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Preventing Workplace Violence

1.The Facts Are:

How big is the problem?

  •  Every week, 18,000 American workers are assaulted.
  •  About 20 Americans are murdered each week while at work.
  •  Homicide is the second leading cause of death in the workplace in the U.S. and the number one cause of death in the workplace for
  •  American business and government offices spend over $36 Billion each year on costs related to workplace violence including medical and psychiatric care, lost productivity, repairs, insurance premiums, and security.


2.Your Right to a Safe Workplace :

Employer’s Responsibilities

“You have a right to a safe workplace, free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.”

OSHA states employers must take precautions to identify, minimize an prevent the risks of workplace violence

3. Workplace Violence Defined :

What is Workplace Violence?

  •  Intimidation
  •  Threats
  •  Physical attacks
  •  Domestic violence
  •  Property damage
  •  Can be committed by:
  •  Co-workers
  •  Clients
  •  Customers
  •  Relatives
  • Strangers

Worker on Worker

  • Violence against co-workers, supervisors or managers by a present or former employee.

What is Harassment?

  •  Insulting or degrading remarks
  •  Unsolicited gestures
  •  Unsolicited physical Contact
  •  Hostile acts
  • Display or circulation of derogatory or offensive written materials or pictures

Prohibited Types of Harassment

  •  Race
  •  Religion
  •  National origin/ethnicity
  •  Disability
  •  Gender
  •  Sexual orientation
  •  Age
  •  Veteran status
  •  Marital Status
  •  Citizenship

Am I stepping over the line?

  •  Intent vs. Impact
  •  Is my behavior welcome?
  • Is my intent the same as the impact?

Criminal Intent

  •  Violent acts committed by criminals who have no connection with the workplace
  •  They enter the property to commit a specific crime such as robbery, shoplifting or trespassing


  •  Violence directed at employees by customers, clients, patients or any others for whom an organization provides services

Take Steps to Detour Theft and Criminal Activity Develop a Protocol for Securing Tools, Equipment and Vehicles

  •  Inventory tools as they are being stored each night
  •  Gangboxes should be enclosed with recessed locking points and non-drillable locks, gangbox should be locked down and wheels removed
  •  Ensure adequate security for tools taken home at night, alarm systems on vehicles adequate lighting, cameras at the hotel
    Never leave the keys in a vehicle/equipment while running.

Keep the Site Secure Using Several Methods

  • Locked gates, light pods, security presences, cameras , alarms, motion cansored light
  • Signage, trespass warnings, climb resistant fencing.
  • Secure access during working hours and designate deliveries to a staging area.
  • Remember: Out of sight-out of mind.

No One Works Alone.

Have a closing and opening procedure Personal Relationship

  •  Violence committed in the workplace by someone who does not work there, but has or had a personal relationship with the employee.
  •  Examples would be an estranged spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend

Most Common Warning Sign
The most common warning sign is a “Third Party Threat”

4. Defusing a Threatening Situation  

  •  Personal space violations
  •  Loud talking or yelling
  •  Shallow, rapid breathing
  •  Abusive language
  •  Avoidance of eye contact
  •  Changes in voice or tone
  •  Profuse sweating
  •  Repetitive motions, such as pacing
  •  Clenched jaw or fists
  •  Trembling or shaking
  •  Glaring, scowling or sneering

Behavioral Strategies / Helpful Hints

  •  Defuse the Situation
  •  Stay calm and listen attentively
  •  Practice active listening
  •  Avoid confrontation or aggressive body language
  •  Allow for total airing of grievance
  •  Allow aggrieved party to suggest a solution
  •  Move toward a Win-Win resolution
  •  Signal a co-worker to call security or 911 if necessary

5.Preventing Workplace Violence :

If You See Something Say Something

Always report the following:

  • Verbal or physical harassment
  • Verbal or physical threats
  • Assaults or other violence
  • Any behavior that causes you to feel unsafe

No Clear Profile, but there are Some Shared Patterns of Behavior

  •  Changes in attitude
  •  Excessive absences or lateness, tardiness
  •  Changes in work habits
  •  Inability to concentrate
  •  Lack of performance
  •  Increased personal stress
  •  A fascination with weapons or violence
  •  Sudden changes in energy
  • History of violence

Patterns of Behavior

  •  Increased use of drugs or alcohol
  •  Inability to take responsibility for their actions
  •  Making inappropriate statements
  •  Social isolation
  •  Complaints of unfair treatment
  •  Overreacting to criticism
  •  Poor hygiene

“Together we can gently remind the world that peace is possible, because peace is a choice”


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