Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Preventing Violence in the Workplace: Model Program page 1 as reprinted on

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1 Preventing Violence in the Workplace: Model Program page 1 This tool has been developed by the Colorado Department of Human Services. It addresses workplace violence in general. It can be adapted to meet individual employers needs specific to the impact of domestic violence in the workplace. It is provided as a model and you are expected to modify it to meet your agency s, facility s, or program s specific needs. Reprinted on with permission from Jacob Shafer, Director of Risk Management, Colorado Department of Human Services BACKGROUND/PURPOSE Incidence of workplace violence has increased over recent years and our state policies reflect its commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy working environment for its employees, clients and the public. An Executive Order affirms that the state policy purpose is to establish the framework for implementing a Violence in the Workplace plan of action to prevent occurrence or reduce the affects of such an incident. This program implements tailored procedures. POLICY STATEMENT The (Agency, facility or program name) will not tolerate violent behavior or threat of violent behavior directed towards a co-worker, supervisor, subordinate, client, state property, or facilities. Such behavior may result in corrective/disciplinary action and criminal charges when appropriate. Possession of weapons is prohibited in or on any state facility including in vehicles except when possession is a necessary requirement of a law enforcement officer s job. All threats to employee safety from any source will be taken seriously and addressed accordingly. GOALS AND DEFINITIONS 1. The goal of this program is to keep employees free from violence in the workplace by adopting these policy and work measures. 2. Violent behavior is defined as any act or threat of physical, verbal, psychological aggression, or the destruction or abuse of property by any individual. Threat includes veiled, conditional or direct verbal or written threats intended to harass, harm or endanger the safety of another person or property. 3. Possession of a firearm or weapon of any kind, including those defined by Colorado Revised Statutes Title 18, Article 12, is prohibited at work, including in a state vehicle, except when such possession is necessary requirement of an employee s job, or is approved by an appointing authority. 4. This policy is not intended to preclude the use or threat of reasonable force, where appropriate, in the course of a state employee s duties. REFERENCES: RELATED MANDATES, STATUTES, STANDARDS, OR EXECUTIVE ORDERS 1. Exec. Order DO010-96, Workplace Violence, 8/13/ DHS Policy VI-3.3, Violence in the Workplace, dated 9/28/ CFR 1910 OSHA, General Duty Clause and Workplace Violence Model Program (adopted as a guideline), March Colorado General Support Services and State Risk Management Staying Safe in the Workplace guide. September 4, 1996.

2 Preventing Violence in the Workplace: Model Program page 2 RESPONSIBILITIES 1. Directors of agencies, facilities and/or programs are required to: A. Request the District Threat Assessment Team (which is the District B/RM Audit/Staff Assistance Team) to accomplish a risk assessment of the facility. B. Appoint a staff member to coordinate the program and implement a written program. C. Require all employees to attend initial Violence in the Workplace Training. D. Require workplace violence training be included in new employee orientation and annual safety refresher training. 2. Managers, supervisors and employees are encouraged to assist in identifying potential for violence and prevention measures for their work area by submitting DRM Form 01, Unsafe/Hazardous Condition Report to the Workplace Violence Prevention Program Coordinator. 3. Managers and supervisors are required to develop internal reporting and response procedures and making this program and procedures readily available to employees in each work area. 4. Managers, supervisors and employees are required to use safe work practices, follow all directives/policies/procedures report all incidents and to assist in maintaining a secure work environment. 5. Managers and supervisors are required to communicate this policy and enforce the rules uniformly. 6. The agency, facility or program designated program coordinator is responsible for monitoring compliance with this program HIGH RISK AREAS The following are potential locations or functions where violence could occur: (examples) 1. Risk Areas: A. Working alone: B. Working at night/holiday or weekends or early morning: 2. Conditions: A. Working in a high crime area: B. Working at reduced staff levels: 3. Operations: A. Exchange of Money with the public: B. Guarding valuable property or possessions: 4. Situations: A. Working in community settings: B. Working out of remote office or vehicle: SECURITY ISSUES The following areas are potential areas for violence against staff or clients: (examples) 1. Parking Lots/garages (Describe) 2. Entrance/Exits 3. Building Access procedures/badges 4. Applicant background checks

3 Preventing Violence in the Workplace: Model Program page 3 RISK CONTROL AND PREVENTION (examples of measures implemented re-write to fit facility) 1. Employees working outside normal duty hours will lock office doors and notify security if applicable. 2. Employees will keep their vehicle doors locked when coming to and going from work. Employees should walk in pairs when coming and going from work. 3. Additional lighting and alert alarms will be installed in parking lots 4. When staff is reduced, access to the work area will be controlled and other employees will observe work area frequently. 5. Employees handling money exchange or other valuables such as food stamps and tokens will be protected by conducting business through a glass or lexan panel. 6. Those guarding valuable property and possessions will be adequately trained in security measures and equipped or uniformed as necessary. 7. Those working out of their home, remote office and vehicles shall notify their immediate supervisor of their schedule and establish periodic reporting or contact. 8. Public building entrances will be controlled where possible. Where not possible, individual state operated offices will have one clearly marked entrance for clients. All other entrances will be locked. The client entrance will consist of a reception area which prohibits clients further entry unless escorted by a staff member. An alarm call button will be installed at the reception counter for employee use to call a supervisor or co-worker. Service counters should have a sliding glass or lexan window that can be closed when confronted with aggression. 9. Alarm call buttons will be installed in underground garages. 10. Employees should keep personal possessions such as purses out of sight in office settings and valuable such as cell phones and recorders out of sight in unattended vehicles. 11. Background checks will be accomplished on those applying for employment. TRAINING AND EDUCATION New employees must be trained within 30 days of hire; transferred employee must be trained within 30 days of assignment and each employee must attend annual refresher training within each calendar year. Each employee is required to enter appropriate information on an In- Service Training report which is to be retained according to the agency s, facility s or program s training policy. 1. Initial Training for Staff on written program A. Techniques for recognizing potential for violence C. Proper use of security hardware D. Response to violence incidents, emergencies and hostage situations (1) Employee Response (2) Supervisor response (3) Co-worker response G. Protecting self during travel H. Handing cash safely. 2. District or Agency New Employee Orientation - Introduction to written plan A. Techniques for recognizing potential for violence C. Proper use of security hardware D. Response to violence incidents, emergencies and hostage situations

4 Preventing Violence in the Workplace: Model Program page 4 G. Protecting self during travel H. Handing cash safely. 3. Annual Refresher Training A. Risk Assessment Update B. Incident Review C. Procedures changes D. Review written plan and revisions E. Employee hazard reporting procedures 4. Employee Transferred and/or Reassigned - Introduction to work area written plan A. Techniques for recognizing potential for violence in new work assignment C. Proper use of security hardware in new work assignment D. Response to violence incidents, emergencies and hostage situations in new work assignment G. Protecting self during travel (If applicable) H. Handing cash safely (If applicable) 5. Supervisory Training: A. All supervisors are required to attend the DHS Workplace Violence Supervisory Training. This training is scheduled through District Staff Development. B. Newly appointed Supervisors will be trained on the written plan within 30 days of assignment. REPORTING AND INVESTIGATING INCIDENTS 1. Reporting A. Employees will verbally report workplace violence incidents immediately to their supervisor and local police authority. B. The supervisor will submit a written/electronic/telephone report to the District Risk Manager. 2. Responding A. Co-workers in the area will respond as specified in the agency, facility or program published emergency preparedness plan and/or call the police authority. B. Supervisors will intervene as trained to divert the perpetrator away from the target employee and lower anxiety levels as dictated by policy and the situation. C. The Supervisor or Appointing Authority should consider the appropriate actions to be taken to de-escalate the situation and to address investigation. D. Agency manager may contact the CSEAP Representative to request assistance for employees affected. ( ) 3. Investigating: Agency Director (Appointing Authorities) or Office/Division/Program Director will investigate and report incidents: A. Incidents Not posing An Immediate Threat (1) Examples (a) Verbal threat (b) Threatening conduct, such as intimidation. (c) Obsessions, such as a grudge against a co-worker or frustrated romantic interests (d) Racial/ethnic slurs (e) Repeated references to violent episodes

5 Preventing Violence in the Workplace: Model Program page 5 (2) Action (a) Employee reports to immediate supervisor (b) Immediate supervisor intervenes to resolve the issue (c) Immediate Supervisor investigates and reports to the Director or appropriate Appointing Authority and District Risk Manager (d) The Director or Appointing Authority will take appropriate action to prevent recurrence B. Incidents Posing an Immediate Threat (1) Examples (a) Brandishing or possessing an weapon (b) Outrageous behavior which poses immediate threat (c) Any violent act (d) Public lewdness or sexual abuse (e) Stealing (2) Action (a) Observing employee notifies law enforcement agency (b) Observing employee reports to immediate supervisor and/or appointing authority (c) Appointing Authority directs internal investigation or Calls District Investigations Unit and reports incident to District Risk Manager (d) Investigation report will be forwarded to the Appointing Authority who takes appropriate action to prevent recurrence 4. Confidentiality. Investigators may establish a work product file for any notes generated. The report of findings will be distributed on a need to know basis only. RECORDKEEPING 1. Incident Report Forms. Each Agency, Facility, or Program Director should maintain a master file of submitted Incident Report Forms in accordance with policy or procedures established for Critical Incident Report forms. Forms should be kept for at least two years unless specified otherwise by other references. 2. Injury. Workplace violence incidents resulting in injury to an employee will be reported and documented under the Worker s Compensation Program. The Worker s Compensation Coordinator will maintain a case file and retain all documentation associated with the incident (police reports, supervisor s investigation, physician s report, etc). 3. Workplace Violence Incidents. These incidents will be reported via mail/electronic or telephone to the District Risk Manager. 4. Training. Employee training records will be maintained in accordance with the agency, facility or program policy pertaining to in-service training. The designated training officer should provide a summary report to the Agency Administrator periodically. #####

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