Welcome to the online class to help you develop your violence prevention program at your workplace.

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2 Welcome to the online class to help you develop your violence prevention program at your workplace. 2

3 Take a moment and download the Oregon OSHA publication. Click on the image of our publication and you will link to the A-Z topic page for Workplace Violence. Take a moment while the course pauses, to look over the resources on that page. 3

4 If you would like additional help determining your risks or help developing any workplace safety and health policies, give our consultants a call. Their visits are free to employers and any information they share with you is confidential. 4

5 As you work through this course keep these goals in mind. First, we want to increase your understanding of workplace violence with an emphasis on what you can do. Second, we want to increase your understanding of the resources that are available to you. 5

6 You must ask yourself first, can it happen here? Answer this question honestly because it will help you determine where you will need to begin with your program. 6

7 Statistically, Oregon had around 430 incidents of violence in the workplace in This brought it into the top ten Workers Compensation claims. The out-of-pocket costs to employers for these accepted disabling worker compensation claims was around $17,000. That can be quite a shock to a small business. 7

8 What occupations are at highest risk in Oregon? Great question. Traditionally,they have been nurses and nursing aides. While you may not think of these as a high risk profession for violence, these people work with patients who may have altered levels of consciousness for a variety of reasons, as well as other conditions that may increase the likelihood of violent outbursts. In this profession you don t get to pick and choose who visits you either. The next group is a no-brainer in terms of violence. Police officers and security guards are required to deal with people who are at times by definition violent. Last on the list is teachers. In the same line as the nursing profession they also don t get to pick and choose who visits them. All of these groups make up the bulk of workplace violence incidents in both public and private employer settings. What this should show is while some of the groups are logical some clearly are not. Workplace violence can happen anywhere if the conditions are right. 8

9 If you re not certain that you have a risk, let me introduce a thought about your workplace security that comes from a former military special operator who works for the company, Escape the Wolf, that specializes in risk mitigation for a variety of high value and therefore high risk clients. When speaking to me about how to know if you need help with your workplace security, he said Military Special Operators keep this in mind when they re on a mission, If you think you ve been detected, you have been detected. The same thing can be said for workplace security, if you think you need a police officer to visit with your company about your workplace security, then you do. Now, you have heard that from an individual who s career revolves around keeping his team safe and secure. Do you think you might need more advice from an expert? 9

10 Lets defineworkplace violence a little more. You may see terms such as aggression or violence. Is there a difference? Usually when talking about violence we are describing a physical act, maybe a shove, a punch, or it could be destruction of property. While aggression may be described as either a physical or non-physical act. This is the creation of a hostile work environment. In reality there is a lot of crossover between the two. 10

11 Generally, we are attempting to preventor limit any hostile acts. We categorize them in four ways so that you can get a handle on them. The categories will help you determine how to deal with that potential threat. The first is hostile acts done by individuals with no connection to your business. They aren t a current or former customer or employee. They just randomly target your workplace for a crime. Second on the list is individuals who do have some connection to your business. These are the current or former customers or clients that you have provided a product or service. The third group is employees, current or former. The fourth and final group is individuals acquainted with your employees. These are family member, friends, and others who have a personal relationship with a current or former employee. The idea is that these categories will help you when you are developing and reviewing your preventive measures. You are obviously treating current employees differently than your customers. There must be considerations of how your normal procedures help or hinder your prevention plan. 11

12 If you re the employer thereare a few things that you must do for your employees under the Oregon safe employment act. The act states that employers must provide a safe and healthy workplace for all employees. So how do you accomplish that? There are three key questions that you must answer: 1) do you have a written policy on workplace violence? Why a written policy? If something is written down it tends to carry more weight. Also, it is more consistently carried out than a verbal policy or something that is passed on by word of mouth. 2) Have you planned for aggressive behavior to happen at your workplace? The chances of workplace violence happening at your business are slim but they do exist. So if there is a chance, you should plan for it. 3) Now that you have a policy and a plan, training your employees is next on our list. Employee need to know what to do and training is a big part of that knowledge. If you don t have confidence in your training abilities or you have complex situations it would be good to recruit outside help. Talk with your local police department for advice. There are also private consultants as well. There are many helpful documents at and if you search for workplace violence. 12

13 Workplace violence can be handled in much the same way as most workplace hazards. These seven elements will help you think about how to greatlyreduce the risk of workplace violence, starting with your commitment to a safe workplace. 13

14 Commitment for managersmeans that there is no tolerance for aggressive behaviors. Take an interest in your employees concerns when they are brought up and actively seek out information about those concerns. Aggressive behavior needs to be addressed at the first possible moment. The best way for this to happen is to check with your employees about any concerns they may have. This is a management skill that has many applications both with safety and business decisions. 14

15 Having your employees involved canbegin with your safety committee. Just like they help with other policies the safety committee should be involved in the creation and implementation of your workplace violence program. Recruit volunteers to help with all aspects of the program. Make certain that employees own the program. By that I mean that they feel it is their program and not one that is passed down from a distant manager. An open door policy is good if it truly is an open door. How often do employees stop by just to chat? Chatting is a good sign that your open door policy is seen as just that. If that isn t working,go out and seek information from employees. Initiate a chat to find out how things are going and if they have any concerns. 15

16 Employeesneed to remember that they are the eyes and ears of the organization. Mr. Ralston said that employees need to get involved. He said, If you have reason to believe someone may be involved in a hostile situation then take notice and report it. It s not about making friends; it s about staying alive and safe. 16

17 Determiningthe sources ofyour risks can be made much simpler by involving your employees. They have differentperspectives and are seeing things happening all the time. Most of the time you have a good idea where the risks are, but if you get stuck ask for help. There are many organizations that will help you mitigate your risks. Just do a search on the internet if you don t know of any. You can always start with your local law enforcement for your basic questions. Once you identify your risks you must control them. You can do that by correctly identifying the root causes of hostile acts. Once you identify the root you can remove the weed permanently. 17

18 Some keypoints to remember when developing your written policy for preventing violence are that all employees are responsible for the implementation and evaluation of this program. How management will respond to threats is important, and it is key to share what that appropriate response will be. The third point on the list is that management will stop aggressive or hostile behaviors before they become a problem. Finally, management will round out this policy by explaining how they will support efforts to maintain a positive workplace and prevent hostile acts. 18

19 Part of the programis to decide how to deal with threats. You must establish procedures about how to respond to an incident, procedures for reporting that incident, how to evaluate the threat, and finally, the procedure for the follow up after the threat has been removed. 19

20 Once a program is developed you mustshare that information with the employees to make it effective. The topics for your training discussion can begin with all employees understanding your company policy. That policy will help them recognize potentially hostile situations and how to respond to them. 20

21 Inaddition to the all employee training, supervisors and managers need to have more in depth training and discussions of best practices, in order to deal with extraordinary situations that can be more stressful. They will need assistance with how to deal with layoff and terminations of employees, as well as discipline. Managers and supervisors have another role to play as well and need to know how to resolve conflict as part of their efforts to respond to aggressive behaviors in the workplace. 21

22 Finally, you must check to make sure your efforts have paidoff. Determine why your existing procedures didn t prevent the acts from occurring. Consider whether your analysis found the root causes and whether appropriate controls were put in place. The final evaluation should be an accounting of new risks that may require updating policies and training. 22

23 Now it s up to you to determine what is needed whereyou work. You should have a general awareness of the risks and possibly even some solutions. 23

24 Go backto what Mr. Ralston said about workplace security. If you think you need the advice, go get it. You and your employees are the experts about your company and your risks. You ARE the ones who know if you are at risk. 24

25 Take a moment ifyou haven t already and download this publication from the A-Z topic list. There are many useful questions and discussion points found in it. 25

26 Take a moment to review this checklist in the book. If you need more help contact Oregon OSHA s consultants or your workers compensation insurance carrier, for a free, confidential review of your programs. 26

27 Links to consultation page.( 27

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