Dealing with Workplace Violence

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1 Dealing with Workplace Violence for the Annual Leading Age Maintenance Workshop 2016 PRESENTED BY: Joan M. Spencer Compliance Assistance Specialist Tampa Area Office Definition Workplace violence is violence or the threat of violence against workers. It can occur at or outside the workplace and can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide. https://www.osha.gov/oshdoc/data_general_facts/factsheet-workplace-violence.pdf The workplace may be permanent or temporary (including field locations and clients homes) 1

2 Workplace Violence Sabotage of a co-worker or manager causing damage to his or her property Violent confrontations in the workplace Sexual harassment Threats of violence by an employee Assaults in the workplace Armed robbery of employees Suicide at the workplace Hostage incidents in the workplace Psychological trauma The Numbers Overall, violence accounted for 1 out of every 6 fatal work injuries in 2013 (includes all violence.) In 2013, 404 fatal workplace injuries in the United States were classified as homicides, which works out to 9% of all workplace deaths (4585.) Work-related suicides were 8 percent higher than in 2012, but workplace homicides were 16 percent lower. Homicide is the second-leading cause of death for women in the workplace. In 2013, 21% of the 319 fatal work injuries to women were homicides, compared to 8% for men. 403 Homicides 2

3 Homicide Trends Among the workplace homicides in which women were the victims, the greatest share of assailants were relatives or domestic partners (32 percent of those homicides). In workplace homicides involving men, robbers were the most common type of assailant (33 percent) Total Men Women Occupations in which a Higher Percentage of Workplace Deaths are Due to Homicide 13% of "top executives" deaths; the percentage is double for "operations specialties managers" 33% of "business and financial operations occupations" 36% of "legal occupations" 19% of "health diagnosing and treating practitioners" 31% of "law enforcement workers" 41% of "food preparation and serving-related occupations - even higher for their supervisors, 48% 46% for "sales and related occupations 66% for "retail sales workers" What s the Cost Not including the cost of life or health, which is priceless. 4/13/15 - $46 million was awarded to the families of two women who were shot and killed by a disgruntled employee at the Kraft Foods plant in PA in U.S. Security Associates, Inc. (USSA) of Georgia found negligent. American businesses lose approximately 36 billion dollars per year as a result of workplace violence. Out-of-court settlements - average $500,000, with jury verdicts averaging about $3 million. 3

4 What s the Cost NEW YORK Corizon Health Inc., which provides medical, dental and psychiatric services to inmates at the Rikers Island correctional facility in New York City, knowingly failed to protect its employees adequately against workplace violence and assault. The company faces $71,000 in fines following an inspection by OSHA's Manhattan Area Office that began Feb. 7, 2014, in response to a complaint. OSHA cited Corizon for one willful violation for failing to develop and implement an effective workplace violence prevention program for its employees at Rikers "Corizon failed to address the serious problem of assaults against its employees until OSHA began its inspection," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "Corizon needs to develop and implement an effective, targeted workplace violence prevention program that includes administrative and engineering control, as well as personal protective equipment and training, to reduce the risk of violence against its employees." OSHA found that the number of workplace violence incidents involving Corizon employees at Rikers increased from eight in 2011 to 39 in In addition, during the course of OSHA's investigation, six workplace-violence-related incidents occurred between Feb. 11 and May 14, These included threats, physical assault, a Corizon employee locked in a cell by an inmate and the circulation of a hit list of Corizon staffers targeted by inmates. 280 days of work lost in " OSHA s Policies Directive CPL September 8, 2011 Enforcement Procedures for Investigating or Inspecting Workplace Violence Incidents Mostly AD discretion to investigate Employer recognized, either individually or through its industry. Should focus on the availability to employers of feasible means of preventing or minimizing such hazards. Sources of Violence Violent acts by criminals who have no other connection with the workplace but enter to commit a robbery or another crime. Violence directed at employees by customers, clients, patients, students, inmates, or any others from whom an organization provides services. Violence against coworkers, supervisors, or managers by a present or former employee. Violence committed by someone who has a personal relationship with an employee. 4

5 Risk Factors Contact with the public Working with unstable or volatile persons Delivery of passengers or goods Having a mobile workplace such as a taxicab or police cruiser Risk Factors Working alone or in small numbers Low staffing levels Working late at night or during early morning hours Working in highcrime areas Risk Factors Working in community-based settings Guarding valuable property or possessions Exchange of money Targeted populations???? 5

6 Workplace Violence is Predictable It doesn t just happen. It develops, like a storm Workers see and hear things Don t know what to report Don t know to whom to report Guidelines OSHA recommends that employers establish and maintain a violence prevention program In 1998, OSHA issued Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence in Health Care and Social Service Workers. Updated 2015 Recommendations for Workplace Violence Prevention Programs in Late-Night Retail Establishments Violence Prevention Plan The prevention program should: Be made available to all employees, including managers and supervisors Track its progress in reducing workrelated assaults, reduce the severity of injuries sustained by employees, decrease the threat to worker safety Reflect the level and nature of threat faced by employees 6

7 Violence Prevention Plan Management commitment and employee involvement Worksite analysis Hazard prevention and control Post incident response Training and education Recordkeeping and evaluation of program Photo: Washington Field Office photographer Jennifer Hill Management Commitment Provides the motivation and resources Zero tolerance for violence, threats, harassment, intimidations, and other disruptive behavior in our workplace really????? Reports of incidents will be taken seriously and will be dealt with appropriately Responsible hiring - pre-employment screening Responsible supervising Management Commitment Management should to be committed to: Emotional and physical health of the employee Allocation of authority and resources to responsible parties Equal commitment to worker safety and health and customer/patient/client safety System of accountability Comprehensive program of medical and psychological counseling for employees experiencing or witnessing violent incidents. No employee reprisals for reporting incidents 7

8 Manager s Alert to Warning Signs Fascination with weapons Alcohol or drug abuse Severe stress Anguish over pending or recent demotion or termination History of violent incidents Psychological deterioration Decreased or inconsistent job functioning Social isolation or poor peer relationships Deterioration in personal hygiene Major personality changes Manager s Alert to Warning Signs Paranoid behavior Increased mood swings Always disgruntled Unexplained increase in absenteeism Decrease in productivity Inability to concentrate Resistance and overreaction to changes in procedures Unwillingness to accept blame or criticism Repeated violations of company policies Employee Involvement Employees often do not report violent incidents because: of lack of administrative reporting policies, or procedures they are afraid employer will think they can't handle the job effectively of misperception that violence is part of the job of fear of employer reprisals 8

9 Employee Involvement Employees should: Understand, support, and comply with the established workplace violence program Provide prompt and accurate reporting of all workplace violence incidents Report the whispers Employees Security Measures Inform someone when working late Lock doors to work area when working alone Work near a phone Avoid using dark stairways or halls Keep purses, wallets and other valuable out of sight Report signs of break-in or missing items Employees Security Measures Report inadequate lighting Do not share ID card or access codes with others Report unusual packages Wear identity badges at all times Report weapons or substance abuse Report threats or frightening behaviors of co-workers 9

10 Worksite Analysis Analyze records, trends, workplace security Any company history of violent incidents Medical records Reports of verbal abuse or threats Screening surveys to staff Analyze policies such as cash handling Survey premises for controls or vulnerabilities Worksite Analysis Identify potential reasons why workplace may be hazardous Availability of drugs Personnel must work evenings and night shifts Overall prevalence of firearms One or more employees struggling with domestic violence Cash handling Public contact Anticipated downsizing or reorganization Low staffing levels, high turnover rates, and stress Exposure to violent, confused or mentally unstable clients Hazard Prevention and Control Provide better visibility and good lighting Use of security devices such as panic buttons, beepers, surveillance cameras, alarm systems, two-way mirrors, card-key access systems, and security guards. 10

11 Hazard Prevention and Control Place curved mirrors at hallway intersections or concealed areas Implement safety measures to deter handguns inside facility; for example using metal detectors. Control access to work areas Hazard Prevention and Control Provide training for staff in recognizing and managing hostile and assaultive behavior Provide adequate staffing even during night shifts Provide security escorts in parking lots Establish liaison with police authorities and contact them when indicated. Obtain past violent behavior records of clients Pass on information from one shift/receptionist/guard/manager to another 11

12 Training Provide training to staff on: Facility's workplace violence policy and program Reporting incidents Ways of preventing or diffusing volatile situations or aggressive behavior, conflict resolution Dynamics of violence How to recognize and deal with hostile aggressive persons, nonviolent responses De-escalating techniques Training Provide training to staff on: Managing anger Stress management, relaxation techniques Security procedures Personal security measures, self defense Techniques for victim support Post-Incident Response Provide a program of support for workers involved in violent incidents and workers observing violent incidents Set up trained response teams to respond to emergencies Provide post-incident response assistance to the worker that includes: Prompt medical treatment and psychological evaluation Counseling, support groups, stress debriefing, trauma-crisis counseling, employee assistance programs 12

13 Recordkeeping OSHA 300s Medical reports of work injury Incidents of abuse that do not result in injury Information on customers/students/patient with a history of past violence should be recorded and staff made aware of the possible potential for aggression Training records Evaluation Determine effectiveness of prevention plan Identify any problems or deficiencies Allow for management to review program effectiveness, and reevaluate policies and procedures on a regular basis Analyze trends, measure improvements, and keep abreast of new trends to reduce workplace violence 13

14 We Can Help VIOLENCE Any Questions 14

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