John Thurman, Counselor, Speaker
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
professional Christian counselor, overcoming depression, Crisis Response Specialist, anxiety, infidelity recovery, affair proof marriages, men's issues,sexual addictions, infidelity,
Workplace Violence Tip Sheet 1
Tips you need to know about Workplace Violence
By John H. Thurman, M.Div., M.A., LCMHC
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It happened again today workplace violence in my town...”three killed four injured...three killed...In the past few years many of us have been exposed to workplace violence stories, either directly or indirectly.
Just what is Workplace Violence?
A physical act, actual violence, or threat of violence toward an institution, its staff members, visitors, guests, or vendor’s representatives. It includes intimidation, harassment, and other inappropriate behavior that threatens or frightens employees. (adapted from OSHA workplace violence fact sheet).
There are three types of WPV (Work Place Violence):
Harassment - which is intended to upset or worry the victim. May not be interpreted in the same way by the perpetrators as the victims, yet its abusive nature must not be tolerated.
Threats - Involve an expression of one’s intention to inflict injury.
Attacks - Physical forms involve assault and the most brutal attack results in homicide.
OSHA also reports that homicide the third leading cause of fatal occupational injuries.
So are their indicators of a workplace aggressor?
Yes, according to various researches there are three broad sources or causes of Violence.
• The individual’s behavior, values and socialization
• The individual’s mental and physical health, low self-esteem
• Habits, substance abuse, Domestic violence & obsessions
Behavioral warning signs
• Previous history of violence
• Loner, withdrawal, emotional problems
• Some type of obsession
Social causes associated with
• Perceives social and emotional inequalities
• Poverty, violence, crime in society
• Social and family disintegration
Profile of the “disgruntled worker” (a summary from The Gift of Fear, Gavin De Becker)
• Male, 25-40
• History of violence (family or other)
• Owns firearms
• Exhibits frequent anger at work
• Employment history shows conflict
• History of marital, family, and relational problems
• Drug or alcohol history
Coping with Threats and Violence ( from the Federal Protective Service U.S. GSA)
For an angry or hostile customer or coworker
• Stay calm. Listen attentively
• Maintain eye contact
• Be courteous. Be patient
• Keep the situation in your control
For a person shouting, swearing, and threatening
• Signal a coworker, or supervisor, that you need help. (Use a duress alarm or a prearranged code words)
• Do not make any calls yourself.
• Have someone call security, or police
For someone threatening you with a gun, knife, or other weapon
• Stay calm. Quietly signal for help. (Use duress alarm system or code words)
• Maintain eye contact.
• Stall for time.
• Keep talking--but follow instructions from the person who has a weapon.
• Do not risk harm to yourself or others
• Never try to grab the weapon.
• Watch for a safe chance to escape to a safe area.
What to do when Violence Explodes (from Surviving Workplace Violence by Loren W. Christensen)
Flee the area - you need two things to flee successfully: opportunity and an avenue of escape. Exception to the opportunity rule...You have an avenue of escape but not an opportunity. Should you run? Yes, because maybe he is a lousy shot. No, because maybe he isn’t. This is a likely dilemma you could face and one you should think about now, while your heart rate is normal and your thinking is clear. So you decide to flee.
• Try to keep object, desks, cabinets, etc-between you and the perpetrator
• Don’t zig zag, just run for your life
• If you can grab something to use as a weapon without slowing down, do it.
• If you can’t get out of the door, go out a window. If you can’t open it, break it.
• Whether you’re running from inside a building to the outside, or your work site to the outside, use trees, vehicles and buildings to block you from the view of the perpetrator as you make your escape.
• Find a safe place and call 911 (see calling 911)
• If you can’t run - hide
If time permits, choose a hiding place that gives you concealment and cover.
Calling the Police
Don’t assume that someone else has called 911. Multiple calls help the police validate the location.
Here is what the police want to know:
• The exact address of the workplace where the incident is occurring
• Description of the perpetrator
• Location of the perpetrator - building, floor, last seen location, direction heading
• Layout of the building.
• Weapon: Officers approach a suspect armed with a knife than one with a firearm. They will want to know what type of firearm; handgun, high-tech rifle. Did you see any evidence of explosives or extra ammunition?
• Who is he?
• How many rounds has he fired?
• Has he harmed others?
• Did you see a vehicle?
• Did he arrive on foot?
• Was he dry even though it’s raining outside?
• Is anyone hurt?
• Where are the injured?
Obey the Police
Remember, the police do not know who you are. When they arrive on an “active shooter” scene their primary mission is to neutralize the threat in order to set a safe perimeter. If the perpetrator is still alive they will probably try to escape with everybody else. If the police tell you to raise your hands and lie down on your stomach, do it without hesitation.
John H. Thurman M.Div., M.A., LCMHC Crisis Response Specialist
320 Osuna NE, Suite H-4
Albuquerque, NM 87107