Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
Among those with higher risk are workers who exchange money with
the public, delivery drivers, healthcare professionals, public service work-
ers, customer service agents, law enforcement personnel, and those who
work alone or in small groups.
The following indicators of potential for workplace violence by co-
workers have been identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's
National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, Profiling and
Behavioral Assessment Unit, in its analysis of past incidents of workplace
violence ( Romano, Levi-Minzi, Rugala, and Van Hasselt, 2011 ):
￿ Direct or veiled threats of harm to others in the workplace.
￿ Intimidating, belligerent, harassing, bullying, or other inappropriate
and aggressive behavior.
￿ Numerous conflicts with supervisors and other employees.
￿ Bringing a weapon to the workplace, brandishing a weapon in the
workplace, making inappropriate references to guns, or fascination
with weapons.
￿ Statements showing fascination with incidents of workplace violence,
statements indicating approval of the use of violence to resolve a prob-
lem, or statements indicating identification with perpetrators of work-
place homicides.
￿ Statements indicating desperation (over family, financial, and other
personal problems) to the point of contemplating suicide.
￿ Drug and/or alcohol abuse.
￿ Very erratic behavior with serious mood swings.
Each of these behaviors is a clear sign that something is wrong, and none
should be ignored. Some behaviors require immediate police or security
involvement whereas others constitute misconduct and require disciplinary
action or an immediate referral to an employee assistance program. It is
not advisable to rely on “profiles” or “early warning signs” to predict
violent behavior. “Profiles” often suggest that people with certain character-
istics, such as “loners” or “men in their forties,” are potentially violent.
Stereotyping of this kind will not help predict violence and may lead to
unfair and destructive treatment of employees. The same must be said of the
use of “early warning signs” such as assuming that anyone in therapy or those
experiencing marital difficulties may be at risk of workplace violence. Most
of us experience emotional turmoil, but very few of us become violent.
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