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WORKPLACE VIOLENCE Lake Regional Health System Workplace Violence Statistics According to the US Department of Justice the workplace is the most dangerous place to be ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • Lake Regional Health System

Workplace Violence Statistics
  • According to the US Department of Justice the
    workplace is the most dangerous place to be in
    America. The problem is so pervasive that the
    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have classified
    workplace violence as a national epidemic.
  • The National Institute for Occupational Safety
    and Health (NIOSH) defines workplace violence as
    violent acts (including physical assaults and
    threats of assaults) directed toward persons at
    work or on duty.
  • According to the Occupational Health and Safety
    Administration (OSHA), health care and social
    service workers face a significant risk of
    job-related violence. Certain occupations, such
    as taxi cab drivers, police officers, and
    convenience store clerks face a higher risk of
    being murdered at work, while healthcare workers
    are more likely to become victims of non-fatal
    assaults. (NIOSH 2002)

Workplace Violence Statistics
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported
    2,637 non-fatal attacks on hospital workers in
    2008, a rate of 8.3 assaults per 10,000 workers,
    as compared to 2 non-fatal assaults per 10,000
    workers in all private-sector industries.
  • Nurses experience the most assaults, but
    physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners,
    physicians assistants, nurse aides, therapists,
    technicians, home healthcare workers,
    social/welfare workers, and emergency medical
    care personnel are all at risk of violence by
    patients or a patients friends or relatives.
    Psychiatric units are particularly dangerous, as
    are emergency rooms, crises and acute care units,
    and admissions departments.

Workplace Violence Statistics
  • 55 of workplace violence cases
    (employee-to-employee) are due to
    work/personality conflicts, 26 are due to family
    or marital problems, and 19 are due to
    work-related stress.
  • Over 80 of the perpetrators of workplace
    violence are male, usually white and over 30.
    Though news accounts would lead us to believe
    otherwise, only 3 are former employees (20 are
    current employees). Actually, over two-thirds of
    physical and verbal attacks come from strangers
    or customers. This is especially the case for
    male victims. Women are more likely to be
    attacked by someone they know. For example,
    domestic violence spillover is the fastest
    growing category of workplace violence.

Workplace Violence Statistics
  • The profile of potentially violent co-workers
  • Previous history of violence toward the
    vulnerable, e.g. women, children, animals
  • Loner, withdrawn feels nobody listens to
    her/him views change with fear
  • Emotional problems, e.g., substance abuse,
    depression, low self-esteem
  • Career Frustration-either significant tenure on
    the same job or migratory job history
  • Antagonistic relationships with others
  • Some type of obsession, e.g., weapons, other acts
    of violence, romantic/sexual, zealot (political,
    religious, racial), the job itself, neatness and

Workplace Violence Statistics
  • 99 of workplace violence perpetrators exhibit
    observable warning signs (often newly acquired
  • Violent and threatening behavior, hostility,
    approval of the use of violence
  • Strange behavior, e.g., becoming reclusive,
    deteriorating appearance/hygiene, erratic
  • Emotional Problems, e.g., drug/alcohol abuse,
    under unusual stress, depression, inappropriate
    emotional display
  • Performance problems, including problems with
    attendance or tardiness
  • Interpersonal conflicts, e.g., numerous
    conflicts, hyper-sensitivity, resentment
  • At the end of his rope, e.g., indicators of
    impending suicide, has an unspecified plan to
    solve all problems
  • Access to and familiarity with weapons

Workplace Violence Statistics
  • Triggering Events (the last straw, no way out,
    no more options)
  • Being fired, laid off or suspended passed over
    for promotion
  • Disciplinary action, poor performance review,
    criticism from boss or coworkers
  • Bank or court action (e.g., foreclosure,
    restraining order, custody hearing)
  • Benchmark date (e.g., company anniversary,
    chronological age, Hitlers birthday-as was the
    case for Columbine)
  • Failed or spurned romance personal crises (e.g.,
    death in the family, divorce, serious illness)

Risk Factors
  • Risk factors for patient/family/visitor violence
    vary from hospital to hospital depending on
    location, size, and type of care. Common risk
    factors for hospital violence include the
  • Working directly with volatile people, especially
    if they are under the influence of drugs or
    alcohol, or have a history of violence or certain
    psychotic disorders
  • Working when under-staffed-especially during meal
    times and visiting hours
  • Transporting patients
  • Long waits for service
  • Overcrowded, uncomfortable waiting rooms
  • Working alone
  • Inadequate security
  • Lack of staff training for preventing and
    managing crises with potentially volatile
  • Unrestricted movement of the public
  • Poorly lit corridors, rooms, parking lots, and
    other areas

Warning Signs
  • Watch for warning signs that may be associated
    with impending violence
  • Verbally expressed anger and frustration
  • Body language such as threatening gestures
  • Signs of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Presence of a weapon

Responses to Violence
  • Maintain behavior that helps diffuse anger
  • Present a calm, caring attitude
  • Dont match the threats
  • Dont give orders
  • Acknowledge the persons feelings (e.g., "I know
    you are frustrated)
  • Avoid any behavior that may be interpreted as
    aggressive (e,g., moving rapidly, getting too
    close, touching or speaking loudly)

Responses to Violence
  • Be alert
  • Evaluate each situation for potential violence
    when you enter a room or begin to relate to a
    patient or visitor
  • Be vigilant throughout the encounter
  • Dont isolate yourself with a potentially violent
  • Always keep an open path for exiting-dont let
    the potentially violent person stand between you
    and the door

Responses to Violence
  • Take these steps if you cant defuse the
    situation quickly
  • Remove yourself from the situation
  • Call security
  • Report any violent incidents to your manager

The hospitals policy
  • LRHSs Workplace Violence Policy (HR 612-635)
    defines violence as misconduct which undermines
    the integrity of the employment relationship.
    Endangers other employees, guests, and patients.
  • Further, the policy states that no employee
    should be subjected to violent behavior while
    performing his/her job or which interferes with
    his/her work effectiveness.

The hospitals policy
  • According to LRHSs Workplace Violence Policy,
    examples of inappropriate aggressive, and/or
    passive-aggressive behavior include, but not
    limited to
  • Behavior that distracts, interferes with, or
    prevents normal work function or activities,
    including yelling, using profanity or vulgarity,
    verbally abusing others, making unreasonable
    demands for time and attention and/or action, or
    refusing a reasonable request for identification.
  • Behavior that includes physical actions short of
    actual contact/injury, oral or written threats to
    a person or property, whether in person, over the
    phone, or other means of communication, including
    electronic communication.
  • Behavior that includes physical assault, with or
    without weapons, behavior that a reasonable
    person would interpret as being violent, and
    specific threats to inflict physical harm.
  • Behavior that creates incidents that are
    stressful or traumatic that interfere with an
    individuals or group of individuals ability to
    effectively function in their work environment.
    Possessing an unauthorized weapon on hospital
    grounds is grounds for immediate termination.

The hospitals policy
  • Its important to report co-worker behavior that
    causes concern, even if it seems minor.
  • LRHSs Workplace Violence Policy outlines the
    reporting process as follows Any employee who
    feels that he/she has been the victim of or
    observes behavior prohibited in the policy should
    promptly file a complaint with the immediate
    supervisor, Department Head, or the Director of
    Human Resources, or in the event the complaint
    concerns the Director of Human Resources, the
    Chief Executive Officer..

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