WORKPLACE VIOLENCE POLICY
07 January 2009
PURPOSE: To establish policies and procedures on Work Place Violence in compliance with
L-3 Corporate Policy 302.
SCOPE: These guidelines apply to all DPA employees.
POLICY: All employees, including Supervisors, Administrative, General Managers and all
others are to be treated with courtesy and respect at all times. Employees are expected to refrain
from fighting, “horseplay”, or other conduct that may be dangerous to themselves and others. In
accordance with L-3 Corporate Policy 307, paragraph 3.0 firearms, weapons, and other
dangerous or hazardous devices are prohibited from the premises of DPA facilities without
proper authorization. Conduct that threatens, intimidates, or coerces another employee, a
customer, or a member of the public will not be tolerated. All threatened (or actual) acts of
violence, suspicious persons, or activities should be reported immediately through your
supervisory chain to Human Resources. The identity of the DPA employee making a report will
be protected as much as is practical. DPA HR will promptly respond to and thoroughly
investigate all reports of threat of (or actual) violence, and of suspicious individuals or activities.
It is the responsibility of the HR Training Manager and the Security Manager to monitor the
Corporate Work Place Violence policy training program to include initial training for each new
employee and annual refresher training for the entire workforce. Training material will
be available to each employee.
WHAT IS WORKPLACE VIOLENCE (WPV)?
WPV are acts of aggression or violence including assaults, threats, disruptive, aggressive,
hostile, verbal or emotionally abusive behaviors that generate anxiety that occurs in or are related
to workplace and entail a real or perceived risk of physical, emotional and/or psychological harm
to individuals or damage to an organizations resources or capabilities. Criminal or other unlawful
acts that are intended to harass, intimidate, and/or inflict physical or psychological harm on an
employee of the company. Prohibited acts of WPV include threats, intimidation, physical attack
or property damage.
Threat is the expression of intent to cause physical or mental harm. Such an expression
constitutes a threat without regard to whether the person communicating it has the ability
to carry it out and without regard to whether the threat is made on a present, conditional
or future basis.
Physical Attack is an unwanted or hostile physical contact such as hitting, pushing,
kicking, shoving, throwing of objects or fighting.
Intimidation includes but is not limited to stalking or engaging in actions intended to
frighten, coerce or induce distress.
Property Damage is intentional damage to property owned by the company, its
employees or visitors.
DETECT, PREVENT, and PROTECT
Detect – focus on understanding and discovering ‘at risk’ behaviors for individuals and
violence prone trends.
Prevent – anticipate and deal with possible problematic situations before they escalate
into an eruption of conflict.
Protect – implement measures to contain issues, resolve hostile situations, and activate a
crisis response plan.
WARNING SIGNS AND EXAMPLES OF UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR
Studies indicate that violent occurrences rarely happen without some warning. Before actually
becoming violent, there are patterns of behavior which may serve as warning signs of violence.
It should be noted that not everyone exhibiting warning signs will become violent. Examples of
violent behavior range from property damage to verbal abuse, threats, harassment or physical
assault. The following list is not intended to be all inclusive but provides some examples of
1. Concealing or using a weapon
2. Obsession with weapons
3. Physically assaulting a co-worker
4. Making direct or indirect threats, either in person, in writing, through telephone calls or
through mail (electronic or “snail”)
5. Stalking, harassing or showing undue focus on another person
6. Intimidating or instilling fear in others
7. Talking about “getting even”
8. Throwing or striking objects
9. Actions which damage, destroy, or sabotage property
10. Physically aggressive acts, like shaking fists at another person, kicking, verbally cursing,
pounding on desks, punching a wall, and screaming.
11. Previously reported violent behavior
12. Mental Disorders (Paranoia or Depression, Illusion of some perceived threat directed
against them), mood swings or other unusual behavior
13. Unreasonable grievances (always sees injustice or unfairness directed against them)
14. Communicates threats, revenge, or comments about how to inflict death or injury,
references to previous incidents or other intimidating comments
15. Anxious or defensive behavior
16. Easily upset or angered
17. Aggressively challenges authority or changes
18. Increased need for supervision to correct behavioral problems
19. Strained relationship with co-workers
20. Violation of safety procedures
21. Changes in personal hygiene
22. Stress, voiced job frustration
23. Loner, exhibits low self esteem
24. Substance abuse
25. “Bullying” or “mobbing”
CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO WPV
- Reduction in workforce, lay-offs, downsizing
- Domestic violence spilling into the workplace
- Loss of “critical anchors” e.g., family, religion, relationships, job security, etc...
- A trend of less individual responsibility of our actions, blaming society, self
entitlement, increased incivility
- Easy accessibility and proliferation of firearms
- Glorification of violence in greater society; media highlighting and focus on violence
- Conflict/arguments between individuals continues to be the leading cause of
According to experts, whenever a person engages in violent behavior, he or she has chosen
aggression over non-violent alternatives. It is often possible to prevent a violent incident using
appropriate intervention strategies. Key elements to successful intervention include treating
employees fairly and with respect.
Employees who observe or suspect inappropriate or unacceptable behavior should report it to
management, human resources, or security immediately.
DEFUSE A POTENTIAL DANGEROUS SITUATION
- Respect: Nothing is more important than letting an individual know that you are
treating them with respect and that you will try to help them find a way to save face
even if they are being demoted or fired.
- Recognize the early symptoms and signals of individual distress and breakdown, and
have a system in place to respond by offering assistance.
- Offer assistance through the EAP, counseling, training, and continue with positive
interactions and interpersonal communications.
When all attempts to prevent a WPV situation fail enforcement procedures must be in place to
protect personnel. Threats, threatening conduct, or any other acts of aggression or violence in the
workplace will not be tolerated. Employees and supervisors must report such behavior through
their supervisory chain to the HR Department, who will work with the Project Manager or Site
Manager to initiate an immediate investigation. Any employee determined to have committed
such acts will be subject to administrative discipline, up to and including termination.
Non-DPA employees engaged in violent acts on DPA premises will be reported to the proper
authorities and fully prosecuted. If there is doubt as to the likelihood of an employee becoming
violent, Security personnel will consult the local law enforcement agency. All employees are
entitled to work in an environment free from intimidation, threats or actual violence. Employees
reporting an alleged potential violence situation will not be subjected to retaliation unless their
allegations are intentionally false.
Initial Reporting. If an act of workplace violence has occurred, appears imminent, or
reasonable potential exists, the following procedures should be followed:
1. Notify senior management immediately.
a. Local BAM/PM should then notify DPA Crisis Management Team in ARL
b. MPRI Security will be notified directly where appropriate
2. Notify local law enforcement by placing a “911” call as directed.
3. If possible, alert employees in the vicinity of the violent individual and instruct them to
take appropriate action which may include:
a. Evacuate of the area.
b. Removal to designated safe area
c. Remain in place
d. Evacuation of the facility
4. Senior management may order a complete building evacuation, but this must be done
only after it is judged safe to do so and by avoiding the area in which the incident is
5. Keep in mind that when evacuating the facility and facing police responders, they will
consider all employees as possible offenders until it is determined they are not.
6. Provide whatever information you can to a member of the Crisis Management or Disaster
Recovery Teams. It is extremely helpful for emergency responders to have a single point
of contact to ensure accurate information.
7. When providing information try to include the following as accurately as possible:
a. How many threatening individuals are there?
b. Who are they and where were they last seen?
c. What did they say?
d. Are they armed? With what?
e. Are there hostages?
f. Have there been any injuries?
8. Security personnel and members of the Crisis Management and Disaster Recovery Teams
need to be mindful that during a crisis people often provide perceptual information
tainted by panic. They need to attempt to discern facts from perception as best as
Follow Up. Following an incident, potential or actual, DPA staff should conduct the following
activities and create the appropriate documentation relative to the incident:
1. Site Incident Report should be completed by senior PM/BAM on site and forwarded
to the Crisis Management Team. Site Incident Report should include the following
a. Actions/response taken with appropriate timelines
b. Assessment/report regarding employee injury/casualties
c. Assessment/report regarding facility and property
d. Other appropriate assessments
2. Crisis Management Team will coordinate with MPRI Legal, DPA/MPRI Security and
DPA HR to determine appropriate actions regarding continued employment,
termination or other disciplinary action for employees.
3. DPA HR will coordinate with NEAS/EAP or other provider regarding counseling
services and treatments/assistance with site morale and emotional issues.
4. DPA HR will work with senior PM/BAM on site regarding Employee Counseling
Records and/or terminations that may apply
5. DPA HR will coordinate with law enforcement regarding punitive actions planned
that could result in retaliation against other employees. This action will ensure all
appropriate measures are taken to protect employees and property from future actions
by parties who may have demonstrated real or perceived threats.
MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS VS REALITY
There are many myths and misconceptions concerning WPV. The following are some of the most
• Verbal threats should not be taken seriously or literally.
• Direct or indirect threats are the most common prelude to violence. Threats have a negative
effect on morale and on people’s sense of safety and security.
• Some physical sparring between employees is acceptable as long as it does not go
• too far.
• Physical fighting is violence and is NEVER acceptable in the workplace.
• Some verbal harassment and bullying is normal between employees.
• Employees should be expected to treat all co-workers with respect and not be allowed to
intimidate or harass others.
• Employees should be encouraged to report only serious acts of harassment or threats.
• Any threat or act of harassment if not dealt with promptly can have a negative effect on the job
environment. Ignoring threats or verbal harassment can actually encourage workplace violence.
• An employee’s romantic obsession with an uninterested co-worker is not a warning sign.
• This warning sign has been a factor in a number of workplace violence-related cases.
• People who threaten violence generally do not follow through.
• A threat can be a prelude to more aggressive behavior. If threats are allowed to continue
unchecked, there is evidence that the behavior will increase in intensity and may escalate to
• Workplace violence does not exist at our company.
• Key findings by the National Life Insurance Company survey revealed that many different forms
of violence were pervasive in every company.
• Workplace violence is primarily a Security problem.
• While Security is a valuable company resource, a safe working environment is the responsibility
of every manager, supervisor, and employee.
• Reality – Homicide is now the second highest cause of death on the job.
o 80% of victims are Men
o 80% of incidents involved guns, 10% knives
o Homicide is the leading cause of death for women at work
o Incidents of employees killing their supervisor have doubled over the last ten
• Reality – Annually U.S. residents reported close to 2 million violent victimizations
while they were working or on duty.