Presentation on theme: "Violence in the Workplace… An eLearning Course for City Employees March 2009 …It IS your business!"— Presentation transcript:
Violence in the Workplace… An eLearning Course for City Employees March 2009 …It IS your business!
LEARNER INSTRUCTIONS During this lesson, you will see words, phrases, and full sentences which are underlined in red. Click on these pieces of text to be taken to information in the course which will explain them. Violence in the Workplace
Lesson OverviewLesson ObjectivesDefining Workplace ViolenceRecognizing Workplace ViolenceBehaviors & Situations That Can Trigger ViolenceEmployee ResponsibilitiesEmployer ResponsibilitiesSigns of a Safe WorkplaceLesson SummaryTest Your KnowledgeReferences TABLE OF CONTENTS Violence in the Workplace ABOUT THIS COURSE MODULE ONE: Understanding Workplace Violence
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Violence in the Workplace MODULE OVERVIEW Perhaps because it includes just about everything from bad language to murder, violence in the workplace is not easy to define, and is often not easy to recognize. Why is this so, you ask? Because in between bad language and murder, workplace violence includes violent acts, physical and verbal abuse, threats, bullying, harassment, and even gossip–all directed toward people at work or on duty. Have you witnessed workplace violence? Click on the arrow to watch a workplace incident unfold, and think about similar events that may have taken place in your workplace.
Violence in the Workplace MODULE OVERVIEW (con’d) This first of two modules on violence in the workplace has been developed so that you will be able to: 1)Recognize the many forms of violence that could occur in your workplace; 2)Describe how workplace violence can impact you, and the people around you; 2)Identify situations and behaviors that can lead to violence in the workplace.
Violence in the Workplace LESSON OBJECTIVES: After you have completed this module, you will be able to describe the different types of violence that can occur in the workplace and identify triggers that can lead to confrontation at work. You will recognize incidents of workplace violence, and be able to identify the impact of these events on you and your co-workers. By the end of Module 1 on workplace violence, you will also be able to describe your responsibilities, and those of your employer, in preventing violence in the workplace.
Exposure to workplace violence is NOT part of your job description! Other important topics on workplace violence, such as: responding effectively to workplace violence; protecting yourself in a violent situation (managing workplace violence); and reporting incidents of workplace violence will be introduced to you in Module 2 of this short course on Workplace Violence. Violence in the Workplace
EXAMPLES OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE: After they appear, click anywhere on the images below to read 3 articles of well-documented incidents of workplace violence in the United States and Canada.
Violence in the Workplace When a person says that someone is “going postal,” he usually means that someone is becoming very angry, or violent, at work. The term is a reference to Patrick Sherrill, a disgruntled post office employee who murdered 14 of his co- workers in 1986. (Return to previous slide for link to newspaper article on Sherrill). DID YOU KNOW?
Violence in the Workplace Definition of Workplace Violence: Any action that.... threatens the safety of an employee; impacts the employee’s physical and/or psychological well-being; causes damage to company property. (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, 2004)
Violence in the Workplace TEST YOURSELF Choose either True or False. Place your mouse on your choice to see if your answer is correct. By educating employees about work place violence, employers might actually increase incidents of violence in the workplace. TRUEFALSE
Violence in the Workplace DEFINING WORKPLACE VIOLENCE You probably connect workplace violence with murder and physical injury, as these are the acts that are reported in the news headlines in a very big way. Examples of these types of headlines were shown to you earlier in the lesson. VIOLENCE Gossip and Abuse Threats and Harassment BUT… Even though the smaller stuff—gossip, bullying, and intimidation, for example—has less news appeal, it can have just as much of a devastating impact on you and your co-workers…and it IS part of workplace violence. If you have ever been bullied by a supervisor or co- worker, you know that this type of situation damages your morale, creates stress, and makes you unhappy at work. What you may not know is that if the bullying is not stopped, sooner or later tempers can ignite, and these types of seemingly minor incidents can erupt into major violence in the workplace.
Violence in the Workplace DEFINING WORKPLACE VIOLENCE (con’d) If you have ever been bullied, or been the subject of office gossip, you have experienced violence in the workplace, and know how it feels. People who have experienced or witnessed acts of workplace violence such as physical and verbal abuse, threats, or other aggressive behaviour also know how it feels. What you and your co-workers feel in these situations is the physical, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social, and occupational impact of workplace violence.
Violence in the Workplace EFFECTS OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE DEFINING WORKPLACE VIOLENCE (con’d) Intellectual Emotional SocialOccupational Spiritual Physical LEARNER Click on the heading in each pie chart for INSTRUCTIONS:the effects of workplace violence. http://www2.oakland.edu/wellness/images/wellness_disk.gif
Violence in the Workplace EFFECTS OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE PHYSICAL: Fatigue Anxiety Stress Headache Loss of appetite High blood pressure Physical illness Physical injury Death Return to previous screen
Violence in the Workplace EFFECTS OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE INTELLECTUAL: Inability to concentrate or focus on work Confusion Loss of direction or purpose Decreased ability to learn and reason Decreased ability to know and understand what is happening in one’s work Return to previous screen
Violence in the Workplace EFFECTS OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE EMOTIONAL: Loss of self-confidence, self-esteem Feelings of sadness, despair, hopelessness, worthlessness, and inadequacy Depression, anxiety Inability to control anger, desire to inflict hurt or harm on co-workers Inability to control emotions, such as crying Feelings of paranoia, persecution, or loss of control Return to previous screen
Violence in the Workplace EFFECTS OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE SOCIAL: Inability to socialize or interact positively with one’s friends or co-workers Inability to respond appropriately in social situations Decreasing trust or respect in others Lack of desire or ability to communicate with others Sense of being isolated from others Return to previous screen
Violence in the Workplace EFFECTS OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE OCCUPATIONAL: Loss of productive work time while at work, or due to absences from work Loss of professional and personal status at work Increased employer costs re: employee absence, employee error, property damage Increased incidences of disciplinary action, up to and including termination Increased toxic and hostile work environments Return to previous screen
Violence in the Workplace EFFECTS OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE SPIRITUAL: Loss of faith in God and/or natural justice Loss of connection with what gives your life meaning Inability to pray, or meditate Questioning of one’s existence Return to previous screen
Violence in the Workplace Violence at work most often starts inside the workplace, and involves a co-worker who has become angry or upset. This is called “internal workplace violence.” “External workplace violence” usually refers to acts of crime or physical assault carried out by strangers. RECOGNIZING WORKPLACE VIOLENCE
Violence in the Workplace DID YOU KNOW? Almost half (48%) of all workplace violence incidents occur in offices, factories and stores, followed by hospitals, prisons, or rehab centers (31%), restaurants and bars (10%), and inside schools or on school grounds (10%). (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, 2004)
Violence in the Workplace RECOGNIZING WORKPLACE VIOLENCE Internal Workplace Violence: Internal workplace violence is usually associated with employees or workers who become violent at work. There are various levels of internal workplace aggression and violence. Insubordination, threats, use of foul language, and gossiping are examples of internal workplace violence. Internal workplace violence can also include murder, suicide, arson, and destruction of property.
Violence in the Workplace RECOGNIZING WORKPLACE VIOLENCE Other examples of internal worker violence are: refusal to follow corporate policy hostility and antagonism toward coworkers, supervisors, and public verbal wishes to inflict harm on coworkers or management intimidation and harassment threats of a sexual or violent nature sabotage of others’ work spreading rumors, lies and gossip passive/aggressive behaviour expressions of anger and belligerence (CCOHS, 2004)
Violence in the Workplace RECOGNIZING WORKPLACE VIOLENCE External Workplace Violence: The victims of 9/11 were impacted by the most extreme example of external workplace violence when terrorists hijacked American planes and flew them into New York’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon, killing thousands of men and women in their offices.
Violence in the Workplace RECOGNIZING WORKPLACE VIOLENCE External Workplace Violence: Incidents of external workplace violence also include events such as bank robbery, break-ins, and vandalism. Even domestic violence, which originates in the home, can impact the workplace if an angry spouse enters the workplace to cause harm to his/her partner.
Employee/Co-worker Violence Customer Violence Domestic Violence at Work Stranger/Criminal Violence Violence in the Workplace RECOGNIZING WORKPLACE VIOLENCE The Four Faces of Violence Click on each picture for a definition of the face of violence being portrayed.
Violence in the Workplace TEST YOURSELF 1.Sue was working behind the accounts receivable desk when Mrs. Smith, a city resident, complained about her monthly utility bill, and started to verbally abuse her. What type of workplace violence does this represent? a)Stranger violence. b)Customer violence. c)Employee violence. d)Domestic violence. Click here for the answer.
Violence in the Workplace BEHAVIOURS & SITUATIONS THAT CAN TRIGGER VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE Violence at work often occurs following an event which triggers an already fragile person to react violently. And, although not all situations resulting in violence can be detected early, there are some red flags which can signal trouble. Some of the behaviours and situations that might warn of trouble are listed for you on the next pages. You should note, however, that this is not a complete list. It is possible you could one day find yourself in circumstances that leave you unsure if you should be alarmed. If you are ever unsure that what you are experiencing or witnessing is leading to a violent situation, you should report it to your supervisor or other appropriate authority. Trigger: To initiate an action; to cause, or to make happen
Violence in the Workplace BEHAVIOURS & SITUATIONS THAT CAN TRIGGER VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE WATCH OUT FOR WORKERS WHO: complain they are being treated unfairly; complain they are being made to wait for a promotion, raise, or other type of “promised” reward; show signs of mental instability: paranoia, delusion, mania, depression, etc; are excessively and increasingly angry at work; have an obvious lack of concern for others’ safety and well- being; have a history of violent behaviour.
Violence in the Workplace DID YOU KNOW? Escalation (of violence) is an increase in the seriousness of a situation or behaviour. Most violent incidents follow a pattern of escalation. (Marcom Group Ltd., 1997)
Violence in the Workplace BEHAVIOURS & SITUATIONS THAT CAN TRIGGER VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE BE AWARE OF BEHAVIOUR, SUCH AS: Hitting, shoving, pushing, shouting, gossiping Intimidation, and menacing or frightening behaviour (either verbal or physical) Making or sending harassing or threatening telephone calls, voice mail messages, e-mail messages, etc. Wilful, malicious, and repeated stalking of another person Intentional destruction of or threat of damage to property Conduct or remarks that could cause a reasonable person to believe that he or she is under threat. (CCHOS, 2004)
Violence in the Workplace EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITIES: Your overall responsibility is to be aware of any concerns in your office or department concerning violence or threats, from sources both inside and outside of your workplace. In general, you should follow the guidelines listed below: Be familiar with the City’s policies and procedures regarding workplace violence. (These are available to you on the City’s website: www.anyalbertacity.ca).www.anyalbertacity.ca Ensure the security of your workstation: observe departmental procedures with respect to building pass codes and any other security measures that are in place for your protection.
Violence in the Workplace EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITIES (con’d) Question and/or report strangers to security and/or your supervisor. Be alert to physical or verbal threats and/or the disruptive behavior of any individual. Take threats seriously, and report them to your supervisor. All of the precautions and responsibilities listed here and on the previous page are important for the prevention of violence in the workplace. However, one of your biggest responsibilities is to REPORT any behaviour or incident which raises concerns to your supervisor or manager, in a timely manner, either verbally or in writing. (Please note: Module 2 will provide you with specific information on how to report incidents of workplace violence).
EMPLOYER RESPONSIBILITIES: Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, all employers must take every reasonable precaution to protect the health and safety of their workers in the workplace. This includes protecting workers against the risk of workplace violence.Occupational Health and Safety Act In addition, the Canada Labour Code specifically addresses workplace violence, stating that employers are required to take specific steps to prevent and protect against workplace violence.Canada Labour Code Your employer is directly responsible for: ensuring you have a safe, secure, and healthy work environment; ensuring early response to possible signs of threat or violence; ensuring all alleged threats are investigated in a timely, appropriate, and effective manner.
Violence in the Workplace SO – WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF A SAFE WORKPLACE? Respect and consideration for all employees. Response to employee issues and reports of potential/perceived violence. Fair practices and absence of discrimination – race, sex, religion, etc. Attention to security issues such as compliance with occupational health and safety and other legislations, such as working alone legislation, etc. Effective management/leadership. Development and implementation of policies and procedures, and consequences, that are applied consistently, fairly, and as necessary.
TEST YOURSELF Read the sentences below. Write the missing words to each sentence on a piece of paper. There could be more than one right answer for some questions; choose one answer only in these cases. 1.______________ is an example of internal workplace violence. 2.As an employee, one of your biggest responsibilities is to ________ any incidents of workplace violence. 3.Signs of a healthy workplace are ___________ and _______________ for all employees. Click here for the answers. Violence in the Workplace
LESSON SUMMARY: In this lesson, you learned not only the definition of workplace violence, but more importantly, you were given the tools to recognize and describe the different types of workplace violence that can occur. You also learned some of the behaviours, circumstances, and actions that can trigger workplace violence. The importance of reporting incidents of workplace violence was emphasized to you, as one of your employee responsibilities. You also learned that the employer’s responsibilities are just as important in the prevention of violence in the workplace, and you are now able to list what some of these are. Finally, to balance the picture just a bit, you learned what some of the elements of a safe and healthy workplace are. As you leave this lesson, you are again reminded of one thing: Workplace violence is NOT part of your job description!
Violence in the Workplace TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE RATIONALE: The City is required to provide you with information on workplace violence, and to ensure you have a safe, secure, and healthy work environment. Taking this test gives you, and the City, an understanding of how knowledgeable you are about workplace violence. Your knowledge is an effective tool in reducing workplace violence through early detection and prevention. INSTRUCTIONS: Print the following 3 pages of the self-assessment so that you can answer the questions. All questions are multiple choice; circle the letter next to the statement which best answers the question. When you are finished, write your name on the answer sheet, put it in a sealed envelope, and send it to Human Resources. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION.
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE Name: ____________________Department: ___________________ 1.Why is workplace violence difficult to define? a)Because there is not enough documented information on what it is. b)Because it happens in many different locations and workplaces. c)Because it includes behaviours such as gossiping, as well as murder. d)Because it is a relatively new term which applies to many different things. 2.Marvin, the City’s fleet services supervisor, has consistently harassed his employee, John, for over 2 years, for no apparent reason. What impact does this have on John? a)It has a negative impact on John’s well-being at work and at home. b)It does not impact John very much, as this is how Marvin treats everyone. c)It motivates John to work harder to do his job as well as he can. d)John ignores it because he knows there is nothing he can do about it. 3.What term is used to describe workplace violence when a robber enters a bank to steal its money? a)Internal workplace violence b)External workplace violence c)Aggressive workplace violence d)Hostile workplace violence 4.Where is workplace violence most often experienced? a)Hospitals, prisons, and rehab centers b)Restaurants and bars c)Inside schools or on school grounds d)Offices, factories, and stores Violence in the Workplace
5.What is one example of internal workplace violence? a)Sabotage of others’ work b)Repeatedly failing to report for work c)Robbers entering a bank to steal its money d)Strangers vandalizing city property 6.Choose the answer that defines employee/co-worker violence. a) The person causing violence has some employment-related involvement with the workplace. b)The offender has no legitimate relationship to the workplace. c)The offender has a personal and/or family relationship with the victim d)The violence involves an assault or threat by someone who is either the recipient or the object of a service provided by the workplace and/or the victim. 7.Which answer defines customer violence ? a) The instigator of violence has some employment-related involvement with the workplace. b)The perpetrator has no legitimate relationship to the workplace. c)The perpetrator has a personal and/or family relationship with the victim d)The violence involves an assault or threat by someone who is either the recipient or the object of a service provided by the workplace and/or the victim.
Violence in the Workplace 8.Choose the answer that best describes a potential incident of workplace violence. a)A worker laughing and sharing a joke with co-workers b)Behaviour that is non-aggressive and passive when interaction with co-workers is required c)Conduct that could cause a reasonable person to believe that he/she is under threat d)Disciplinary action that is applied fairly and consistently 9.What is one of the most important aspects of any employee’s responsibilities with respect to workplace violence? a)Knowing what workplace violence is b)Recognizing the different types of violence c)Reporting incidents of workplace violence d)Being alert to physical or verbal threats 10.Which resource provides information related to an employer’s responsibilities for ensuring the workplace is safe? a)The Occupational Health and Safety Act b)Company procedures and policies c)Working Alone legislation d)Local business bylaws and regulations
Violence in the Workplace COMPARE MY RESULTS If you wish to review your answers, click on the letter which denotes the correct answer. You will be taken to the appropriate reference within the lesson. 1.C – Because it includes behaviour such as gossiping, as well as murder.C 2.A – It impacts John’s physical and psychological well-being.A 3.B – External workplace violence.B 4.D – Offices, factories, and stores.D 5.A – Sabotage of others’ work.A 6.A – The instigator of violence has some employment-related involvement with the workplace.A 7.D – The violence involves an assault or threat by someone who is either the recipient or the object of a service provided by the workplace and/or the victim.D 8.C – Conduct that could cause a reasonable person to believe that he/she is under threat.C 9.C – Reporting incidents of workplace violence.C 10.A – The Occupational Health and Safety Act.A
Violence in the Workplace REFERENCES Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. (2008). Violence in the Workplace. Retrieved February 5, 2009 from: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/psychosocial/violence.html http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/psychosocial/violence.html De Leseleuc, S. (2004). Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics Profile Series. Criminal Victimization in the Workplace. Retrieved February 19, 2009 from www.ccohs.ca/headlines/text200.html www.ccohs.ca/headlines/text200.html Dickason, K.S. (2003). Preventing Workplace Violence: Everybody’s Responsibility. Retrieved March 3, 2009 from www.achievesolutions.net/achievesolutions/en/8445.genpdfwww.achievesolutions.net/achievesolutions/en/8445.genpdf Going Postal. (n.d.). In Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia. Retrieved March 3, 2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Going_postal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Going_postal Marcom Group Ltd. (1997). Preventing Workplace Violence. Retrieved February 5, 2009 from www.aurorapictures.com/site/files/PDF/3084.pdf www.aurorapictures.com/site/files/PDF/3084.pdf
Violence in the Workplace Sorry – your answer is wrong. The statement is false. Providing employees with resources and programs which promote awareness has been successful in reducing the severity and frequency of workplace violence. Return to previous screen
Violence in the Workplace You are correct! Providing employees with education and resources to prevent workplace violence actually decreases the risk of violent incidents at work, and makes the workplace safer and more secure. Return to previous screen
Violence in the Workplace RECOGNIZING WORKPLACE VIOLENCE The Four Faces of Violence: 1.Employee/Co-worker Violence The violent person has some employment-related involvement with the workplace. Violence could be in retaliation for a perceived unfair treatment, such as a loss of promotion or a disciplinary action. Return to previous screen
Violence in the Workplace RECOGNIZING WORKPLACE VIOLENCE The Four Faces of Violence: 2.Customer Violence The violence involves an assault or threat by someone who is either the recipient or the object of a service provided by the workplace and/or the victim. Hospital nurses are frequently subjected to customer violence when patients (the customers) become abusive toward them. Return to previous screen
Violence in the Workplace RECOGNIZING WORKPLACE VIOLENCE The Four Faces of Violence: 3.Domestic Violence at Work The offender has a personal and/or family relationship with the victim. Yvette Cade (pictured) was at work in October of 2005 when her estranged husband came into her workplace, doused her with gasoline, and set her on fire. You should make note, however, that domestic violence is not gender specific. Husbands, wives, and children can be either victims or perpetrators. Return to previous screen
Violence in the Workplace RECOGNIZING WORKPLACE VIOLENCE The Four Faces of Violence: 4.Stranger/Criminal Violence The most extreme examples of this type of violence are acts of terrorism, such as the events of 9/11. In stranger/criminal violence, the perpetrator has no legitimate relation to the workplace. He enters the workplace to commit a robbery or other criminal act, such as vandalism or arson. Return to previous screen
Return to previous screen. Violence in the Workplace The correct answer is “B” – Customer violence. Mrs. Smith’s verbal abuse of the city worker could escalate into more serious behaviour, such as threatening or even physically assaulting Sue.
Violence in the Workplace 1.There are many choices for this answer, which include: use of foul language; sabotage of another’s work; spreading rumors, lies or gossip; aggression; intimidation; verbal and/or physical abuse; shouting; pushing; stalking; threatening or harassing behaviour; angry or belligerent behaviour. 2.Report 3.Respect, consideration Return to previous screen.
Violence in the Workplace 1.There are many choices for this answer, which include: use of foul language; sabotage of another’s work; spreading rumors, lies, or gossip; aggression; intimidation; verbal and/or physical abuse; shouting; pushing; stalking; threatening or harassing behaviour; angry or belligerent behaviour. 2.Report 3.Respect, consideration Return to previous screen.
Violence in the Workplace Violence in the Workplace, an eLearning Course for employees of the City of Anytown, Alberta was designed by Diana Quirk in March, 2009, with subject matter expertise provided by Paulette DeCoste, a retired police officer with an extensive background in workplace violence.Diana Quirk The course has been developed in partial response to the results of a recent City survey which revealed that as many as 40% of city workers have experienced incidents of violence while at work. In addition, federal and provincial legislations require the City to provide its employees with effective and appropriate training on workplace violence. For these reasons, and because your health and safety is important to us, it is mandatory for you to take this brief course. Its overall goal is to promote workplace well-being through the recognition and understanding of workplace violence, in its many forms. A self-assessment exercise is included at the end of both lessons of the Violence in the Workplace eLearning course. Over time, the results of these assessments will determine if the training and education provided through this course have successfully reduced incidents of workplace violence within the City. Return to previous screen