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Occupational Safety And Health
Six Addition
David L. Goetsh
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA3Stu-Dj5k
Workplace Violence
 America has been hard at work in the past 10 days and here is
what happened: A Federal Express pilot took a claw hammer
and attacked three others in the cock-pit, forcing one of
them to put the fully loaded DC-10 cargo plane through a series
of violent rolls and nose dives in a melee that brought the whole
crew back bleeding.
 A purchasing manager in suburban Chicago stabbed his
boss to death because police say, they couldn’t agree on how to
handle some paperwork.
 And a technician who quit because he had trouble working
for a woman sneaked back inside the fiber optics laboratory,
pulled out a 9-mil semiautomatic pistol and started firing
at workers, who ducked or fled and curled up in closets and file
cabinets. By the time he finished the job, two were dead, two
injured; he walked upstairs to an office and shot himself in the
head.
Workplace Violence
 Emerged as a critical safety and health issue
 According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, homicide is the second
leading cause of death to American Workers
 16 percent of the 6,588 fatal work injuries in the U.S.
 80 percent of homicide victims are men
 Workplace homicide is the leading cause of death on the job for
women in the U.S. (remaining 20%)
 Almost one million people are injured or killed in the workplace-
violence incidents every year in the year in U.S.
 According to U.S. Department of Justice, the workplace is the
most dangerous place to be in the U.S.
Workplace Violence
 Prevention of workplace violence is a natural
extension of the responsibilities of safety and health
professionals
 hazard analysis
 records analysis and tracking
 trend monitoring
 incident analysis
 emergency response and employee training
 prevention of strategies based on administrative and
engineering controls
Definitions
 Workplace violence – violent acts, behavior, or threats
that occur in the workplace. Acts are harmful or potentially
harmful to people, property, or organizational capabilities
 Occupational violent crime – intentional battery, rape,
or homicide during course of employment
 Employee – individual with employment-related
relationship with the victim of a workplace-violent incident
 Outsider – individual with no relationship of any kind
with the victim of a workplace-violence incident or with
the victim’s employer
Definitions
 Employee-related outsider – individual with some
type of personal relationship with an employee, but
who has no work-related relationship with employee
 Customer – and individual who receives products or
services from the victim of a workplace-violence
incident or form the victim’s employer
 Workplace Violence – Size of problem
 No longer amounts to just isolated incidents that
are simply aberrations
 Should be considered a common hazard worthy of
the attention of safety and health professionals
High Risk Occupations and People
 Taxicab drivers
 Retail workers
 Police and security officers
 Finance,
 Insurance
 Real estate
 Health care
 Community service employees
 Employee 65 years and older more likely to be victims
than are younger employees
Workplace Violence – Summary in One year
 Fireman – gun attack killing wife at home killed four supervisors at
work
 Fired employee – killed 5 former coworkers
 Fired employee – held 5 coworkers hostage including former boss
 Former mental patient – beating and stabbing nuns killing two of four
 Fired employee – early 50’s male killed 3 employees
 Male protesting closure of electronics store set clothing store on fire
and shot and killed 8 individuals
 Fired employee – following charges of sexual harassment – 1 year later
forced way into homes of former coworkers fatally shooting 4
individuals
Workplace Violence – Summary in One year
 Young accountant 28 year old Asian male- on job for 6
weeks shot and killed female supervisor 32 year old –
occurred one day after first performance counseling session
 Postal worker (53 year old white male) reported to work
with handgun and shot 2 coworkers who he claimed were
his friends
 City electrician (42 years old) shot and killed four
supervisors – targeted four employees because “he felt he
was being picked on and single out”
 Quiet postal worker (58 years old) shot and killed
supervisor
Workplace Violence – Summary in One year
 Classic loner just fired (47 years old) – returned next
day with rifle and pistol killed 3 workers
 Man distraught over marital problems (35 year old
white male) open fired in crowded grocery store killing
3 people
 Housing authority employee fired (38 years old) –
went to automobile returned with handgun and
returned to kill supervisor and a coworker (females
ages 47 and 24 years)
 Total 14 cases
Survey – Society for Human Resource Management
 Violent incidents 33 % of managers experience at least 1 violent
incident
 54 % reported 2 to 5 acts of violence in 5 years prior
to survey
 Violence of experienced 75 % fistfights, 17 % shootings, 8 % stabbings, 6 %
sexual assaults
 Gender of perpetrator –
 80 % males
 Injuries sustained 22 % serious harm, 42 % medical intervention
Survey – Society for Human Resource Management
 Reasons for violent incidents 38 % personality conflicts
 15 % marital or family problems
 10 % drug and alcohol abuse
 7 % nonspecific attribution, 7 % firings and layoffs
 Regarding crisis management program
 28 % program in place prior to violent incident
 12 % implemented program after violent incident
 Regarding effect of violent incident on the workplace
 41 % reported increased stress levels
 20 % reported higher levels of paranoia
 18 % reported increased distrust among employees
Legal Considerations
 Revolve around competing rights of violent employees and their
coworker
 Conflicting rights create potential liabilities for employers
 Logic suggest that in potentially or violent situations the only concern
would be for protection of other employees
 Even violent employees have rights (enforcement officials must
advise potential criminals of their rights)This does not mean that an
employer cannot take the immediate action necessary to prevent a
violent act or the recurrence of such and act.
 Failure to act prudently can subject employer to charges of
negligence
 Before taking long-term action that will adversely affect employment,
employers should follow applicable laws, contracts, policies, and
procedures
Employer Liability for Workplace Violence
 In cases of workplace violence, as long as the violence
occurs within the scope of the victim’s employment, the
employer is protected from civil lawsuits and the excessive
jury verdicts that have become so common
 Key to protection of the exclusivity of provision of
workers compensations laws lies in determining that
violence-related injuries are within the scope of the
victim’s employment (a more difficult undertaking
than one might expect)
 If violent act occurs at work but resulted from a no-work-
related dispute?
 What if the dispute was work related, but violent act
occurred away from the workplace?
Making Work-Related Determinations
 NIOSH developed following guidelines for
categorizing an injury as being work related
 If violent act occurred on the employer’s
premises, it is considered on-the-job event if
victim
 Engage in work activity, apprenticeship, or
training
 On break, in hallways, restrooms, cafeteria, or
storage areas
 In employer’s parking lots while working,
arriving at, or leaving work
 If violent act occurred off the employer’s premises, it is still
considered an on-the-job event, if victim
 Working for pay or compensation at the time, including
working at home
 Working as volunteer, emergency services worker, law
enforcement officer, or firefighter
 Working in a profit-oriented family business, including
farming
 Traveling on business, including to and from customer-
business contacts
 Victim was engage in work activity in which the vehicle is part
of the work environment (taxi, truck, and so on)
Risk-Reduction Strategies
 Natural Surveillance –
 Designing, arranging, and operating the workplace in way that
minimizes secluded areas
 Make all areas inside and outside the facility easily observable
 Control of Access Control outsiders from entering the workplace and harming others
 Control access to workplace channeling the flow of outsiders to an
access-control station requiring visitor’s passes, issuing access
badges to employees, and isolating pickup and delivery points
 Establishment of territoriality Give employees control over workplace – employees move freely
within their established territory but are restricted in other areas
 Employees come to know everyone who works in their territory and
can, as a result, immediately recognize anyone who shouldn’t be
there
Risk-Reduction Strategies
 Activity support Involves organizing work flow and natural traffic
patterns in ways that maximize the number of
employees conducting natural surveillance
 The more employees observing the activity in the
workplace, the better
 Administrative Controls Establishing polices
 Conducting background checks
 Providing training for employees
Contributing Social and Cultural Factors
 Managers need to understand social and cultural factors (individual
and environmental)
 Understand predictors of potential violence
 Employees with one or more of the following factors may respond to
anger, stress, or anxiety in a violent way
 Record of violence – background checks
 Membership in a hate group
 Psychotic behavior – incessantly talk to themselves, express fears
concerning conspiracies against them, say they hear voices, become
increasingly disheveled over time may be violence prone
 Romantic Obsessions – entanglements or love interest gone awry
 persist in making unwelcome advances may eventually respond
to rejection with violence
 Depressions – those who suffer are prone to hurt themselves
or someone else
 Employee who becomes increasingly withdrawn or overly
stressed may be suffering from depression
 Finger Pointers – refusal to accept responsibility is factor
often exhibited by perpetrators of workplace violence.
 Unusual frustration levels – workplace has become a
competitive, stressful, and sometimes frustrating place
 Obsession with weapons – employee who’s interest in
weapons is unusually intense and focused
 Drug dependence- should cause concern not only for all the
usual reasons but also its association with violence on the job
Environmental Factors Associated with Violence
 Dictatorial management overly authoritative management that shuts employees out of the decision-making process
can cause them to feel powerless
 Role Ambiguity employees need to know they are responsible, how they will be held accountable, how
much authority they have
 Partial, inconsistent supervision –
 supervisors who play favorites engender resentment in employees who aren’t the favorite
 Unattended hostility –
 supervisors who ignore hostile situations or threatening behavior are unwittingly fiving
them their tacit approval
 No Respect for Privacy –
 management that goes through desks, files, tool boxes, and work areas of employees
without first getting their permission may feel invaded or violated
 Insufficient training –
 holding accountable for performance without providing the training needed can
cause feeling of inadequacy
OSHA Voluntary Guidelines – Two Key Points
 The guidelines are advisory in nature and
informational in content.
 The guidelines do not add to or enhance in any way the
requirements of the general duty clause of the OSH Act.
 Guidelines were developed with night retail
establishments in mind.
 They have service-orientated emphasis
 Much of the advice contained in guidelines can be
adapted for use in manufacturing, processing, or other
settings
OSHA Voluntary Guidelines – Management Commitment and
Employee Involvement
 Fig 13-4 explains management commitment in practical
terms
 Hands-on involvement of executive management in








developing and implementing prevention strategies
Sincere, demonstrated concern for protection
Balanced commitment to employees and customers
Inclusion of workplace –violence prevention in job
descriptions
Inclusion of workplace prevention criteria in performance
evaluations
Assignment of responsibility for coordination and leadership
Provision of resources needed to prevent workplace violence
effectively
Provision of guaranteed access to medical counseling and
trauma-related care
Implementation of violence-prevention recommendation
OSHA Voluntary Guidelines – Management Commitment and
Employee Involvement
 Fig 13-5 describes practical application
 Staying informed concerning all aspects of organizations






workplace-violence program
Voluntarily complying-in both letter and spirit-with workplaceviolence prevention strategies
Making recommendations-through proper channels-concerning
ways to prevent workplace violence and other hazardous conditions
Prompt reporting of all threatening of potentially threatening
incidents
Accurate and immediate reporting of all violent or threatening
incidents
Voluntary participation on committees, task forces, and focus
groups concerned with preventing workplace violence
Voluntary participation in seminars, workshops, and other
educational programs relating to the prevention of workplace
violence
OSHA Voluntary Guidelines – Management Commitment and
Employee Involvement
 Fig 13-6 checklist for ensuring violence prevention becomes
standard component of organization
 Include prevention of workplace violence in S&H in organization’s








strategic plan
Adopt, disseminate, and implement policy to protect employees
from reprisals when they report violent, threatening, or potentially
threatening situations
Procedure for reporting violent and threatening incidents
Procedures for making recommendation’s for preventing workplace
violence
Procedure for monitoring reports so trends can be identified and
incidents predicted and prevented
Develop comprehensive prevention program containing operation
procedures and standard practices
Develop a work-place violence component to the organization’s
emergency response plan
Train all employees in application for standard procedures
Conduct periodic emergency-response drills for employees
OSHA Voluntary Guidelines –
 Workplace Analysis –
 Same process used by S&H professionals to identify
potentially hazardous conditions unrelated to workplace
violence
 Establish a threat-assessment team with representatives
from all departments and led by chief S&H professional
OSHA Voluntary Guidelines –
 Trend monitoring and incident analysis –
 may provide help in determining patterns of violence
 Employee Surveys and Focus Groups Where are we vulnerable?
 What practices put employees at risk?
 Security Analysis –
 Physical factors that make employees vulnerable (lighting, isolated,
etc.)
 Are strategies already implemented working?
 Is training provided having a positive effect?
 Is more training needed?
 Are there situations with employees with substantial amounts of
money in possession on or off-site?
 Are there situations which employees are responsible for highly
valuable equipment or materials late at might at isolated locations?
OSHA Voluntary Guidelines – Hazard Prevention and Control
 Engineering controls
 Devices that give employees complete view of
surrounding (mirrors, glass or clear plastic, etc.)
 Surveillance cameras and TV screens
 Adequate lightning
 Pruning or removing growth around buildings
 Installing fencing so routes of egress and ingress to
property can be channeled for better control
 Arranging outdoor facilities and materials outside
facility for maximum visibility
OSHA Voluntary Guidelines – Hazard Prevention and Control
 Proper work practices
 Monitoring Feedback
 Adjustments and modifications
 Enforcement
OSHA Voluntary Guidelines – Post Incident Response
 Same as post incident response relating to traumatic
accidents
 First step – provide immediate medical treatment for
traumatized employees
 Second step – involves providing psychological
treatment for traumatized employees
 Even more important in cases of work-place violence
than with accidents
 Even employees working in area that did not witness
event may experience symptoms of psychological
trauma
Training and Education
 Fundamental to prevention of workplace-violence
 Complete S&H training program should include
comprehensive component covering all aspects of
workplace violence (workplace analysis, hazard
prevention, proper work practices, and emergency
response)
 Training should be provided on a mandatory basis for
supervisors, managers, and employees
Record Keeping and Evaluation
 Maintaining accurate, comprehensive, up-to-date records
is just as important when dealing with violent incidents as
it is when dealing with accidents and nonviolent incidents
 Record evaluation can determine how effective violence
prevention strategies are, where deficiencies exist and what
changes need to be made
 Types of records –
 OSHA log of injury and illness
 Medical reports
 Incidents of Abuse
 Minutes of safety meetings
 Records of all training programs
 Records Evaluation Bottom pg. 372
Conflict Resolution and Workplace Violence
 There are increasing numbers of workplace violence due to
internal company problems
 A violence-prevention program is not complete without the
elements for conflict management and anger management
 Conflict Management –
 Establish conflict guidelines
 Help employees develop conflict prevention and resolution
skills
 Help all employees develop anger management skills
 Establish Conflict Guidelines – establish ground rules
for discussing and debating differing points of view,
differing ideas, and differing opinions
Develop Conflict Prevention and Resolution Skills
 Explore the Other Person’s Viewpoint
 Establish that goal at this point is mutual
understanding
 Elicit the other person’s complete point of
vies
 Listen nonjudgmentally and do not
interrupt
 Ask for clarification if necessary
 Paraphrase others person’s point of view
and restate it to show that you understand
 Ask for other person to correct your
understanding if it appears to be
incomplete
 Explain Your view point
 Ask for same type of fair hearing on your point
of view
 Describe how person’s point of view affects you
 Explain point of view accurately and completely
 Ask other party to paraphrase and restate what
you have said
 Correct the others party’s understanding if
necessary
 Review and compare two positions
 Agree on a resolution
 Reaffirm mutual understanding
 Confirm both parties are ready and willing
to consider options for acceptable solution
 If it appears differences cannot be resolved
satisfactorily
 Take time to reflect, agree to third party
arbitration or neutral mediation, etc.
 Develop Anger Management Skills
Develop Anger Management Skills
 Anger occurs when people feel one or more …
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