131 Ch13 Violence in the Workplace - C H A P T E R VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE 13 Major Topics Occupational Safety and Workplace Violence The Relationship

131 Ch13 Violence in the Workplace - C H A P T E R VIOLENCE...

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276 Major Topics Occupational Safety and Workplace Violence: The Relationship Workplace Violence: Definitions Workplace Violence: Cases Size of the Problem Legal Considerations Risk-Reduction Strategies Contributing Social and Cultural Factors OSHA’s Voluntary Guidelines Conflict Resolution and Workplace Violence Do’s and Don’ts for Supervisors Emergency Preparedness Plan America has been hard at work in the past 10 days and here is what happened: A Federal Ex- press pilot took a claw hammer and attacked three others in the cockpit, forcing one of them to put the fully loaded DC-10 cargo plane through a series of violent rolls and nosedives in a melee that brought the whole crew back bleeding. A purchasing manager in suburban Chicago stabbed his boss to death because, police say, they couldn’t agree on how to handle some paperwork. And a technician who quit because he had trouble working for a woman sneaked back inside the fiber optics laboratory, pulled out a 9-mil semiautomatic pistol and started firing at workers, who ducked or fled and curled up in closets and file cabinets. By the time he finished the job, two were dead, two were injured; he walked upstairs to an office and shot himself in the head. 1 Workplace violence has emerged as a critical safety and health issue. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, homicide is the second leading cause of death to American workers, “accounting for 16 percent of the 6,588 fatal work injuries in the United States.” 2 Although more than 80 percent of workplace homicide victims are men, workplace vio- lence is not just a male problem. In fact, workplace homicide is the leading cause of death on the job for women in the United States. Almost 1 million people are injured or killed in workplace-violence incidents every year in the United States, and the number of incidents is on the rise. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, the workplace is the most dangerous place to be in the United States. 3 Clearly, workplace violence is an issue of concern to safety and health professionals. 13 V IOLENCE IN THE W ORKPLACE C H A P T E R OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND WORKPLACE VIOLENCE: THE RELATIONSHIP The prevention of workplace violence is a natural extension of the responsibilities of safety and health professionals. Hazard analysis, records analysis and tracking, trend monitoring, incident analysis, and prevention strategies based on administrative and
Violence in the Workplace 277 engineering controls are all fundamental to both concepts. In addition, emergency re- sponse and employee training are key elements of both. Consequently, occupational safety and health professionals are well suited to add the prevention of workplace vio- lence to their normal duties.

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