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Violence in the Workplace. University of Louisiana at Monroe. Definitions. Violence: any threat or assault on an individual that has the intention or results in physical and/or psychological damage. Types of violence: Physical Verbal Psychological Types of Threats: Direct Veiled

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Violence in the Workplace

University of Louisiana at Monroe

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  • Violence: any threat or assault on an individual that has the intention or results in physical and/or psychological damage.

  • Types of violence:

    • Physical

    • Verbal

    • Psychological

  • Types of Threats:

    • Direct

    • Veiled

    • Conditional

  • Workplace: any location the employee is at due to the requirements of completing job assignments.

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Sources of Workplace Violence

  • By strangers, vendors, contractors, etc.

  • By students or clients

  • By co-workers

  • By personal relations

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Effects of Workplace Violence

  • Physical injuries

  • Psychological / emotional damage

  • Interruption in business

  • Increased costs: medical costs, costs of additional security, etc.

  • Damaged public image

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Risk Factors

  • Working Alone

  • High Risk Environments

  • Working with limited or no means of communication

  • Financial Responsibilities - i.e. making deposits, etc.

  • Nature of Services Provided - i.e. law enforcement

  • Unrestricted movement of public in the workplace

  • Low staffing during peak hours

  • Lack of employee training

  • Lack of program implementation

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Preventing Workplace Violence

  • You can help prevent workplace violence by doing the following:

    • Secure your workplace daily

    • Always be aware of your surroundings

    • Know where the exits in your building are.

    • Implement a “buddy system” - do not work alone

    • Leave with your keys in your hand

    • Move your vehicle closer if working late. Call university police and have them provide an escort for you to your vehicle if necessary.

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Preventing Workplace Violence (continued)

  • Maintain an ability to communicate - if you are working alone let University Police know so that they can check on you.

  • Always escort all visitors / vendors in the workplace.

  • Report all incidents of workplace violence. An incident can occur without a physical attack or crime. Threats can be considered an incident. Reporting will enable the administration to try and address the issue before it becomes worse.

  • Inform management of all restraining orders. Notify your supervisor and university police of restraining orders.

  • Train all employees on preventing workplace violence.

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Early Warning Signs

  • Personality Traits:

    • Low Self-Esteem

    • Low Productivity

    • Low Impulse Control

    • Lacks Empathy

    • Social Withdrawal

    • Feelings of Rejection

    • Resists Change

    • Feelings of being picked on

    • Easily frustrated

    • Challenges authority

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Warning Signs - What to look for....

  • Obsessive behavior

  • Increased absenteeism

  • Chemical dependency

  • Verbal threats or threatening actions

  • History of discipline problems

  • Depression & isolation

  • Defensiveness

  • Emotional outbursts

  • Interests in weapons

  • Self-destructive behavior

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Resolving Workplace Conflicts

  • When resolving workplace conflicts remember the following in order to prevent violence:

    • Do not get physical

    • Do not over-react

    • Do not take the challenge

    • Be a good listener

    • Find out what is really being said

    • Give them space

    • Watch what you say non-verbally

    • Use consequences, NOT threats

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If a Workplace Violence Incident Occurs:

  • Report the incident immediately - call the university police if necessary. Report the incident to the human resources department - complete appropriate forms

  • Seek medical attention to treat injuries if necessary.

  • Thoroughly investigate incident. Get written statements from all involved. Take pictures of everything involved

  • Workplace violence committee will review incident and offer recommendations to prevent recurrence.

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  • Please see the ULM Violence in the Workplace Policy located on the HR webpage,

  • Contact the Human Resources Department, 342-5140

  • Contact the Environmental Health & Safety Department, 342-5177