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  1. THREAT ASSESSMENT TEAM (TAT) ORIENTATION Threat Assessment Team Members Developed by USPS EAP/WEI Program September 2006

  2. ORIENTATION AWARENESS • UPON COMPLETION OF THIS ORIENTATION, THE • PARTICIPANT SHOULD BE AWARE OF: • USPS commitment to a strategic plan for reducing violence in the workplace • USPS approach to Threat Assessment Team process • Importance of implementing a local Threat Assessment Team 2

  3. UPON COMPLETION OF THIS ORIENTATION, THE PARTICIPANTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE A WORKING KNOWLEDGE OF: USPS commitment to preventing violence in the workplace USPS approach to the Threat Assessment Team process including: TRAINING OBJECTIVES • investigating, identifying and analyzing cause(s) • suggesting a course of action • maintaining appropriate records 3

  4. TRAINING OBJECTIVES • The importance of implementing a local Threat Assessment Team • Addressing violence prevention issues • Recognizing situations or conditions which could lead to violence • Understanding the difference between Threat Assessment Teams and Emergency Management Teams 4

  5. WORKPLACE VIOLENCE The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines workplace violence as the following: • Threatening, intimidating, abusive, harassing, or violent behavior that is verbal, written, or physical toward others, including co-workers, customers, contractors, suppliers, and visitors to the company • Physically fighting, including pushing, shoving, slapping and punching, on company premises or while conducting company business 5

  6. WORKPLACE VIOLENCE • Possessing firearms, explosives, or other weapons that are intended by their design or function to inflict fatal injury • Willfully destroying company property or the property of others engaged in company business • Engaging in acts of sabotage designed to damage the effectiveness of the company or any individual associated with it. 6

  7. WORKPLACE VIOLENCE Any definition of workplace violence must be broad enough to encompass the full range of behaviors that can cause injury, damage property, impede the normal course of work, or make workers, managers, and customers fear for their safety. ASIS International. (2005) Workplace Violence and Prevention Response. Alexandria, VA 7

  8. NON-FATAL WORKPLACE VIOLENCE • Non-Fatal Workplace Assaults • Average 33,000 incidents of Workplace Violence per week in America • Majority are simple assaults • Of all violent crimes, 18% occurred at work • NIOSH, 1992-1999 BJS, National Crime Victimization Survey 8

  9. NON-FATAL WORKPLACE VIOLENCE • Each year 1.7 million workers fell victim to non-fatal workplace violence • Non-fatal violent crime = simple or aggravated assault, robbery, or rape/sexual assault • 95% of these 1.7 million incidents were simple assaults 9

  10. RESEARCH IMPLICATIONS FOR WORKPLACE VIOLENCE • Knowledge of the scale of workplace violence remains incomplete • Not a consistent system of data collection or standardized or uniform definitions • Data regarding the less severe forms of workplace violence are particularly sparse • Data is also weak with respect to the economic and human costs of workplace violence and the effectiveness of known strategies 10

  11. RESEARCH & PROGRAM TRENDS • Classification System (Type І, ІІ, ІІІ, ІV)(common to research reviews and programs) • Categorizes workplace violence incidents according to the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim (not to be associated with our priority 4 rating scale) • Can prove helpful to those seeking to better understand the issue • Helpful in developing prevention and response strategies 11

  12. RESEARCH & PROGRAM TRENDS • Type І: • Offender has no legitimate relationship to the workplace or the victim and usually enters the workplace to commit a criminal action such as a robbery or theft. • This type also includes terrorist and hate crimes such as the World Trade Center and the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building attacks. 12

  13. RESEARCH & PROGRAM TRENDS Type ІІ: This offender is the recipient of some service provided by the victim or workplace and may be either a current or former client, patient, or customer. 13

  14. RESEARCH & PROGRAM TRENDS • Type ІІІ: • This offender has an employment-related involvement with the workplace. • The act of violence is usually committed by a current or former employee, supervisor, or manager who has a dispute with another employee of the workplace. • This type of workplace violence is usually referred to as the “disgruntled employee”. 14

  15. RESEARCH & PROGRAM TRENDS • Type ІV • This offender has an indirect involvement with the workplace because of a relationship with an employee and may be a current or former spouse or partner, someone who was in a dating relationship with the employee, or a relative or friend. • Usually follows the employee into the workplace from the outside, however, the relationship could have workplace origins as well. National Victim Assistance Academy (2002). Workplace Violence. Chapter 22. Participants’ Resource Guide. U.S. Department of Justice. 15

  16. We take pause to honor and remember those postal employees whom we have lost to the hands of violence. Memorial in Edmond, Oklahoma 16

  17. HISTORICAL PERSEPCTIVE National Headlines from USPS History The next few slides present a limited chronology of workplace violence incidents and/or fatalities The list is not intended to be a comprehensive report or record, the intent is to review a number of incidents that tended to capture local and/or national headlines These slides also provide a backdrop for discussion of stories and impact from individuals of what might be their own experience Note: Facilitator can use the supplemental presentation that provides a brief description as to the listed incidents 17

  18. HISTORICAL PERSEPCTIVE National Headlines from USPS History 18

  19. HISTORICAL PERSEPCTIVE National Headlines from USPS History 19

  20. HISTORICAL PERSEPCTIVE National Headlines from USPS History 20

  21. WORKPLACE HOMICIDE • Over the last decade, the number of deaths have declined steadily • Peaked in 1994 at 1,080 deaths • There were 551 workplace homicides in 2004 (the most recent year for which data is available at this update, statistics updated yearly through refresher) • 551 is a 13% decline from 2003, and a sharp decline from a record high of 1,080 in 1994 (These figures exclude the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks) 21

  22. WORKPLACE HOMICIDE 1994 - 2005 22

  23. WORKPLACE HOMICIDE Trend Line (1994 – 2005) Facts While there was a decline in the rates of occupational homicide for the health services and public administration industries, this decline was not as great as the overall decline in occupational homicide rates Jenkins, L. Trends in workplace homicide, U.S., 1993-2002. The 7th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, Vienna, Austria, June 6th-9th 2004. Vienna, Austria: Kuratorium für Schutz und Sicherheit/Institut Sicher Leben, 2004 Jun; :342 23

  24. WORKPLACE HOMICIDE Trend Line (1994 – 2005) Facts When looking at the circumstance of the homicide, only homicides which were robbery related has demonstrated a significant decline 24

  25. WORKPLACE HOMICIDE Trend Line (1994 – 2005) Facts Neither the circumstances of violence by disgruntled customers/clients, disgruntled workers/former workers, nor domestic violence demonstrated a significant decline in the number of occupational homicides during this period Hendricks, S. Anderson, K. Jenkins, L. (2005). Trends in rates of occupational homicides, 2005 National Injury Prevention and Control Conference, May 9-11, 2005, Denver, Colorado. Atlanta, GA: Centers and Disease Control and Prevention, 2005 May; :105 (for slides 20, 21, & 22) 25

  26. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ISWORKPLACE VIOLENCE • In the case of domestic violence, often what starts at home is completed at work • For employees being stalked, the workplace is the one location where the victim can usually be found • Employees can change phone numbers and move, but most can’t switch jobs to avoid a stalker • Must also consider if the stalker/abuser is a postal employee as well, in the same facility/station, on the same shift, etc. 26 Kaufer, S. & Mattman, J. (2001) ‘Workplace Violence, A Manager’s Guide’,Workplace Violence Research Institute, Palm Springs, CA.

  27. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE • As the statistics below show, employers can no longer consider domestic violence a private matter. It is a serious workplace issue that affects a company’s bottom line. • 17% of women murdered at work are killed by their batterer • 60,000 incidents of workplace violence involved intimate partners • 74 - 96% of victims are harassed at work by their batterer • 50% of victims missed an average of 3 work days per month due to abuse • 30 - 44% of victims lost at least one job due to abuse • Domestic violence cost businesses between $3 - 5 billion annually 27

  28. VIOLENCE IN AMERICA • Contributing Factors Why Violence May Occur: • Societal Factors: • drugs and alcohol • availability of guns • externalized blame • reactions to diversity • social disconnectedness • economic downturn • media glorification of violence • violence themed video games and music 28

  29. VIOLENCE IN AMERICA • Contributing Factors Why Violence May Occur: • Organizational Factors: • job overload • high stress environment • reorganization, restructure • poor labor / management relations • poor or changing management styles • poor hiring practices • inadequate security • no response to inappropriate behavior • no employee counseling (EAP) 29

  30. VIOLENCE IN AMERICA • Contributing Factors Why Violence May Occur: • Personal Factors: • family / marital problems • financial problems • domestic problems • drug and/or alcohol abuse • loss of job, raise or promotion • loss of relationship • misdirected affections • unmanaged stress 30

  31. SKETCH OF SOCIAL TRENDS • Increase in Societal Tolerance of Violence • Acceptance of violence as a form of communication (This first statement is a strong statement. Take some time for discussion. How do you see violence perceived pre- and post- 9/11? What about global implications?) • Increased accessibility to weapons • Less Control Over Work Environment • Lack of careers, commitment, loyalty • Job vs. career • Downsizing, Re-engineering • Do more with less • Loss of middle management 31

  32. SKETCH OF SOCIAL TRENDS Substance Abuse Psychological Factors • Increasing stress • Breakdown of support systems • Nuclear families • Extended families • Sense of neighborhood/community Change • Increasing pace of change • Particularly organizational/work change • Insatiable electronic media demands (24/7 news, internet) 32

  33. CALIFANO COMMISSION ROLE • PMG Henderson charged the commission to detail concrete steps for the Post Office to make the safest possible environment for all its employees • Conducted the most comprehensive survey ever conducted of workplace violence in our nation 33

  34. CALIFANO COMMISSION ROLE • Bottom Line Conclusions: • “Going Postal” is a myth, a bad rap. Postal workers are no more likely to physically assault, sexually harass, or verbally abuse their co-workers than employees in the national workforce • Postal employees are only one third as likely as those in the national workforce to be victims of homicide at work • The level of violence throughout the American workplace is unacceptably high; in the year before the study was released – 1 in 20 workers was physically assaulted, 1 in 6 was sexually harassed, and 1 in 3 was verbally abused 34

  35. CALIFANO COMMISSION ROLE • Three Highest Industrial Homicide Rates (National Comparison): Retail Stores  Public Administration (including police)  Transportation/Mass Transit 35

  36. CALIFANO COMMISSION ROLE Workplace Homicide Rates By Industry Per 100,000 workers annually, 1992-98 36

  37. CALIFANO COMMISSION ROLE • USPS Workplace Homicides 1986-2005 • Of 30 incidents: • 16 were perpetrated by postal employees • 14 perpetrated by non-postal employees • 55 killed, including 49 postal employees • 34 were murdered by current or former co-workers 37

  38. CALIFANO COMMISSION ROLE • National Workforce Demographics • Risk of Victimization: Highest Risk • Men 3 times more likely than women • Incidence rate rises with age • Higher for those 65 and older • African Americans are twice as likely as Caucasians 38

  39. CALIFANO COMMISSION ROLE • USPS Workplace Homicides 1986-2005 • Of the homicides perpetrated by postal employees 14 out of 16 had: • violent histories • mental illness • substance abuse • and/or criminal convictions 39

  40. CALIFANO COMMISSION ROLE • Comparison to National Workforce • Postal employees scored as:  less angry less aggressive less hostile lessdepressed lessstressed • than those in the national workforce 40

  41. CALIFANO COMMISSION ROLE Anger: USPS vs. national workforce 75% 69% 25% 18% 7% 6% 7% 3% 4% 4% 41

  42. CALIFANO COMMISSION ROLE • Comparison to National Workforce • Postal employees: • have more negative attitudes about work, co-workers, and management • believe they are more likely to be a victim of workplace violence • greatest fears involve other co-workers 42

  43. CALIFANO COMMISSION ROLE • Comparison to National Workforce  Although postal workers are one-third less likely than the national workforce to be victims of violence at work, postal workers express six times morefear of becoming a victim than non-postal employees. 43

  44. CALIFANO COMMISSION ROLE • Comparison to National Workforce Believe likelier than average worker to be victim of co-worker violence 44

  45. CALIFANO COMMISSION ROLE • Comparison to National Workforce • Postal workers are: • Six times more likely to believe they are at greater risk What do you believe may be behind this perception that is not based on actual facts? 45

  46. CALIFANO COMMISSION ROLE • Comparison to National Workforce • Postal workers are: • less likely to agree that their employer takes action to protect them • more likely to say they fear being robbed or attacked • more likely to agree that management tries to provoke employees to violence 46

  47. CALIFANO COMMISSION ROLE • Postal workers are no more likely than those in the national workforce to: • physically assault • sexually harass or • verbally abuse their co-workers 47

  48. CALIFANO COMMISSION ROLE Victimization by coworkers 30% 25% 14% 12% 4% 3% 48

  49. VIOLENCE PREVENTION Workplace violence is now recognized as a specific category of violent crime that calls for distinct responses from employers, law enforcement, and the community. This recognition is relatively recent. Prior to the Edmond shootings, the few research and preventive efforts that existed were focused on particular issues – ………. National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime. (2002). Workplace violence: issues in response. Critical Incident Response Group. FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia. 49

  50. VIOLENCE PREVENTION The first national data on the incidence of workplace homicide was published by NIOSH in 1989. This publication demonstrated on a national basis that homicide was the third leading cause of occupational injury death, exceeded only by motor vehicle crashes and machine related deaths. This document also identified that homicide was the leading cause of injury death for women in the workplace. Prior to this publication, homicide had not been seriously regarded as an occupational health and safety issue. Watson, Eleanor Lynn (2006). Active inaction-symbolic politics, agenda denial or incubation period: twenty years of U.S. workplace violence research and prevention activity, Dissertation, West Virginia University, [On-line Abstract]. 50