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Transcript of WORKPLACE VIOLENCE
What is a Workplace?
According to the OHSA, any land, location or thing near which a worker works.
Offices, construction sites, malls, school, factories are usually accepted as the main workplaces.
Others include transportation systems, clients' homes for sales agents, off-site meeting places.
What is Workplace Violence?
Workplace is an Occupation Health and Safety Hazard. According to the Occupation Health and Safety Act,
"the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker; OR
a statement or behavior that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace".
TYPE II: Customer/client -
violence committed by clients or customers of the organization.
Risk Factors For Workplace Violence
Policies and Programs
Clip on Workplace Bullying
TYPE I: Criminal Intent -
violence committed by someone with no legitimate relationship to the organizations, often while committing another criminal act.
Source: Gned-126: OHS P.199
TYPE IV: Personal Relationship -
violence committed by a perpetrator who has a personal relationship with the intended victim at work.
TYPE III: Worker-on-Worker -
violence committed by coworkers, other past or present employees of the organization.
Why do you need to care about Violence and Harassment in the Workplace?
It is important to be aware about the violence conducted in the line of duty, due to the millions of workers who are victims of workplace violence every year.
On a daily basis, customers, clients, patients,students, workers, intimate partners, family members may hurt, threaten, harass workers or become targeted on the job.
Negative behaviors lead to negative effects on personal well-being of workers and their interpersonal relationships, both within and outside the workplace.
How Prevalent Is Workplace Violence?
1 of 5 violent incidents in Canada occurs at work.
Statistics Canada, 2007.
"Women are especially at high risk of experiencing violence at work because majority of women are concentrated in high-risk occupations like teaching, social work, nursing, banking and retail..."
Source: International Labour Organization
24 % of workplace violence incidents were sexual assaults. 93 % of victims of sexual offenses in Canada were female.
Statistics Canada, 2007.
Type I Violence
Usually associated with criminal activity, workplace assault or homicide.
I.e. robbing of a convenience store where the store owner is held at gun-point, threatened or killed at work.
Type II Violence
Type III Violence
Referred to as "Client - perpetrated violence"
Perpetrated by "insiders" of the workplace
Type IV Violence
i.e. A patient assaulting a health care worker or registered nurse at a senior home or hospital
I.e. Usually amongst co-workers or former employees with a grudge or unfinished business
Domestic violence from home can cause disruption in the workplace when an abuser attempts to assault or injure innocent victims at work.
For example, a man getting a divorce can put his anger at women in his workplace and behave disrespectfully.
Unfortunately, certain types of workplaces have a
higher risk of workplace violence
, especially when dealing with the public.
Health care and community care
Police, security, corrections
EFFECTS OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE
Having Direct Contact with Clients
Workers who deal directly with clients to product service or products in a fixed location
Retail stores, gas stations, office environments, health care facilities, factories, etc...
Any workers who handle cash such as a cashier, or clerks making cash deposits, are at higher risks of workplace violence, especially from a robber
Working Alone or in Small Numbers
Employees who work alone or with a few other co-workers have risk
I.e. Small convenience store robberies
Working with unstable or volatile people
Workers who provide services or products to people with psychological, physiological, psychiatric conditions, or substance abuse issues.
For instance, caregivers, police officers, social workers
Working in a community-based setting
Workers who work within communities and provide services for residences, houses
I.e. repair service, real estate
agents, sales people
Working in high crime areas
Workers who perform service in high crime area are at higher risk.
I.e. Criminal investigators, FBI agents, police force
Transporting people or goods
Workers who transport people, in taxis, buses, streetcars, subway or lorries that transport goods
Employees who work around valuable products are at increased risk of violence, since the criminal activity is greater.
I.e. workers who hold alcohol, cigarettes, weapons, money, drugs
Means the short-term risk of violence happening in a current situation
is grounded in the
a model that identifies the escalation phase of violence from aggression to physical attack.
Under OHSA, Internal Responsibility System (IRS) is an organization that ensures that everyone in the workplace, from chief officer to supervisor to workers, has a responsibility workplace health and safety appropriate to the role and authority within the organization . IRS is supported by a partnership of every individual in the workplace.
A Policy Statement
Clearly identifies violent & aggressive behavior as unacceptable at work. Should be posted in the workplace and apply both to employees and members of the public.
Considers the workplace history of violence and aggression, nature of tasks performed in the workplace and things that may temporarily or permanently change these risks .
Risk Mitigation strategies designed to reduce or mitigate the risks identified in the risk assessment
Training for both employees and managers in recognizing and managing risks and applying the policy
Emergency Response Plan -
dealing with violent incidents in progress and aftermath. Plan should have provisions for escape/evacuation, for calling security/police forces, for treating physical injuries.
Follow - Up Procedures
To ensure victims receive physical and psychological treatment, that risks are reassessed following an incident, that all incidents are documented and reported to authorities and all aspects of the workplace violence management plan are current and effective.
Workplace incidents that are reported in the media are merely showing the tip of the iceberg.
If the root causes of these violent incidents at work were analyzed deeper, of how it originated and what the causes were that triggered the violent nature of an act, people could be more aware that workplace violence is a significant public health and safety issue and acknowledge the consequences of its existence.
Type I - Preventing Criminal Intent
Most workplace homicide occur due to robberies. Preventing robberies can reduce the number of workplace homicides greatly. Prevention and robbery reduction strategies must be appropriate and customized depending on various work sites.
I. Target Hardening
strategies focus on physical designs to make it difficult to assault employees.
I.e. Protective screens for taxi drivers. In retail environments, speed bumps in parking lots, revolving doors, distances between cash register and exit. Installing high, wide counters to prevent robbers from jumping over.
a another form of target hardening. Focuses on general safety precation and behavior during a robbery or threatened assault. How to behave to be in control of a situation and avoid injury. Staff could be told to activate the silent alarm. Do not confront shoplifters.
Three principles for robbery reducing tactics:
I. Increased Visibility
- For example, taxi drivers can installed external emergency lights, GPSs to allow the location of driver in distress, in-car surveillance cameras to identify perpetrators.
In commercial establishments, enforcing work alone procedures by having two employees working in store at night, having employee separated from public by a locked barrier/door.
II. Reducing rewards
- Offenders are constantly seeking benefits from their acts. By concealing targets, registering property identification.
Type II - Preventing violence by Customer/Client
Common victims of nonfatal workplace violence are usually service providers.
Two approaches to prevent Type II violence:
- Having security devices to reduce employee risk like metal detectors, panic buttons, surveillance cameras, bullet-resistant glass surrounding reception areas, effective lighting, curved mirrors at hallway intersections. Security personnel like card- controlled entrances and security checks for identification to limit public access to restricted areas.
- organizations should develop policies and practices to prevent aggression. Written policies of what is inappropriate behavior in the workplace should be documented so patients, visitors, employees are informed. Policies should allow reporting of violence by management. Workplaces must establish detailed plans for dealing with violent acts or people.
I.e. Having a police escort or coworker if a worker feels their personal safety is at risk especially at nighttime.
Type III - Preventing violence committed by Coworker(s)
Although it is uncommon, being hurt by a coworker does happen in or out of the workplace. Coworkers do not "act" aggressively but mostly
"react" to certain situations in an aggressive way
, I.e. getting fired.
Improving interpersonal relationships in the workplace eliminates discomfort between coworkers, so everyone can do their job at ease and peace.
Type IV - Preventing violence from home or family
Intimate partner violence towards a victim is caused by either a spouse, individual with a personal relationship with victim and not a member of the company.
To prevent intimate partner violence, an open approach would be for managers and decision makers to be aware of certain forms of domestic violence.
Organizations should be aware of resources like Employee Assistance Programs, for employees undergoing violence & trouble at home.
In Ontario, the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) helps employers assess workplace violence risks and provide policies and programs to aid companies.
Depending on the type of duty in line, workers are to be informed by their employers through useful means such as Assessment, Domestic Violence, Communication, Work Refusal and Enforcement.
A major type of workplace harassment, would be sexual harassment
The Labour Code point to two types of sexual harassment:
- attempt to extort sexual cooperation. Taking in the form of job related threats like loss of promotion or job or informs victim the promise of job related rewards, like raises and promotions.
- sexual harassment that happens without any extortion. Such as insulting, pervasive sex-related verbal or physical conduct, to life threats or attacks. The most prevalent type.
Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits job related rewards in exchange for sexual favors by a person in authority, and bans job related punishments by authority.
Source: Canadian Review of Sociology & Anthropology
Workplace violence affects businesses and employees unfavorably. It is important to have a widespread understanding about the impact of a public health issue like workplace violence, in order to reduce the human and financial burden it produces.
Our aim should come to be a more proactive society, then to remain a reactive one .
Presentation By: Group 3
(Nirmalee, Mathulan, Habibe, Yves)
Reduced employee productivity
Loss of focus, which can also lead to increased risk of injury
Replacement, recruitment, and training costs
if victims are injured or dismissed for
Decreased worker morale
Strained co-worker relations
Potential harm to employees, co-workers, and/or clients
when a violent abuser enters the workplace
Increase of workers' lost time from work
Increase of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board costs
Medical and health care expenses
Worker getting harassed by coworkers
Crime Scene Investigations or murder attract media attention
Various acts of violence, aggression and harassment happen in the workplace which include physical, verbal or written acts of conduct like attack, assault, threat, emotional & physical abuse, sexual harassment, incivility, bullying & etc...