Presentation on theme: "WORKPLACE VIOLENCE Prevention and Response"— Presentation transcript:
1 WORKPLACE VIOLENCE Prevention and Response Based on the Handbook Workplace Violence Prevention and ResponseBy U. S. Department of AgricultureOctober, 2001
2 What This Course Will Cover What is Workplace Violence?ResponsibilitiesPrevention of Workplace ViolenceIdentifying Potentially Violent SituationsResponding to Violent IncidentsDisclosure of Information
3 What is Workplace Violence? Any act of violence, against persons or property, threats, intimidation, harassment, or other inappropriate, disruptive behavior that causes fear for personal safety at the work site.Workplace violence can affect or involve employees, visitors, contractors, and other non-Federal employees.
4 What Can Cause Workplace Violence? Work RelatedAnger over disciplinary actionsLoss of a jobResistance to policiesDisagreementStressNon-Work RelatedDomestic violenceRoad rageHate incidents or crimeStress
5 Who Can Inflict Workplace Violence? Abusive employeeManagerSupervisorCo-workerCustomerFamily memberStranger
6 Whatever the cause or whoever the perpetrator, workplace violence is not to be accepted or tolerated.
7 Employees Responsibilities “It is up to each employee to help make USDA a safe workplace for all of us”Be familiar with Department/Agency policyBe responsible for securing their own workplaceQuestion and/or report strangers to supervisorsBe aware of any threats, physical or verbal, and/or any disruptive behavior
8 Employee Responsibilities cont. Be familiar with local procedures for dealing with threats and emergenciesDo not confront individuals who are a threatBe familiar with the resources of the Employee Assistance ProgramTake all threats seriously
9 Supervisors Responsibilities Inform employees of Department policies and proceduresEnsure that employees know specific procedures for dealing with threats and emergencies, and how to contact police, fire, and other safety and security officials.Ensure that employees with special needs are aware of emergency evacuation procedures and have assistance.
10 Supervisors Responsibilities Cont. Respond to potential threats and escalating situations by utilizing proper resources from: law enforcement, medical services, Federal Protective Service, human resources staff, and the Employee Assistance ProgramTake all threats seriouslyCheck prospective employees’ backgrounds prior to hiring
11 Security/Facilities Staff Responsibilities Serve as the liaison with law enforcementConduct regular threat assessment surveys of the facilityKeep management advised of the risk of violence, and the means to close security gapsWork with facility personnel to improve the security level of the buildings, grounds, parking lots, etc.
12 Prevention of Workplace Violence A sound prevention plan is the most important and, in the long run, the least costly portion of any agency’s workplace violence program. The following programs will assist in prevention:Pre-Employment ScreeningSecurityAlternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)Threat Assessment TeamAgency Work and Family Life Programs
13 Pre-Employment Screening An agency should determine, with the assistance of its servicing personnel and legal offices, the pre-employment screening techniques. Techniques may include:Interview questionsBackground and reference checksDrug testing (if appropriate for the position under consideration and consistent with Federal laws and regulations).
14 SecurityMaintaining a safe work place is part of any good prevention program. There are a variety of ways to help ensure safety. Some security measures include:Employee photo identification badgesGuard servicesIndividual coded key cards for access to buildings and grounds
15 Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) This program is most effective in resolving disputes when a conflict has been identified early and one of the following techniques is used:OmbudspersonsFacilitationMediationInterest-based problem solvingPeer review
16 Threat Assessment Team This interdisciplinary team will work with management to assess the potential for workplace violence and, as appropriate, develop and execute a plan to address it.
17 Agency Work and Family Life Programs An agency should identify and modify, if possible, self-imposed policies and procedures which cause negative effects on the workplace climate. Examples include:Flexi-placeChild careMaxi-flex
18 Awareness/TrainingOne of the most critical components of any agency’s prevention program is training.All employees should know how to recognize and report incidents of violent, intimidating, threatening, and disruptive behavior.All employees should have phone numbers for quick reference during a crisis or an emergency.
19 Awareness/TrainingIn addition, workplace violence prevention training for employees should include the following topics:Agency’s workplace violence policyEncouragement to report incidents & procedures to do so.Ways of preventing or defusing volatile situations or aggressive behavior.Diversity training to promote understanding & acceptance of co-workers and customers from different races, sexes, religions, abilities, ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientations.
20 Awareness/Training Ways to deal with hostile persons. Managing anger. Techniques and skills to resolve conflicts.Stress management, relaxation techniques, wellness training.Security procedures such as location and operation of safety devices such as alarm systems.Personal security measures.Programs operating within the agency that can assist employees in resolving conflicts such as EAP & ADR.
21 Awareness/Training Setting clear standards In addition to the training suggested for employees, special attention should be paid to general supervisory training. It is important that supervisory training include basic leadership skills such as:Setting clear standardsAddressing employee problems promptly.Using the probationary period, performance counseling, discipline, and other management tools conscientiously.
22 Awareness/TrainingOther areas that should be included in supervisory training are:Ways to encourage employees to report incidents.Skills in behaving compassionately and supportively.Skills in taking disciplinary actions.Basic skills in handling crisis situations.Basic emergency procedures.Appropriate screening of pre-employment references.Basic skills in conflict resolution.
23 Threat AssessmentDetermining the seriousness of a potentially violent or stressful situation and how to best intervene is the basis of a threat assessment.The agency should always treat threats in a serious manner and act as though the person may carry out the threat.The purpose of the threat assessment team is to provide guidance on managing the situation in a way that protects the employees.
24 Threat Assessment Team Members Typically include:ManagementEmployee RelationsEmployee Assistance ProgramLaw Enforcement, and/or SecurityMay also include representatives from:Civil Rights/EEOSafety and Health Management OfficeUnions, where applicableOffice of the General CounselOffice of Inspector GeneralConflict Resolution Office
25 Emergency PlansThe plan should be specific to the type of facility, building, and the workers it covers, and should describe:Calling for helpCalling for medical assistanceEmergency escape procedures & routesSafe places to escapeAccounting for all employees when evacuatingProcedures to secure the work area where the incident took placeProcedures for accounting for all employeesTraining & educating employeesProcedures for regularly evaluating & updating planProcedures for debriefing participants
26 Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Designed to help parties resolve conflicts with a neutral third party.Some ADR processes include facilitation, conciliation, mediation, and ombudsperson programs.
27 Mediator Trained in listening and communicating Can defuse tensions, and clear up misunderstandingsCreates a safe setting for open communicationProvides for improved relations and communications for the future
28 Ombudsperson “Eyes and ears” of the highest level of an organization Listens, investigates, and recommends solutions to problemsListens to complaints or grievances about the organization
29 Considerations for Using ADR Parties are so committed to their views that progress is stuckCommunication styles between disputing parties require third-party assistanceYou want to resolve a dispute but do not want to file a formal complaintYou want to resolve your conflict quickly
30 ADR may not be appropriate when the parties are so hostile toward each other that sitting down together might be unsafe.
31 Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Each agency has a confidential EAP with trained counselors who can address workplace stress and violence issues.EAP is also required to help employees deal with alcoholism or drug abuse and other problems, such as, marital or financial.
32 Identifying Potentially Violent Signs IntimidatingHarassingBullyingNumerous conflicts with customers, co-workers, or supervisorsSubstance abuseStatements contemplating suicideBelligerentAggressive behaviorCarrying a weaponInappropriate references to guns or threatsExtreme changes in normal behaviors
33 If you notice violent signs, you should: If you are a co-worker: notify the employee’s supervisorIf it is a customer: notify your supervisorIf it is your subordinate: evaluate the situation by taking into consideration what may be causing the problemsIf it is your supervisor: notify that person’s manager
34 External ThreatsEmployees should be aware of external threats from organizations or the public. The following are some types of external threats:Domestic Terrorist GroupsSpecial Interest GroupsGeneral PublicPermittees/Contractors
35 It is very important to respond appropriately, i. e It is very important to respond appropriately, i.e., not to overreact but also not to ignore a situation.
36 Responding to Violent Incidents Occupant Emergency PlanEmergency Response TeamPlans and Procedures for Recovering From a Workplace Violence EmergencyEvaluation
37 Occupant Emergency Plan Refer to the phone numbers of security, police, and medical service in your facility occupant emergency planIf you do not have a copy of the plan for your facility contact your supervisor
38 Emergency Response Team Their purpose is to deal with the actual violent situation and its aftermath as well as to take steps to prevent similar future occurrences.
39 Plans and Procedures for Recovering Agencies must be prepared to:Deal with the situationHelp in the healing processGet the workforce back to productivityEmployees experience three stages of “crisis reactions”
40 Stage One: Emotional Reactions ShockDisbeliefDenialNumbnessIncreasing heart ratePerceptual senses become heightened or distortedAdrenaline levels increase
42 Stage Three: “Reconciliation stage” Employee tried to make sense out of the eventUnderstand its impactThrough trial and error, reach closure of the event so it doesn’t interfere with his or her ability to function and growLong-term process
43 Evaluation Determine if everything was done that could have been done What can be done to prevent it from happening againThreat assessment and emergency response teams should be part of this process.
44 Disclosure of Information Threat Assessment TeamCritical Incident Stress DebriefingDealing With the Media
45 Threat Assessment Team Information will be released to individuals needing the information in order to conduct an appropriate investigation into the situation, protect agency personnel, or confront the person making the threat.
46 Critical Incident Stress Debriefing This type of debriefing allows the employees a chance to:Recover from severe stressTalk about what they have gone throughCompare their reactions with those of others.
47 Dealing With the MediaQuestions from the news media relating to incidents of workplace violence should be forwarded to the appropriate public affairs staff for your office.
48 Conclusion Take The Quiz For additional information regarding preventing workplace violence, please review REE Policy & Procedure found at the following website:Take The Quiz