Posted by SAM Training on August 17th, 2011
Roland: There is a considerable amount of observation, analysis, publishing and training taking place around workplace violence. Although most of the information below is not new on the topic, I thought the FBI report that was published in the first quarter of this year had an interesting table describing the various “buckets” of workplace violence.
Behaviors of concern can help workers recognize potential problems with fellow employees. If a co-worker begins acting differently, determining the frequency, duration, and intensity of the new, and possibly troubling, behavior can prove helpful. Specific behaviors of concern that should increase vigilance for co-workers and supervisors include sadness, depression, threats, menacing or erratic behavior, aggressive outbursts, references to weaponry, verbal abuse, inability to handle criticism, hypersensitivity to perceived slights, and offensive commentary or jokes referring to violence.
Offender has no relationship with the victim or workplace establishment. In these incidents, the motive most often is robbery or another type of crime.
Offender currently receives services from the workplace, often as a customer, client, patient, student, or other type of consumer.
Offender is either a current or former employee who is acting out toward co-workers, managers, or supervisors.
Offender is not employed at the workplace, but has a personal relationship with an employee. Often, these incidents are due to domestic disagreements between an employee and the offender.
Roland: One thread that is consistent with respect to workplace violence is training. When workplace violence happens to you, how are you going to REACT? If you have received no training, you will end up in a state of denial and be unable to react. If you have been trained, you will see choices and opportunities to help eliminate or mitigate the situation. Below is the FBI’s views on training.
The disparities in responses between those who have and those who have not been trained to deal with these types of stressful situations. Both groups initially react by being startled and experiencing fear. Then, they begin to diverge: the untrained panic, whereas the trained experience controllable anxiety. From that point on, the trained group members begin to recall what they should do next, prepare, and act. The untrained, however, experience disbelief that eventually leads to denial and, ultimately, helplessness. Knowing how differently the groups will react based solely on training underscores the importance of advanced preparation.