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WORKPLACE VIOLENCE TODAY Inside Workplace Violence Article: October 2012

Bystander Intervention: Part 3 Patricia D. Biles, Executive Director, Alliance Against Workplace Violence (AAWPV)

This is my final article on the topic of Bystander Intervention. As a recap, I would like to emphasize that Bystander Intervention is a concept that encourages persons who witness inappropriate behavior in the workplace to become involved and try to intervene in some manner. In other words, “if you see some- thing, say (or do) something.”

As I stated before, I’m not encouraging anyone to risk their lives or endanger themselves unless that is what they choose to do. I have given several examples of persons who did put themselves at risk of danger and were successful in preventing or minimizing the violence that was being inflicted upon others. Some people, such as Nissim Rubin who tried to stop the gunman William Herskowitz in Israel recently, were unsuccessful in their efforts to stop the gunman from killing someone, but may have minimized the damage to others.

All of us certainly remember the brave souls who sacrificed their lives in the plane crash in Pennsylvania on 9/11, but they prevented the plane from crashing into another building by confronting the terrorists. I am proposing Bystander Intervention in ways that are not so heroic. I’m advocating that we start in small ways.

Members of the community have a valuable role to play inside and outside of the workplace. We need to promote community education and foster coalitions and networks to prevent violence in all sectors. Grassroots, community-based organizations, sectors of government (including social services, health, public health, law enforcement and education), as well as the business sector can work together in partnership to foster solutions that benefits us all.

To read more, click here *The above image is from NIOSH publication: Violence on the Job,

HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY NEWS Managing Disruptive Behavior and Workplace Violence in Healthcare

Multiple studies show healthcare workers are regularly subjected to minor as well as major verbal and physical abuse from patients, visitors, and other staff. Many incidents go unreported and the number of reported cases is on the rise. Compared to other working environments, hospitals and adult care facilities are dangerous places to work. There is continual need to proactively address the concerns for administrators and to consider the implementation of programs designed to protect medical and security staff, patients, visitors, and facilities. The problem of violence is so prevalent the Joint Commission (TJC) has issued two sentinel event alerts relating to violence. A sentinel event alert identifies specific events of concern determined through data collected by TJC. The alert describes common underlying causes and suggests steps to prevent future occurrences. Alerts are published to assist healthcare facilities in designing or reevaluating relevant processes to mitigate potential risks outlined within the alert.

To read more, click here Avoid the Active Shooter Trap: Hospital Edition

A report released from Johns Hopkins claims that hospital gun violence is rare and difficult to predict. Although this conclusion may be correct, it doesn’t tell the whole story because the research doesn’t cover violence and other emergencies that don’t involve firearms. Just because hospitals don’t experience many active shooter incidents doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem with healthcare facility violence. We must not allow the Johns Hopkins study to lull us into a false sense of security. Safe Havens International Executive Director Mike Dorn, advises K-12 schools to not put all of their energies toward preventing or responding to active shoot- ers at the expense of dealing with other risks that are more likely to occur, and this advice applies to hospitals as well.

To read more, click here

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