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Workplace & Classroom Violence

Workplace & Classroom Violence

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Workplace & Classroom Violence

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  1. Workplace & ClassroomViolence Identification and Risk Reduction Amanda G. Warman August 20, 2007

  2. Workplace violence: Any act that is committed with the result of causing physical or psychological harm to another individual. This includes any act of destruction towards property belonging to the company or its employees.

  3. (cont.) Continuum of behaviors Homicide, physical assaults, domestic violence, stalking, threats, harassment, bullying, emotional abuse, intimidation, etc. Forms of conduct that create anxiety, fear, and a climate of distrust in the workplace

  4. Historically, we think of… • Disgruntled employees (postal workers) • Customers • Domestic violence/stalking incidents

  5. The New Context • September 11, 2001 • April 16, 2007

  6. Four Categories TYPE 1: Violent acts by criminals who have no other connection with the workplace, but enter to commit robbery or another crime. Represents about 80% of all workplace homicides Work in isolated locations or “dangerous” neighborhoods and carry or have access to cash • Taxi drivers • Retail clerks • Gas station attendants

  7. TYPE 2: Violence directed at employees by customers, clients, patients, students, inmates, or any others for whom an organization provides services. Other than those whose occupations involve regular contact with dangerous people (police, correctional and security officers), the greatest number of incidents occur in healthcare.

  8. TYPE 3: Violence against coworkers, supervisors, or managers by a present or former employee. TYPE 4: Violence committed in the workplace by someone who doesn’t work there, but has a personal relationship with an employee—an abusive spouse or domestic partner. Because the subject is known, there are usually (but not always) warning signs – observable behavior.

  9. Risk Factors • Dealing with the public • The exchange of money • The delivery of services or goods • Anyplace there is human interaction

  10. Risk By Occupation JOB RATE PER 1,000 WORKERS POLICE OFFICERS 306 PRIVATE SECURITY GUARDS 218 TAXI DRIVERS 184 PRISON GUARDS 117 BARTENDERS 91 MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS 80 GAS STATION ATTENDANTS 79 CONVENIENCE, LIQUOR STORE CLERKS 68 MENTAL HEALTH CUSTODIAL WORKERS 63 JUNIOR HIGH/MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERS 45 BUS DRIVERS 45 SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS 41 HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS 29 ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS 26 COLLEGE TEACHERS 3

  11. Offender Relationship with Victim * Source – Northwest National Life Insurance Company

  12. * Source – Dept. of Justice Offenders – Sex and Race

  13. * Source- Dept. of Justice Offender - Age

  14. Victims • Victims of choice Specific target or targets – real or symbolic • Victims of chance Wrong place at the wrong time

  15. Victims – Sex

  16. Victims - Race

  17. Victims - Age

  18. The Incidents • More than 1000 workplace violence homicides annually (accounts for 17% of workplace deaths) • Most common is assault (about 1.5 million a year including attacks on police officers) • About 88% of incidents result in no injury

  19. The Incidents - Location

  20. The Incidents - Weapons

  21. Myths and Misconceptions • “People just snap” • “Only crazy people do that stuff “(the mentally ill account for only 3% of offenders) • “He won’t come after me” • “I can’t report this or s/he will come after me” (true in domestic violence cases but not in workplace or school violence)

  22. Myths and Misconceptions (cont.) • People will know what to do or how to react • “That’s just Joe, he’s like that.” How many Joes do you know?

  23. Warning Signs • Intimidates others • Invade personal space • Touch aggressively • Barge into offices or workspace • Gets in someone’s face

  24. Warning Signs (cont.) • Takes everything personally (a policy they don’t like will be seen as a personal affront) • Reads the employee manual, syllabus and grievance policy aggressively, often carrying the documents with them

  25. Warning Signs (cont.) • See themselves as victims • “Perceived injustices” history - Always picked on - May nurse a grudge that goes back to childhood

  26. Warning Signs (cont.) • Need to be right all the time and gets angry if someone suggests they need help • Emotionally immature – unable to handle • relationships and resolve conflict

  27. Warning Signs (cont.) • Usually not newcomers to a community or people in the bottom jobs • Fascination or obsession with weapons , other workplace attacks or the killing power of automatic weapons – shift in demeanor when discussing • Alcohol/drug abuse – change in medication (not causative)

  28. Warning Signs (cont.) • Socially isolated, limited relationships • Recent loss or social rejection • Long wait for a negative outcome • “Point of no return” • Symptoms of depression or suicidality

  29. Warning Signs (cont.) • Has made direct or indirect threats • Conversation with classmate • MySpace/Facebook profiles • Content of paper

  30. Threat Assessment – How serious is it? The more detail, the more dangerous! Direct Can be verbal or written and is specific Conditional “if” “or” scenarios: if action A occurs, B will happen Veiled Nonverbal, indirect, 3rd party

  31. What To Do • Verify information (if veiled) • Take action • May include notifying: • Department head/dean • Campus Safety or police department • Human Resources • Associate VP of Student Development

  32. What To Do (cont’) • Confront • But not if there is potential danger - contact Campus Safety, police, etc. • Room set-up is important – always leave yourself a way out! • Document!!!

  33. Options for Action • Take no action – observe and document • Disciplinary procedure • Opportunity to resign/change class • Voluntary/mandatory counseling • Medical leave • Fitness for duty evaluation • Termination/suspension/expulsion

  34. “What if we didn’t do all that stuff?” • Contact Campus Safety and/or police • No “code words” • Try to de-escalate – low voice, calm tone • Use calming gestures • Create space – space = reaction time • Don’t turn your back: don’t get trapped

  35. “What if we didn’t do all that stuff?” (cont.) • Watch hands • Mirror gestures – (don’t mimic!) • If they are armed, stay low, create barriers between you and assailant, know difference between cover and concealment • Afterwards - DEBRIEF

  36. Target Hardening • Good pre-employment screening • Environmental design • look at work area/classroom - Secondary exits - Door locks - Access to telephone/blue light?

  37. Target Hardening (cont.) • Make a plan and discuss with your staff/students - Practice good access control • Encourage employees and students to bring problems and concerns to supervisors or others in a timely fashion

  38. Target Hardening (cont.) • Know and work within policy • Address in syllabi • Be empathetic but firm • Refer for assistance as needed

  39. Resources • Campus Safety X8-2228 • Emergency on campus 911 • Dean/department head/VP/Provost • Human Resources • KSCEA/KSCAA • Associate VP of Student Development • Other?

  40. What is KSC doing? Policy Statement (USNH) A safe and secure environment is a fundamental prerequisite for fulfilling the University System of New Hampshire's mission of teaching, research and public service. Every employee is a member of the University System community and an integral participant in the mission of teaching and research. As such, each staff member is expected to exhibit a high degree of professionalism and personal integrity at all times. The role of prevention is to be proactive so employees feel safe. Various components of prevention include hiring practices, interpersonal relations, safety training, and training in issues and recognition of safety, workplace violence, effective policies and disciplinary procedures. Employees have a right to work in safe surroundings, and the institutions of the University System of New Hampshire are strongly committed to providing a safe work environment. Institutional responsibilities include the following: •  Communicate safety policy, programs and reporting structure to all employees. •  Encourage employee awareness of safety and health risks. •  Encourage employees to report observed hazards, violations of policy or risks of potential workplace violence they observe. •  Comply with N.H. Workers' Compensation Law, RSA 281-A. •  Comply with N.H. Public Employee Health and Safety Regulations RSA 277.

  41. KSC Emergency Operations Plan • Basic principles and plan overview • ICS/NIMS • Training and drills • Review of facilities • Warning systems • Siren/speaker system • Emergency messaging system • Web and e-mail • Paper

  42. Types of scenarios possible at Keene State and what to do

  43. Questions? Comments? Concerns? Amanda Warman 358-2766 awarman@keene.edu

  44. Sources Violence in the Workplace, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/vw99.pdf. 1994 Workplace Violence – Issues in Response, Critical Incident Response Group, National Center for the Analysis of ViolentCrime, http://www.fbi.gov/publications/violence.pdf, 2002 Northwest National Life Insurance Company USNH Policy Manual, http://usnholpm.unh.edu/USY/V.Pers/D.3.htm