
Violence by Strangers (continued) Statistics Violence by strangers is the most frequent type of workplace violence. Between 1993 and 1999, in more than half of all workplace victimizations, the perpetrator was a stranger. For workplace homicide, the percentage of violence by strangers was even higher. Violence by strangers accounted for: 56% of non-fatal workplace victimizations 84% of workplace homicides In contrast, outside of work, people are far more likely to be victimized by people they know than by strangers. For example, in all locations (including but not limited to work) only 14% of homicides between 1976 and 1999 were committed by strangers. Source: NCVS
Violence by Customers or Clients Perpetrator Perpetrators of this type of workplace violence include: Customers Clients Patients Passengers Criminal suspects Prisoners
Violence by Customers or Clients (continued) Examples of violence by customers or clients include: A customer complaint escalating into a fistfight A former client with a grudge against a business deciding to "get even" A patient acting out due to mental illness or drug use A passenger violently protesting a fare A criminal suspect or prisoner resisting arrest or attempting escape Statistics Between 1993 and 1999, 4% of workplace homicides were committed by customers or clients. Source: NCVS
Violence by Co-Workers Perpetrators of this type of workplace violence include: Current or former employees Current or former supervisor or manager
Violence by Co-Workers (continued) Examples of co-worker violence include: Bullying or threatening co-workers Dispute with supervisor becoming violent Office shooting triggered by a personnel action such as a firing or mass layoff Co-worker violence could also include threats to family members made by a co-worker in the workplace, for example, a disgruntled employee threatening to harm his supervisor's family. Statistics Violence by co-workers accounted for 7% of workplace homicides between 1993 and 1999. Source: NCVS
Violence by Personal Relations Perpetrators of this type of workplace violence include: Current or former intimate (spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend) Relative Friend Examples After a victim of domestic violence seeks shelter, the workplace may be the only place that the perpetrator can locate her. A relative may enter a workplace to confront the victim over a family dispute.
Violence by Personal Relations (continued) Statistics In cases of non-fatal workplace victimization between 1993 and 1999: 1.1% were committed by intimates 0.5% were committed by other relatives However, in cases of workplace homicide over the same period: 3% were committed by intimates 1% were committed by other relatives 1% were committed by friends or other acquaintances Source: NCVS
More Than Numbers Even though violence by personal relations accounts for a relatively small percentage of workplace violence, it is still devastating to the victim and disruptive to the workplace. Also, there is considerable risk that the perpetrator may assault other people attempting to protect the intended victim or who simply happen to be nearby.
Risk Factors Ten factors that may increase a worker's risk for workplace assault have been identified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). To make it easier to understand and remember the factors, we'll look at them in four groups. Specifically, we'll look at risk factors that are related to: People Mobility Time and place Money and property
Risk Factors – People Some risk factors for workplace assault are related to working with people, including: Contact with the public Working with unstable or volatile persons, such as in health care, social services, or criminal justice settings Basic Principle These factors are related to people from the outside, such as strangers or clients, coming into the workplace.
Risk Factors - People (continued) Strangers Most workplace violence is committed by strangers. Therefore, locations that are accessible to the public are more vulnerable than workplaces that are not.
Risk Factors - People (continued) Customers, Clients, Patients, etc. Although any type of work that involves contact with people in the broad category of customers, clients, patients, etc. involves a certain degree of risk of this type of violence, higher risk is associated with contact that is: Frequent (as opposed to rare) Face-to-face (as opposed to telephone or mail contact) Examples of higher risk activities include: Taking someone into custody Refusing a request Taking a complaint Repossessing property Requesting payment
Risk Factors – Mobility Some risk factors apply to work that involves moving among locations or working without a permanent location, including: Delivery of passengers or goods Having a mobile workplace such as a taxicab or police cruiser Working in community-based settings
Risk Factors – Mobility Basic Principle Instead of the risk of offenders coming into the workplace, these factors revolve around the risks associated with the worker going out. Mobility increases the potential for unpredictability and isolation. Mobility increases the risk of violence by strangers and violence by customers or clients. In these cases, the risk may be compounded because the victim may be going into an unfamiliar setting, but one that the offender knows well.
Risk Factors – Time and Place Some risk factors are related to time and place, including: Working alone or in small numbers Working late at night or during early morning hours Working in high-crime areas
Risk Factors – Time and Place Basic Principle The basic principle behind these factors is simple: people are more likely to do something wrong if they are less likely to be caught. Similarly, they are more likely to pick an easy target than a difficult one. These factors apply in cases of stranger violence such as robbery or rape, but also in customer or co-worker violence such as intimidation or attack.
Risk Factors – Money and Property Some risk factors are associated with money and property, including: Exchange of money Guarding valuable property or possessions
Risk Factors – Money and Property Basic Principle Because robbery is the motive in a high percentage of workplace violence, having access to something worth stealing substantially increases the risk of workplace violence motivated by robbery. Violence from strangers would be the most frequent concern associated with these factors, but co-workers or former co-workers, as well as customers or patients, may also be involved in robbery of money, property, or medication.
Risk Factors – Summary These risk factors are: Contact with the public Working with unstable or volatile persons, such as in health care, social services, or criminal justice settings Delivery of passengers or goods Having a mobile workplace such as a taxicab or police cruiser Working in community-based settings Working alone or in small numbers Working late at night or during early morning hours Working in high-crime areas Exchange of money Guarding valuable property or possessions
Warning Signs Warning signs are clues that may indicate situations in the workplace and personal factors that may precede, predict, or contribute to the cause of a violent outburst. Nevertheless, warning signs only indicate potential and not certainty. Even though someone exhibits some warning signs, they may never act out violently. In contrast, an individual may act violently without any detectable warning signs.
Personal Problems Individuals who commit workplace violence may have problems in many areas of their lives Problems with family or social environment Desperation over finances Medical or mental illness Domestic violence Romantic obsession Substance abuse History of conflicts History of violence
Aggressive Behavior Although it's possible for violence to erupt without warning, a physical assault is often preceded by other aggressive behavior. This behavior can be verbal or physical behavior that does not qualify as an assault. For example; Intimidation Harassment Bullying Belligerent behavior
Weapons Shootings and other armed assaults have demonstrated the devastating destructive power of weapons in the workplace. Any of these warning signs about weapons should be taken seriously and brought to the attention of law enforcement: Bringing a weapon to the workplace Making inappropriate references to guns Making threats about using a weapon to harm someone
Warning Statements Perpetrators of workplace violence may make statements before an incident that reveal violent intentions and attitudes. Be alert for statements that indicate: Fascination with incidents of workplace violence Approval of the use of violence to resolve a problem Identification with perpetrators of workplace homicides
Working Toward a Solution Engineering controls Administrative and work practice controls
Working Toward a Solution Engineering controls are preventive measures that do one of two things: Remove the hazard from the workplace Create a barrier between the worker and the hazard
Working Toward a Solution Recommended engineering controls include: Physical barriers such as bullet-resistant enclosures or shields, pass-through windows, or deep service counters Alarm systems, panic buttons, global positioning systems (GPS), and radios ("open mike switch") Convex mirrors, elevated vantage points, clear visibility of service and cash register areas Bright and effective lighting Arrange furniture to prevent entrapment Cash-handling controls, use of drop safes Height markers on exit doors Video surveillance equipment, in-car surveillance cameras, and closed circuit TV
Working Toward a Solution What are administrative controls? Administrative and work practice controls are preventive measures that rely on changing employer and employee behavior in the workplace instead of the physical aspects of the workplace. Specifically, administrative and work practice controls affect the way jobs or tasks are performed.
Working Toward a Solution Recommended administrative and work practice controls include: Adequate staffing Emergency procedures to use in case of robbery Training in identifying hazardous situations and appropriate responses in emergencies Establish liaison with local police
Post-Incident Response Even with the best workplace violence prevention program, it is impossible to completely eliminate the possibility of workplace violence. Violent incidents can occur anywhere. As a result, employers need to be prepared to respond after a violent incident.
Post-Incident Response (continued) To prevent serious conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and to help the workplace return to normal, workplace violence programs should provide treatment and assistance after a violent incident. All workplace violence programs should provide treatment for: Victimized employees Employees who may be traumatized by witnessing a workplace violence incident
Post-Incident Response (continued) Several types of assistance can be incorporated into the post-incident response including: Trauma-crisis counseling Critical incident stress debriefing Employee assistance programs to assist victims
Post-Incident Response (continued) After a violent incident, the circumstances surrounding the incident should be studied and the workplace violence prevention plan should be evaluated. If it is determined that the incident might happen again or could have been prevented, the workplace violence prevention program should be revised.
OSHA Recommendations In response to the increased hazard of workplace violence in those industries, OSHA has produced guidelines and recommendations for implementing workplace violence prevention programs.
OSHA Recommendations In 1996, OSHA published Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care and Social Service Workers. These guidelines were updated and republished in 2003. In 1998, OSHA published Recommendations for Workplace Violence Prevention Programs in Late-Night Retail Establishments. In 2000, OSHA published Risk Factors and Protective Measures for Taxi and Livery Drivers. In 2002, OSHA published a Fact Sheet on general types of workplace violence. These documents are available online at http://www.osha.gov/
Ramifications of Workplace Violence OSHA OSHA’s General Duty Clause(29 USC 19005 (a) (1) requires employers to provide a safe and helpful environment for all workers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Employers are subject to OSHA investigations, citations, fines / penalties.
Ramifications of Workplace Violence Judgments have been entered for $55m, $12m, $5m, and $4.5m for deaths on job site to workers, guest or third parties. Negligence-”Reasonable care to prevent a foreseeable risk of injury to others. Negligent Hiring Negligent Retention Negligent Supervision
PUT IT ON PAPER !!! Written Plans Medical Emergencies Building Emergencies Natural Disasters Workplace Violence Emergency Response Plan (Procedures) Business Continuation Plan Crisis Management Plan
Source: National Crime Victimization Survey OSHA CDC