Healthcare and Medicine Reference
This chapter discusses workplace violence, a problem that may be seen as
the culmination of the stressors and dissatisfaction workers may feel as a
result of conflict with co-workers and managers, feelings of unfairness in
work assignments and promotions, and a host of problems that fester and
build and may result in deadly violence. Data suggest that workplace vio-
lence, particularly worker to worker violence, is all too common in the
American workplace. The aware manager and HR professional will note
many early signs of worker unhappiness coupled with anger, a combina-
tion that all too often leads to violence. Primary ways of dealing with
violence by organizations and mental health workers are discussed, and
suggested effective treatment is provided both for perpetrators and vic-
tims. Often victims suffer from PTSD, and several treatment approaches
are suggested including exposure and cognitive therapies. Most workplace
violence can be prevented by early intervention and a concern for the
safety of workers but, as in all human behavior, violence may be masked
by other symptoms including withdrawal, silence, and restraint—beha-
viors that may be mistaken for compliance or may so mask the intensity
of emotions that many managers and co-workers claim they had no idea
that a worker was capable of violent behavior. We think denial of aware-
ness of potential for violence is a symptom of the lack of sensitivity to
workers too often associated with the American workplace and needs to
be dealt with by more training and a closer relationship with Employee
Assistance Programs and other mental health services. To help practice
the reader's responses to workplace violence, a case is presented with
questions placing the reader in the position of a manager dealing with an
increasingly angry worker.
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