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Preventing Violence at the Workplace. CLC/RCI Partnership and Labor Occupational Health Program Center for Occupational and Environmental Health University of California, Berkeley 2005. Training Objectives. After completing the workshop, you will be able to:

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preventing violence at the workplace

Preventing Violenceat the Workplace

CLC/RCI Partnership


Labor Occupational Health Program

Center for Occupational and Environmental Health

University of California, Berkeley2005

training objectives
Training Objectives

After completing the workshop, you will be able to:

  • Explain the facts about workplace violence.
  • Discuss Cal/OSHA’s three types of workplace violence.
  • List risk factors for potential violence at the workplace.
  • Describe several ways to prevent violence at work.
  • Discuss your workplace violence prevention policy, or OSHA’s recommended guidelines.
  • Prioritize post-incident reporting and response procedures.
  • Discuss how to handle an angry customer or client.
  • Teach a 15 minute session on workplace violence.

What You Know About Workplace Violence?

what is workplace violence5
What Is WorkplaceViolence?
  • Workplace violence includes: (check all that apply):

___ physical assault

___ threatening behavior

___ verbal abuse

___ harassment

true or false
True or False?
  • Violence is one of the leading causes of death on the job.

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause

of death on the job. Workplace violence is the second cause of death on the job in California.

true or false8
True or False?

Homicide is the leading cause of death in the retail sector and service industry.

  • Homicide is the leading cause of death in the retail sector and service industry.
true or false10
True or False?
  • Disputes between

co-workers are the

main motive for

workplace homicides.

  • Robbery is the main motive for workplace homicides in California (and nationwide).
  • Co-worker violence represents only 8% of workplace homicides nationwide.
  • How many workers are murdered on the job each week in the U.S. (workplace homicides)?
  • According to NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), 17 workers are murderedon the job each week in the U.S.
  • How many U.S. workers are victims of non-fatal assaults on the job each week?
  • According to NIOSH, 33,000 workers are victims of non-fatal assaults on the job each week in the U.S
true or false16
True or False?
  • The largest proportion of assaults are in healthcare and social services.
  • The largest proportion of assaults in the U.S. are in the healthcare and social services industries.
cal osha s three types of workplace violence
Cal/OSHA’s Three Types of Workplace Violence
  • Type 1: A robbery or other criminal act committed by a stranger.
  • Type 2: An assault by a client, customer, member, passenger, inmate, student, or other person who receives services from the victim.
  • Type 3: A threat or violent act on the job by an employee, supervisor, former employee, or manager.
what is a risk factor for violence
What Is A Risk Factor For Violence?
  • A risk factor is any condition that may increase a worker's risk for experiencing violence.
  • What are some examples of risk factors on your job.
osha risk factors
OSHA Risk Factors
  • Working alone or in small numbers
  • Working late night/early morning
  • Working with money
  • Delivering passengers, goods, or services
  • Having a mobile workplace like a taxicab or police car
  • Working in high crime areas
  • Guarding valuable property or possessions
  • Contact with the public
how can violence be prevented on the job
How Can Violence Be Prevented on the Job?
  • What are some examples of ways violence could be prevented at your workplace?
prevention strategies
Prevention Strategies
  • Don’t work alone late at night or during early morning hours
  • Provide security escorts to employees working evenings
  • Install security equipment (panic buttons, cellular phones, alarm systems, etc.)
  • Redesign workspace to prevent entrapment of staff
  • Train staff in ways to defuse violence
  • Provide metal detectors in buildings
  • Place curved mirrors at hallway intersections
  • Install good lighting indoors and outdoors
  • Prepare contingency plans for clients who “act out”
  • Control access to employee work areas.
workplace violence prevention program
Workplace Violence Prevention Program
  • Compare your employer’s prevention program to Cal/OSHA’s model program.
  • How are they similar?
  • What are some of the differences?
cal osha s recommendations
Cal/OSHA’s Recommendations
  • Management commitment and employee involvement
  • Workplace security analysis and record review
  • Hazard Prevention Measures:

―Engineering controls remove the hazard from the workplace or create a barrier between the worker and the hazard

―Administrative and work practice controls affect the way that jobs are performed (no worker works alone at night).

  • Incident reporting and follow-up procedures
  • Training and education for all workers
  • Recordkeeping
  • Evaluation.
responding to a violent incident small group activity
Responding to a Violent Incident Small Group Activity
  • Each small group will have five minutes to work together to rank the steps on their worksheet.
  • Designate one person to write how their group ranked the steps on flipchart paper.
  • The whole class will compare answers on the next slide and discuss any differences between the groups.
responding to a violent incident answers
Responding to a Violent Incident—Answers

1. Isolate/secure the work area.

2. Call security if it’s an emergency. Give your name and location.

3. Seek medical attention for victims.

4. Report the incident to your manager.

5. Report the incident to your shop steward.

6. File an incident report.

7. If psychological trauma occurs, contact your company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for immediate post-incident debriefing.

8. Get a referral to EAP for counseling for the victims, if necessary.

five warning signs of escalating behavior
Five Warning Signs of Escalating Behavior
  • Confusion
  • Frustration
  • Blame
  • Anger
  • Hostility
warning signs of confusion
Warning Signs of Confusion
  • The person appears bewildered or distracted. They are unsure or uncertain of the next course of action.
  • How would you respond to a person who is confused?
responses to confusion
Responses To Confusion
  • Listen attentively to the person. Ask clarifying questions. Give factual information.
warning signs of frustration
Warning Signs of Frustration
  • The person is impatient and reactive, and resists information you are giving them. They may try to bait you.
  • How would you respond to someone who is frustrated?
responses to frustration
Responses to Frustration
  • Move the person to a quiet setting or location. Reassure them. Talk in a calm voice. Attempt to clarify their concerns
warning signs of blame
Warning Signs of Blame
  • The person places responsibility on everyone else. They may accuse you or hold you responsible. They may find fault with others. They may place blame on you.
  • How would you respond to someone who is blaming others?
responses to blame
Responses to Blame
  • Disengage with the person and bring a second party into the discussion (e.g. a shop steward). Use a teamwork approach. Draw the person back to facts.
  • Respectful concern and interest may demonstrate that aggression is not necessary. Focus on areas of agreement to help resolve the situation.
warning signs of anger
Warning Signs of Anger
  • The person may show a visible change in body posture. Actions may include pounding fists, pointing fingers, shouting, or screaming. This signals very risky behavior.
  • How would you respond to someone who is angry?
responses to anger
Responses to Anger
  • Don’t argue with the person. Don’t offer solutions. Prepare to evacuate the area or isolate the person.
  • Contact your supervisor and/or security personnel.
warning signs of hostility
Warning Signs of Hostility
  • Physical actions or threats appear imminent. There is an immediate danger of physical harm or property damage. Out-of-control behavior signals that the person has crossed over the line.
  • How would you respond to someone who is acting hostile?
responses to hostility
Disengage with the person and evacuate the area. Attempt to isolate the person if it can be done safely.

Alert your supervisor and contact security personnel immediately.

Responses to Hostility
case studies
Case Studies
  • Break into small groups. Each small group gets a a different Case Study to work on (Handouts #5-7).
  • Work for 10 minutes in your small group.
  • Discuss how you would handle the situation described in your Case Study.
  • Pick a recorder to report your group's answers back to the class.
responding to an angry client
Responding to an Angry Client
  • You work for a local government agency. There is a long line of people waiting to be seen. Things have gotten backed up because your department is short staffed today. One man becomes belligerent and starts complaining from the back of the line. He gets increasingly hostile. Other clients in line begin to look alarmed and are getting visibly upset.
prevention measures for case study 1
Prevention Measures for Case Study #1
  • Take the person out of the line and move him to a separate room.
  • Try to calm him down.
  • Try to stop the escalation by explaining why the line is moving slowly today. Let the person tell his side.
  • Don’t put yourself at risk of bodily injury. Make sure you have an escape route out of the room.
  • Call security if the person becomes threatening.
  • If the situation continues to escalate, leave the room and shut the door. Ask the person to stay in the room until someone comes who can help him.
dispute between two co workers
Dispute Between Two Co-Workers
  • Two female co-workers have had a longstanding dispute for several years. Recently, one of the women went to her supervisor saying that the co-worker had made several threatening remarks to her. The co-worker had indicated that if she came within ten feet of her, she would make sure she would not leave the office in one piece. The co-worker says these things under her breath, when no one else is around. The employee expresses much fear about her ability to work with this woman, and wants the supervisor to do something.
prevention measures for case study 2
Prevention Measures for Case Study #2
  • Try to keep the workers separated.
  • Ask the workers to sit down and calmly discuss the issue.
  • Ask if they would like a mediator to help them. The shop steward could be called to help mediate the situation.
  • If the situation does not get resolved, call the manager.
domestic violence spills into the workplace
Domestic Violence Spills into the Workplace
  • A union steward approaches a female co-worker who is coming to work with obvious injuries. She has a black eye and bruises on her face and arms. She reveals that she is being physically abused by her significant other, and that the abuse has escalated over the past several weeks. Other co-workers have expressed fear and concern about the situation.
prevention measures for case study 3
Prevention Measures for Case Study #3
  • Comfort the worker.
  • Ask her to notify her supervisor or manager about the situation, so she can get protection on the job.
  • Your employer should investigate the situation and customize a response. For example, move her to a different work area. Your employer may also get a restraining order.
  • Refer her to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE, or a local resource number if you have one.
  • There may be special forms to use if an incident involves domestic violence.
  • Check with your EAP program for other options.
workshop evaluation
Workshop Evaluation
  • What did you like best about this workshop?
  • What did you like least about this workshop?
  • What is one thing you will remember from this workshop?
  • Additional comments?

Thank you for taking the time to complete this evaluation. Your input will be used to improve this program.