The following are seven useful recommendations to help you prevent and resolve conflicts that could emerge within your organization.
Adopt and promote a prevention and reparation policy against harassment.
- Create a prevention policy involving each level of the organization: management, employees and union representatives. For further assistance, feel free to consult the sample policies found on this website.
- Make sure information about the new policy is widely distributed, that all employees know the policy and encourage everyone to make it their own.
- Put a system in place to record all acts of violence by creating, for example, an Event Report Form.
- Set up procedures to handle complaints impartially, confidentially and quickly. These should include measures to prevent any recurrence of harassment and other types of workplace violence. It is critical to ensure that the victim feels safe against retaliation and has the right, if needed, to be represented when interviewed by an independent and qualified investigator. Keep in mind that, in this case, lodging a formal complaint is not always the best solution since it often involves lengthy delays.
- And finally, establish measures to support the victims and the alleged perpetrators.
Establish clear codes of conduct.
- Define and communicate a clear code of conduct like ‘Zero-tolerance’ with respect to moral harassment and other types of workplace violence.
- Make sure all employees know your organization’s code of conduct. These measures should reflect your organization’s commitment to preventing and responding to external acts of violence.
- Try to reduce and even eliminate behaviour that contravenes your code of conduct by exercising dissuasion and enforcing sanctions.
Organize awareness and training sessions.
- Take time to organize and provide access to awareness and training sessions on the prevention of workplace violence.
- Open the necessary lines of communication to achieve your prevention objectives.
Do not allow conflicts to escalate into harassment or acts of violence.
- Monitor the training of work teams. Working in teams highlights interpersonal relations and may give rise to some situations that could cause tension among people.
- Deal with conflicts swiftly, and from the moment they begin. Harassment and violence stem from unresolved conflicts that fester. They can degenerate and turn the workplace into a hostile environment and create negative occurrences that are violent and costly.
Set up effective lines of communication.
- Open effective lines of communication, because aggressors thrive on the silence of victims and witnesses. Communication is a key factor in the well-being of employees.
- Promote communication and regular meetings of your work teams. Strong lines of communication will not only rally employees against violence, they also reduce the risk of workplace violence by defusing tensions and clarifying situations and misunderstandings.
Pay special attention to the quality of relationships among members of a work team.
- Ensure that work is meaningful for each worker.
- Manage work teams to help prevent and resolve violent situations.
Encourage the acceptance of individual differences.
- Communicate the idea that the strength of a team resides in individual differences (We need each other to make a winning team. The “differences” in each team member makes the strength of the team and enhances the team’s performance.)
- Where possible, plan social or training activities that help team members get to know each other and discover each other’s strengths and weaknesses, from a standpoint of openness to such differences and of acceptance of each team member’s willingness to improve interpersonal relations.
via Basic recommendations for preventing violence in the workplace.
An active shooter/ hostile intruder is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area by any means including but not limited to firearms (most frequently used), bladed weapons, vehicles, or any tool that in the circumstance in which it is used constitutes deadly physical force. In most cases, there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Most active shooter situations are unpredictable, evolve quickly, and are over within minutes.
EVACUATE – Run: If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:
- Have an escape route and plan in mind.
- Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
- Leave your belongings behind.
- Help others evacuate, if possible.
- Call 911 when you are safe.
- Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be.
- Keep your hands visible.
- Follow the instructions of any police officers.
- Do not attempt to move wounded people.
SHELTER-IN-PLACE – Hide: If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Your hiding place should:
- Be out of the active shooter’s view.
- Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e. an office with a closed and locked door).
- Not trap you or restrict your options for movement.
- To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:
- Lock the door.
- Blockade the door with heavy furniture.
- If the active shooter is nearby:
- Lock the door.
- Silence your cell phone and/or pager.
- Turn off any source of noise (i.e. radio, television).
- Hide behind large items (i.e. cabinets, desks).
- Remain quiet.
PROTECT YOURSELF – Fight: As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:
- Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her.
- Throwing items and improvising weapons.
- Committing to your actions.
WHEN POLICE ARRIVE
- Put down any items in your hands.
- Keep hands visible.
- Follow all instructions.
- Avoid making quick movements towards officers.
- Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises.
via Emergency: Active Shooter/ Workplace Violence | Emergencies – What to Do?! | Department of Security at Miller School of Medicine.
Workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide. It can affect and involve employees, clients, customers and visitors. Homicide is currently the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries , of the 4,547 fatal workplace injuries that occurred in the United States in 2010, 506 were workplace homicides. Homicide is the leading cause of death for women in the workplace. However it manifests itself, workplace violence is a major concern for employers and employees nationwide.
via Safety and Health Topics | Workplace Violence.
In most workplaces where risk factors can be identified, the risk of assault can be prevented or minimized if employers take appropriate precautions. One of the best protections employers can offer their workers is to establish a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence. This policy should cover all workers, patients, clients, visitors, contractors, and anyone else who may come in contact with company personnel.
By assessing their worksites, employers can identify methods for reducing the likelihood of incidents occurring. OSHA believes that a well written and implemented Workplace Violence Prevention Program, combined with engineering controls, administrative controls and training can reduce the incidence of workplace violence in both the private sector and Federal workplaces.
This can be a separate workplace violence prevention program or can be incorporated into an injury and illness prevention program, employee handbook, or manual of standard operating procedures. It is critical to ensure that all workers know the policy and understand that all claims of workplace violence will be investigated and remedied promptly. In addition, OSHA encourages employers to develop additional methods as necessary to protect employees in high risk industries.
via Safety and Health Topics | Workplace Violence.
Is your facility at risk for an outburst of workplace violence? The only way to know is to talk to employees.
via Workplace Violence and Communication | Safety content from EHS Today.