Workplace Violence Happens
For reasons that are beyond explaining, violence is present in our world. And sometimes it comes to the workplace. So, to help you remain safe without giving into fear, I want to introduce you to what I call fire extinguisher thinking. Workplace violence is more than a physical assault. Workplace violence is a much more complicated issue. Workplace violence can be one or more behaviors. It is ANY act or behavior where another person is abused, threatened, intimidated or assaulted in his or her place of employment.
Gossip chains, rumors, cursing, verbal abuse, threats, implied threats, teasing, pranks, arguments, property damage, vandalism, sabotage, pushing, theft, physical assaults, psychological trauma, racism, genderism, ethnic jokes, anger-related incidents, sexual innuendo or assault, arson and suicide, and murder are some of the examples of workplace violence.
Education about what workplace violence is and how to manage it, is the key to decreasing risks.
Dan Blasdel, Franklin County, Washington State, Coroner and former president of the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners said, “The key to lowering deaths in the workplace is through education, not only for employees, but also for employers. Employers have to make the workplace safer, and employees have to become more aware of their surrounding and also be more proactive in watching out for co workers.”
Workplace Violence in its raw form is simply a destructive force of energy.
By that definition a tornado is violent as is a gentle wave that washes over and destroys a child’s sand castle. Violence is at its core essentially a form of energy communication that is neutral until it comes in contact with something. Violence is distorted communication that has so much “force and energy” behind it that it can annihilate, demolish, devastate, raze, break, trash, wreck and ruin something else in its way. When a human being is violent, they are indeed communicating something but in a distorted, bizarre or grotesque manner that causes harm. By the time someone has lost the capacity to communicate within reason and escalates or resorts to violence, normal management skills like negotiation and tradition communication strategies are of little value A tornado doesn’t negotiate!
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