2013 Wisconsin Safety CounselWorkplace Violence/Emergency Planning/Active Shooter ResponsePresented by Dave Droster & Debbie Berning
Seminar Overview • Mindset of Awareness • Workplace Violence • Definition • Stats • OSHA Guidelines • Forming a Multidisciplinary Team • Myths • Workplace Violence Spectrum • Behaviors of Concern • Commitment to Action • Formula • Flash Point • Action Point • Common Inhibitors to Reporting • Available Reporting Options
Workplace Violence Defined A spectrumof behaviors – including overt acts of violence, threats, and other conduct that generates a reasonable concern for safety from violence, where a nexus exists between the behavior and the physical safety of employees and others (such as customers, clients, and business associates) on-site, or off-site when related to the organization.
2012 Bureau of Labor and Statistics Data • Nearly 2 million Americans report they’ve been victims of violence at work. • 1 in 9 workplace fatalities were homicides. • Homicide is the most common cause of workplace fatalities in women.
The OSHA General Duty Clause29 USC § 654 - Duties of Employers and Employees (a) Each employer— (1) shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees; (2) shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this chapter. (b) Each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this chapter which are applicable to his own actions and conduct.
Workplace Violence Prevention Program Requirements There are currently no specific standards for workplace violence, however: • The courts have interpreted OSHA General Duty Clause to mean that an employer has a legal obligation to provide a workplace free of conditions or activities that either the employer or industry recognizes as hazardous and that cause, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to employees when there is a feasible method to abate the hazard. • An employer that has experienced acts of workplace violence, or becomes aware of threats, intimidation, or other indicators showing that the potential for violence in the workplace exists, would be on notice of the risk of workplace violence and should implement a workplace violence prevention program combined with engineering controls, administrative controls, and training.
Considerations for Program Development What is a Workplace Violence Prevention and Intervention Program: A coordinated collection of policies, procedures, and practices adopted by an organization to help prevent workplace violence and to assist the organization in effectively responding to reports of problematic behavior made under the organization’s workplace violence prevention policy.
Establishing Multidisciplinary Involvement An organization should begin by considering who within the organization will hold responsibility for: • Developing and implementing the Workplace Violence Prevention and Intervention Program • Conducting ongoing Threat Management • Periodically assessing the effectiveness of the Program.
Top-Management Commitment An organization should obtain the participation of executive or top-level management in: • Establishing the program as an organizational priority • Reviewing and approving a prevention policy. • Appointing appropriate personnel to develop, implement, and monitor the Program. • Providing sufficient resources and authorizations to maintain the Program • Providing sufficient resources and authorizations as required during Incident Management
Other Key Stakeholders and Participants Human Resources • Assumes a leadership role in: • Developing the overall program, and relevant policies, procedures, and practices • Organizing and conducting training • Participating in incident management • Enforcing workplace violence policies through appropriate corrective action.
Stakeholders and Participants Security • Can contribute practical expertise related both to prevention and intervention such as: • on-site physical security • Initial incident assessment • Investigations • employee background screening • incident management techniques • Law Enforcement liaison
Stakeholders and Participants Legal • Can ensure the organization has met legal requirements related to violence prevention • Can provide legal guidance during the investigation • Can ensure that it properly navigates the numerous legal issues that arise during incident management
Stakeholders and Participants Safety and Health Personnel • Workplace violence prevention, intervention, and response is an integral part of an organization’s occupational injury and illness prevention program. • Safety and health personnel should keep employers and employees aware of developments in OSHA requirements or recommended guidelines bearing on violence prevention, and assist the organization with compliance. • Safety personnel will assist the organization in executing OSHA record-keeping and reporting requirements.
Stakeholders and Participants Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) • EAP personnel may become involved in prevention and intervention efforts in several ways: • As part of efforts to resolve an incident • Engaged to provide psychological counseling to employees or workgroups affected by a threat or violent incident. • EAP personnel involved in counseling may receive information that triggers an obligation to warn
Stakeholders and Participants Crisis Management Personnel • Can play a role in ensuring that the organization’s workplace violence prevention and intervention program includes means to address and recover from emergency situations caused by a violent incident or threat. • Can contribute in developing a crisis management process that includes a consideration of possible violent incidents
Stakeholders and Participants Risk Management Personnel • Can ensure that workers’ compensation and other liability insurance policies are maintained so that the organization is adequately insured against any losses from a violent workplace incident. • Can also support efforts by the organization to implement a workplace violence prevention and intervention program as part of the organization’s overall risk management practices.
Stakeholders and Participants Public Relations/Corporate Communications • Can help the organization manage the media and other outside parties • Can play an instrumental role in helping to develop internal communications
What Should A WPV Policy Look Like • Place all employees on notice • Establishes zero tolerance • Requirement to report behaviors of concern • Supported by top management • Specific discipline defined • Continuously reviewed and improved
Workplace Violence • Behaviors that can cause: • Personal injury • Damage property • Impede the normal course of work • Cause workers/managers/customers to fear for their safety
Workplace Violence • Include: • Threats • Harassment • Intimidation • Bullying • Assaults • Stalking • Domestic Violence • Workplace Homicides • Merely represent the “tip of the iceberg”
The Categories of Workplace Violence Four broad categories: • TYPE 1: Violent acts by criminals who have no other connection with the work-place, but enter to commit robbery or another crime • TYPE 2: Violence directed at employees by customers, clients, patients, students, or others to whom services is provided • TYPE 3: Violence against coworkers, supervisors, or managers by a present or former employee • TYPE 4: Violence committed in the workplace by someone who doesn’t work there, but has a personal relationship with an employee—an abusive spouse or domestic partner
Some Myths on WPV • “Out of the blue...” • “Just snapped...” • “If left alone, events will resolve themselves...” • “Employees can’t do anything to stop it...” • It couldn’t happen here...”
Workplace Violence • Spectrum • May not be a linear progression • To the right are acts of overt violence causing physical injury and/or death • Moving to the left are psychological and emotional violence • To the far left are Behaviors of Concern • No profile of a workplace violence offender
Some Behaviors of Concern • There are behaviors that suggest the potential for future violence • If there’s a behavior that makes you uncomfortable, it’s best to listen to what may be an intuitive warning • If you see something or sense something, say something • May be an innocent explanation for behavior • if left unaddressed, could escalate and contribute to a toxic work environment
Behaviors of Concern • The following may alert supervisors to potential problems • Threats, frequent aggressive outbursts, or excessive displays of temper • History of threats/violent acts • Ominous fascination with weapons and/or references to weapons, violent media content, or violent events
Behaviors of Concern • Verbal abuse of co-workers and customers, or harassment through phone calls or emails • Bizarre comments or behavior, including violent content • Holding grudges, inability to handle criticism, making excuses, and blaming others • Chronic, hypersensitive complaints about persecution • Making jokes or offensive comments about violent acts
Behaviors of Concern- Sadness - • Some Behaviors of Concern, such as sadness, might not look like they could lead to a Flash Point • What begins as sadness may evolve into a serious depression and the potential for suicide • Suicide is aggression turned inward; wherein homicide is aggression turned outward
Behaviors of Concern • Do not focus on “snapshots” • No one behavior suggests a greater level of threat; significant changes in patterns of behavior are far more telling. • Employee is sending out a personal “SOS” distress signal • Learn to recognize the signals that could point in the direction of violence and then learn to respond to them
Behaviors of Concern • Minor non-violent conflicts that went unresolved built up until they were no longer manageable • intervening early in a conflict may result in a resolution before the problem gets out of control • When people go into a crisis state, it affects the way they think, feel, and behave • Frequency, duration, and intensity are critical criteria when evaluating Behaviors of Concern
A Triggering Event • A reprimand, termination, or layoff • Financial troubles, a separation, a divorce, or a death • A loss, whether real or perceived, in someone’s personal or professional life • “Injustice collectors” • Will not forget or forgive those wrongs or the people he believes are responsible
Facts About Workplace Violence • Very few organizations will ever experience disturbed employees engaging in shooting sprees that wound and kill multiple victims • A far greater number will face other forms of workplace violence • Threatening behavior and violent events that are less spectacular and less deadly • Nonetheless, significantly damage the well-being of an organization and place employees in harm’s way
Workplace Violence Formula Awareness + Action = Prevention • You can do something about many situations • Action has to be appropriate: Follow the B&S WPV Reporting Process • Without awareness and willingness to act, you truly become vulnerable • What is the Briggs & Stratton Action Plan?
An Obligation To Report • Every employee who witnesses, hears, overhears, or learns of a threat or incident under this policy is required to report it promptly to any supervisor, manager, or the Human Resources Department
Good Faith vs. False Reports • No retaliation against employee who makes a good faith report • even if report could not be confirmed • Knowingly making a false report will subject employee to discipline/corrective action • including the possibility of immediate discharge
The Flash Point • The point on the Workplace Violence Spectrum where actual violence occurs • Exact location can vary from one situation and individual to another • Different actions in the work environment can trigger or cause a Flash Point • May be the result of non-work related situations • Domestic Violence • Other Personal Issues
The Action Point • Recognition that violence may be an outcome; respond with an appropriate action • Important to exercise caution when setting an early Action Point • Important not to delay reporting a threat • Better chance of containing a potentially violent event • Minimize harmful consequences and prevent a recurrence • Stress tolerance and coping skills are highly subjective: Everyone is different and will react differently to a situation.
Common Inhibitors • Lack of awareness • Not trained to recognize Behaviors of Concern • Psychological barriers • Busybody or snitch • Fear of retaliation • Believe it is someone else’s responsibility • If a flash point is triggered, it will affect you
Reporting Process • Person observing behavior • Next level supervision • Human Resources • Security Department • Legal • Safety
Summary • Work from a mindset of awareness • Don’t ignore Behaviors of Concern • They will not go away and can escalate • Learn how to recognize and how to report potentially violent situations • Alert supervisors to concerns • Report all incidents to Human Resources and the Security Department.
Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking The Impact on the workplace “He may not know where she lives, but he does know where she works...”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics, 85% of all victims of intimate partner violence are women. While intimate partner violence is not exclusively a male against female issue, it is clearly the predominant pattern. In this training program, the language and graphics used reflect this reality.
Overview • Scope • Intimate Partner Violence • Behaviors of Concern • Cycle of Violence • Action Options
Intimate Partner Violence Is Pervasive • Epidemic • 1 woman out of 4 will be a victim in her lifetime • Toll on workplace • 3-4 billion dollars per year in lost wages, productivity, and time away from work • Catastrophic event could be an outcome
Intimate Partner ViolenceMyth vs. Reality Myth • Doesn’t effect smart, successful individuals • Not a workplace issue Reality • Transcends all socioeconomic lines • Spillover effects are often subtle • Ripple effect
Intimate Partner ViolenceMyth vs. Reality Myth • Only blatantly violent or life-threatening scenarios can impact the workplace Reality • Most insidious effects can be silent—even invisible
Intimate Partner Violence Definition A pattern of coercive behavior used by one person in an intimate relationship to gain power and control over another. Includes physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, and financial abuse.