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Employers’ responsibility to prevent, manage and mitigate the consequences of workplace violence is a major issue for all corporations and human resource professionals today. Creating a dialogue and examining legal issues and practical challenges in preventing and mitigating the risks of workplace violence is a topic of monumental concern worldwide to all clients and customers. How can the Mandt System help?

While not insurmountable , with careful implementation and execution discussed in the Mandt System training, The Mandt System illustrates it is possible to create a safe environment for the employee/provider as well as for the client/patient. This is all accomplished through healthy workplace relationships. The Mandt System concentrates on fostering an environment, which allows all to thrive while maintaining the utmost dignity and safety while in the work place. Maintaining dignity while de-escalating conflict, as our trainers should recall, is a hallmark of the Mandt System and the very foundation of which our company was created upon.

While these techniques are appropriate in certain circumstances; they should not replace emergency action when needed, i.e. notifying police or organizational security elements. The number one priority should be safety of the employer or client being threatened. All organizations should have violence in the work place prevention policy, which address threatening and/bullying behavior.

Why is the aforementioned so critical to employers? Besides the obvious risk of safety to the company’s most important resource, their employees, there is the ever-present risk of liability and mitigating such risk. Acts of violence in the workplace, harassment, and threatening behavior can all result in a myriad of legal actions against employers. The cost of defending such a case can be several hundred thousand dollars in lawyers’ fees alone. With monetary awards on the rise, having a sound prevention of violence in the workplace policy in place is the most compelling action any company can take to mitigate such risk.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines workplace violence as any physical assault, threatening behavior or verbal abuse that occurs in the work setting. Acts such as psychological trauma due to threats, obscene phone calls, an intimidating presence and harassment of any kind are included. Workplace violence may include acts that result in damage to organization resources or capabilities. Many employers also consider workplace harassment and bullying to be forms of workplace violence. Additionally, domestic violence that spills over into the workplace in the form of assaults, threats or other actions by outside parties with whom employees have relationships and that occur at the workplace are issues that must be addressed in any organizational policy. Visit the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for more information on classifications and categories, which are too lengthy for this blog’s purposes. DMA offers the below tips to address workplace violence in today’s diverse and varied workplace cultures:

• Institute and review company policies
• Train supervisors to avoid negligent hiring
• Train staff in conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques.
• Offer an emergency action plan (EAP), and educate the employees regarding its services.
• Communicate the EAP to all personnel and related agencies.
• Practice the EAP
• Appoint a public information representative for the company to act as the point person for dissemination of polices and practices.
• Train all employees in CPR and first aid.
• Locate and have available blueprints of the facility

Sally L. Phipps – Mandt Faculty Member

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