QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE. Workplace Violence. What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself and Your Employees

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1 QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE Workplace Violence What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself and Your Employees

2 Types of Workplace Violence: 2 Workplace Violence While the motivation and circumstances of each incident of workplace violence varies, the end result is the same: injury, death, chaos, frightened employees, and damages to trust and the perception of safety. Every workplace is vulnerable. According to a 2008 report conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about two million American workers become workplace violence victims each year. 1 Every day in the United States, an average of two people are killed and 87 are injured Threats Harassment Intimidation Bullying Stalking Intimate Partner Violence Physical Assault Sexual Assault Homicide due to workplace violence. 1 While some workplace tragedies become the focus of local and even national headlines, there are thousands of incidents that go unreported by the media, but still have an enormous impact. Not only do these incidents directly impact the victims and their families, but there is a significant burden placed on co-workers and ultimately the businesses where they occur. 1 QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE

3 Causes of Workplace Deaths: 3 #1 Transportation Accidents #2 Equipment Accidents #3 Workplace Violence To better understand workplace violence and deal with its ramifications, it s best to understand what defines it. What is Workplace Violence? Workplace violence is defined as a wide range of acts that include all violent behaviors and threats of violence, as well as any conduct that can result in injury, property damage, induce a sense of fear or otherwise impede the normal course of work. Is Your Organization Prepared? Despite the increasing number of high profile workplace violence incidents and the fact that workplace violence is the third leading cause of workplace deaths in the U.S., many companies have yet to develop a formalized plan to address this problem. 1 In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 70 percent of workplaces do not have a formal program or policy to address workplace violence. 3 Warning Signs of Workplace Violence 4 Employees who witness workplace violence warning signs should immediately report them to their supervisor. If the threat is imminent, contact local law enforcement. Incidents of workplace violence rarely occur without warning. In many cases, there are signs, comments or emotional and physical behavior that may lead up to a volatile situation. These warning signs can include:» Intimidating, harassing, bullying or other inappropriate or aggressive behavior.» Numerous conflicts with coworkers, supervisors or customers.» Bringing a weapon to the workplace, making inappropriate references to guns, or a fascination with weapons.» Direct or veiled threats of harm.» Substance abuse.» Extreme changes in normal behaviors.» Fixating on incidents of workplace violence, or identifying with perpetrators of workplace homicides.» Displaying desperation (over family, financial and other personal problems) to the point of contemplating suicide.» Making sudden changes to work schedules.» Suddenly requiring more supervision than in the past. Workplace Violence 2

4 Each day, an average of 87 people are injured and two people are killed due to workplace violence. 1 Workplace Violence Types of Workplace Violence 5 The U.S. Department of Justice has classified workplace violence into four specific types: 1 Criminal Intent These are violent acts by criminals who have no other connection with the workplace, but enter the premises to commit robbery or another crime. This type accounts for the vast majority, nearly 80 percent, of workplace homicides. 2 Customer/Client Violence is directed at employees by customers, clients, patients, students or any others for whom an organization provides services. 3 Worker-on-Worker Violence is committed against co-workers, supervisors or managers by a present or former employee. 4 Personal Relationship Violence that is committed in the workplace by someone who doesn t work there, but has or had a personal relationship with an employee, such as an abusive spouse or domestic partner. There are approximately 16,400 workplace threats every day of those, fewer than 700 employees become victims of homicide. 6 It s important to note that both Worker-on-Worker and Personal Relationship types are much more likely to present warning signs. Employees that witness unusual behavior should immediately report it to their supervisor. It is important to never underestimate the potential for a co-worker to act out violently. Being proactive can only help the situation and ultimately prevent it from occurring. What to Do in a Workplace Violence Situation Despite warning signs and programs that may already be in place, workplace violence may still occur. What should employees do in a harmful and potentially fatal situation?» Call 911.» If there is a safe exit, take it. If not, hide, lock doors, turn out lights and conceal your location. 3 QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE

5 What to Do if You re Confronted by an Armed Individual 7» If possible and without placing yourself or others in harm s way, try to defuse the person s anger so that they can cool down and talk calmly and rationally.» Maintain composure. Trying to help someone calm down cannot be achieved if you become emotional.» Try to signal for help from a co-worker who can contact management, security, the police or other first responders.» Listen attentively. Hostile individuals who feel like they have someone s attention are sometimes less likely to act out physically.» Assume an open stance, placing the majority of your weight on your back foot. This looks non-confrontational and will give you more freedom to react should you be attacked.» Know what to do with your hands. It is better to show your palms to the attacker rather than crossing your arms or making a fist. Open palms show you are unarmed.» Maintain eye contact to help calm the person and keep their attention.» Be courteous and patient until help arrives.» If the person is threatening with a weapon follow their instructions and stall for time.» Never try to intercept the weapon or act aggressively against the individual. This will escalate the situation and cause potential injury to those directly involved, as well as bystanders. 70% of workplaces do not have either a formal program or policy to address workplace violence problems. 8 Workplace Violence 4

6 Proactive Planning In order to prepare for workplace violence, it is critical to create a program that is unique to your organization. When organizations develop their own workplace violence programs, it fosters an environment of collaboration and ownership of the plan. This will help employees to better understand the plan and act quickly when a violent incident occurs. Before following any of these steps, it also makes sense to involve security, local law enforcement and first responders. Their professional expertise and input will be invaluable in devising a program that will keep not only the organization, but the surrounding community safe. Developing a Plan 7 The components of workplace violence prevention programs can include:» A statement of the employer s zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence against or by their employees. 1/3 of the 300 companies surveyed provide annual workplace violence training to all employees. 6» A physical security survey and assessment of premises.» Procedures for addressing threats and behaviors.» Designation and training of an incident response team.» Access to outside resources, such as threat assessment professionals.» Crisis response measures.» Consistent enforcement of behavioral standards, including effective disciplinary procedures.» Training of different management and employee groups.» Debriefing and after-crisis situation response, such as talking to local law enforcement and bringing in counselors or other mental health specialists for staff. Training Once the plan is established, employee-wide training should be conducted as soon as possible. However, this should not be a one-time event. Training should include:» Practice drills.» Critiques and evaluation.» Policy and procedure review and evaluation.» Ongoing re-training. Workplace violence prevention training should become a routine activity. As an organization evolves, so should the plan and the training. 5 QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE

7 Open Communication During any crisis situation, maintaining open lines of communication is critical. However, laying the groundwork for open communication begins long before any incident actually takes place. 72% of CEOs say their organizations offer counseling to their employees, but only 48% of those organizations employees said they knew about the services. 9 Proactive preparedness is essential as workplace violence can happen in any industry, at any time. A comprehensive plan that is regularly reviewed and practiced and ongoing attention to this important issue, will help raise awareness and better equip you to respond. Internal Communication As part of the training program and as part of other employee communications, it is important to inform and educate employees on the workplace violence prevention policy. Develop a system that allows for employees to safely report potential workplace violence issues. This can include providing employees with forms, a hotline or other tools that encourage them to report and log all incidents and threats of workplace violence. Listening to these reports and proactively addressing them will help to alleviate smaller issues before they turn violent. External Communication Once a plan is developed and ready to be enacted, share the plan with local law enforcement and first responders. Provide them with a copy of the plan and inform them of any major changes to the plan. If an incident has the potential to escalate, provide law enforcement with details so they can be alerted to a potential incident. Workplace Violence 6

8 Need More Information? These Resources Can Help. The information in this reference guide was compiled from the following sources: AlliedBarton Security Resource Center: Workplace Violence HR Plus Resource Center: Workplace Violence PLUS United States Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. Office of Personnel Management or OfficialDocuments/handbooksguides/WorkplaceViolence/full.pdf U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) OSHA (6742) or U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation or Sources Workplace Injuries, Illness and Fatalities Report; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2 The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Volume 80; Issue 1, January Survey of Workplace Violence Prevention, News Release U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dealing with Workplace Violence: A Guide for Agency Planners; Part I: Section 3, Prevention; U.S. Office of Personnel Management 5 Workplace Violence: Issues in Response, p ; U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation 6 IOMA Survey 7 Workplace Violence: Issues in Response, p. 20; U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation 8 National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health 9 The Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (CAEPV) About AlliedBarton AlliedBarton Security Services is the industry s premier provider of highly trained security personnel. Responsive, client-focused security officers and managers located across the country are supported by national resources developed from over 50 years of security experience. We provide security for several thousand clients, including approximately 200 Fortune 500 companies. The most honored security officer services company, AlliedBarton s commitment to training includes customized, industry-specific programs. Our focus on leadership and Human Capital Management moves employee growth and development to the forefront of company initiatives and fosters a culture of quality and continuous customer satisfaction. Our local response allows us to meet the specific needs of clients. Our national support enables us to create and consistently deliver these programs with expertise. About HR Plus HR Plus, a division of AlliedBarton, is a leading provider of comprehensive employment screening solutions including background screening, drug and occupational health screening and fingerprinting. Our goal is to help employers from small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations secure the best candidates. HR Plus services are available through a secure and easy-to-navigate web interface that can be tailored to meet clients needs and integrated into most human resource workflows. HR Plus provides customized solutions for more than 2,000 clients across a variety of industries and has more than 40 years of experience in the background screening industry. Our high performance culture results in a team of empowered employees whose core purpose is to make our clients organizations more secure, productive and successful AlliedBarton.com PLUS HRPlus.com 0812

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