Workplace Violence

Reports such as the Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert on health care settings indicate that workplaces are now confronted with increasing rates of violence and crime.

CPI's Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® and Prepare Training® programs use proven methods to help manage disruptive and aggressive behavior and prevent workplace violence. The program offerings are flexible and can be tailored to meet the needs of any organization. Both types of workplace violence training will help reduce disruptive incidents, prevent workplace violence, lower risk of injury, improve workplace relations, and reduce exposure to liability.

Begin to create a safer work environment and immediately decrease the chance of workplace violence in your organization with these tips.

Seven Tips for Preventing Workplace Violence

1. Assess Your Work Environment
Critically examine all areas of your work environment, including parking lots, entryways, reception areas, work areas, and offices. Is the lighting adequate? Are there convenient escape routes? Do you have a method to summon assistance?

2. Pay Attention to the Warning Signs
Many people who become violent communicate their intentions in advance. Threats from customers, coworkers, or third parties should be reported immediately.

3. Promote Respect
The best way to prevent violence in the workplace is to foster a day-to-day attitude of respect and consideration in your work environment.

4. Eliminate Potential Weapons
Take a mental inventory of objects available in your immediate work area that could be potential weapons. Remove or secure objects that could be thrown.

5. Know Your Violence Response Procedures
Violence Response Procedures are simple plans designed to minimize injury during a violent incident. These procedures should include a plan to summon assistance and move people to a safe area.

6. Trust Your Instincts
Don’t ignore your internal warning system. If you sense impending danger, react accordingly.

7. Use a Team Approach
If you are in a situation in which hostility could occur, use the “buddy system.”

If you're hungry for more information on this topic, check out Combating the Varieties of Violence at Work to learn more about tackling workplace violence.

For a discussion about how a team approach can better manage workplace violence in healthcare, listen to CPI's podcast interview the Deb Fabert and Joe Anderson of the Indiana University Health Center (February 2019). 

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About the Author

“Every individual on this earth deserves to be treated with compassion, understanding, and the right to keep their dignity intact. This can be difficult to honor at times when someone loses control of their behavior, but that’s where Rational Detachment and not taking it personally really kicks in. What has helped me be able to do this well goes back to the first day I was introduced to Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training. I was a participant before becoming a Certified Instructor (and before working for CPI), and over the years I have had so many opportunities to use what I learned way back then. Today, I live the skills automatically. It’s an honor to have been given those skills to live the philosophy of treating others the way I want to be treated.”

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