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Workplace Violence


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Workplace Violence

  1. 1. Violence in the Workplace!
  2. 2. Course Objectives • To help members of management and supervisors identify employees who present a risk of violence • To teach management to connect the dots so managers can interrupt the process that leads to violence
  3. 3. 1. Select from below which are types of violence: a) Physical b) Verbal c) Psychological d) All of the above e) None of the above 2. What are reportable incidents? a) Only serious ones b) Any acts or threats c) Only those by non-supervisors Pre-Test
  4. 4. Pre-Test Continued 3. To help prevent acts of violence, it is a good idea to always be aware of your surroundings. (True or False) 4. Employee ______________ in an agency’s Violence in the Workplace Program is imperative.
  5. 5. Did You Know? • Homicide is 4th leading cause of fatal occupational injury in the US. • Less than half of all threats are reported annually. • Assaults at work cost 500,000 employees 1,175,100 lost work days each year
  6. 6. Definitions • Violence: Any verbal, physical or psychological threat of assault on an individual that has the intention or results in physical and/or psychological damage • Workplace: Any local where the employee is, due to job requirements
  7. 7. Most Common Occurences • Insubordination • Verbal intimidation • Threats • Harassment • Vandalism • Arson • Stalking • Fist Fights
  8. 8. Sources • By strangers or vendors • By co-workers • By acquaintances • By relatives
  9. 9. Types of Incidences • Homicides: • Leading cause of job-related deaths for women, • Second leading cause for men • Non-fatal assaults: • Over two million people have been assaulted at work since 1987
  10. 10. Background Information • Types of violence • Physical • Verbal • Psychological
  11. 11. Effects • Physical • Psychological/emotional damage • Interruption in business • Higher Workers’ comp costs • Loss of productive workers • Legal liability • Psychological/emotional damage • Interruption in business
  12. 12. Risk Factors • Isolated work areas • Inadequately lighted parking lots • High-risk environments • Solo or night work • No way to communicate • Financial responsibilities (making deposits)
  13. 13. Risk Factors cont’d • Nature of job or responsibility • Unrestricted movement in the workplace • Prevalence of handguns and weapons among people, family or guns • Number of acute and chronically ill mental patients being released without follow-up • Drug abuse
  14. 14. Risk Indicators • Verbal threats to inflict bodily harm including vague and overt threats • Obscene phone calls • Intimidating presence • Harassment of any nature
  15. 15. Risk Indicators CON’T • Disorderly conduct such as: • Shouting • Pushing or throwing objects • Punching walls and slamming doors • Fascination with: • Guns or other weapons demonstrated by discussions or bringing weapons to work
  16. 16. Warning Signs • Usually follow a trigger such as: • Statements of unfair treatment • Forced to wait for (promotion, raise, etc.) • Show signs of mental instability • Start to isolate themselves (loner) • Have recently been disciplined
  17. 17. Common Traits • History of violent behavior (includes arrests, police contact) • Middle-aged white male • Upset with having only low-level tasks • Bitter and unhappy (at work or home) • No job security • Problems growing up • Substance abuse
  18. 18. Personality Traits • Resists change • Feelings of being picked on • Easily frustrated • Challenges authority • Low self-esteem • Low productivity • Low impulse control • Lacks empathy • Social withdrawal • Feelings of rejection
  19. 19. • Feelings of rejection • Resists change • Feelings of being picked on • Easily frustrated • Challenges authority Personality Traits con’t
  20. 20. What to Look For… • Obsessive behavior • Increased absenteeism • Chemical dependency • Verbal threats or threatening actions • History of discipline problems
  21. 21. What Else to Look For • Depression & isolation • Defensiveness • Emotional outbursts • Interests in weapons • Self-destructive behavior • Affiliation with gangs
  22. 22. DO: • Secure your workplace daily • Move your vehicle if working late • Escort all visitors/vendors in the workplace Safety Tips
  23. 23. Safety Tips DO: • Be aware of your surroundings • Know where your exits are • Implement a “buddy system” • Leave with keys in hand • Consider workplace layouts
  24. 24. Safety Tips DO: • Maintain the ability to communicate • Report all incidents • Inform management of restraining orders
  25. 25. 1.Do not get physical 2.Do not over-react 3.Do not take the challenge 4.Be a good listener 5.Know what is really being said Things to Remember!
  26. 26. More Things to Remember 6. Give them space 7. Watch what you say non-verbally 8. Reference self-interest 9. Speak of consequences not threats
  27. 27. You Play a Role!!! • Recognize warning signs • Stay in control • Collect information • Report all incidents
  28. 28. Protect Yourself • Don’t let the employee know a meeting is scheduled • Have someone else with you • Include positives with negatives during evaluations • Never attack an employee (insults, yelling)
  29. 29. Protect Yourself • ALWAYS remain calm when you talk • Keep a good distance between yourself and the employee • Make sure that security can be easily reached • Stay close to the door
  30. 30. Myth vs. Reality • People just snap • Violence and threats are irrational • Current and former co-workers pose the greatest risk of workplace violence • Research studies have established profiles of perpetrators of violence at work
  31. 31. Myth vs. RealityCON’T • Mental illness is the most significant risk factor for violence • The main issue in threat assessment is on whether an actual threat has been made • “It will never happen to us” vs. “It will definitely happen to us” • These situations are best handled by a single person
  32. 32. Post Test Questions 1. Name personality traits to look for as early warning signs of possible violent behavior. 2. The workplace is any location the employee is located due to requirements for his/her job assignment. (True or False)
  33. 33. Post Test Questions 3. Veiled, conditional and direct are the three types of _____________. 4. List some effects of threats of violence in the workplace. 5. You are at more at risk when workplace security procedures are bi-passed? (True or False)
  34. 34. Post Test Questions 6. Select sources of violence in the workplace: a) Strangers b) Co-workers c) Clients/students d) Personal Relations e) All of the above f) None of the above
  35. 35. Post Test Questions 7. ___________ all incidents is the key to prevention of violence in the workplace. 8. Lack of program implementation and employee training can increase the possibility of violence in the workplace. (True or False)
  36. 36. Questions – More Info If you have questions or stories you would like to share please contact me at: or 1-800-531-2265 Website info: Facebook page: LinkedIn: