Reduction in Workplace Violence

In 2008, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Joint Commission, independent of each other, released new standards requiring administrators to provide leadership in addressing issues of workplace violence. Workplace violence is a growing threat for all employees in human services as evidenced by data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that workplace violence was reduced in all sectors of the U.S. except for health care occupations.  (Janocha & Smith, 2010)

The Mandt System has provided the framework for staff training and development to increase workplace safety throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia, in all human service sectors.  Our unique combination of relationally based training, trauma informed services, neuro-sensory integration, and positive behavior support provide orgazations with the most comprehensive program to do more than crisis intervention and anger management.

Hospitals, group homes, public as well as specialized schools, mental health centers, residential treatment centers, and juvenile correction centers which use The Mandt System have all reported significant decreases in injury rates for staff and individuals served. However, workplace violence encompasses far more than just aggression by individuals seved.  The “relational violence” between staff in human service organizations is estimated to cost organizations in the US more than $1.4 billion per year.  (Tunajek, 2007)  The focus of The Mandt System is not just on aggression by service users; it focuses primarily on the aggression between service providers.

As a result, organizations have been able to increase the morale of staff, decrease turnover of staff, and empower staff to be more effective in their teamwork, as teamwork is nothing more than “Relationships in Action.” (The Mandt System, 2010)


Feeling Safe is a pre-requisite to learning.  As The Mandt System® looks to support personnel in creating cultures that promote safety, we understand the process involves more than just physical security -it includes relational, emotional, and psychosocial facets as well.

The Mandt System® was developed on the premise that people learn best when they feel safe, and that the key to successful program implementation is in the relationships formed and maintained in the workplace.  We practiced positive behavior support before we knew it had a name, and have continued to develop innovative procedures to reduce the potential for violence in all human service settings.  Our organization is committed to partnering with organizational personnel in creating cultures and communities that promote safety, and who want to utilize a comprehensive PBIS training program to do more than anger management or crisis prevention. The focus is on reducing, if not eliminating, workplace and school violence by learning how to “support people, not just their behaviors”™.  Affirming the importance positive relationships play in violence reduction, Kauffman (2005), added an intervention component and stated the best way to prevent antisocial behavior is proactive academic and social skills, instructional planning to avoid coercion, power-based struggles, and failure. The Mandt System® certification helps organizations realize these goals by first building healthy relationships between and among all the stakeholders within the culture.

Services are now required to provide more supports with dwindling resources. Budget reductions, staff shortages, and increasing populations of service users, identified as being ‘challenging’ and require costly intervention and support services, are straining already overburdened systems.  Compounding those issues, several significant investigatory studies released since January, 2009 document alarming rates and unacceptable practices of restraint and seclusion abuse in our nation’s schools. Children who were most often victimized were those with disabilities and students exhibiting troubled behavior (USGAO, 2009). In response, and to support services in restoring balance and safe learning/work environments, the Mandt System® has developed and provided research-based and proven effective PBIS training programs for administration, and other service personnel.

The Mandt System®, a positive approach, is based on supporting people not just their behaviors.  Unfortunately, many policies and procedures employ punitive or coercive practices. Zero-tolerance initiatives and compliant or coercive management methods dehumanize individuals, threaten our sense of safety, and incite rebellion and retributive behavior (Brendtro, 2008). We know safety is conveyed through respectful policies and management practices. Building positive and respectful relationships, staff-to-staff and staff-to-service -user, forms the foundation for creating safe and inviting workplace cultures.

As a result of using our program,  thousands of services have been able to:

  • reduce the use of restraint,
  • reduce the number of behavioral referrals,
  • increase time spent in the appropriate environments,
  • increase instructional time and
  • facilitate a more positive, engaging and collaborative educational experience for all.

The Mandt System is more than an aggression management program with information about trauma.  It has fully integrated the concepts of trauma and positive behavior support in all facets of the training.  While The Mandt System is our aggression management training program, it is so much more than that.  Using The Mandt System, the Adolescent Residential Treatment Program at Sheppard-Pratt Health System has been able to reduce aggression related workers compensation costs to zero in 2010, while improving the quality of life of the children and youth we serve.  By focusing on prevention and de-escalation to the extent Mandt teaches, we have been able to help severely traumatized children start on the road to recovery.  

To read the full statement from Louise Hopkins, click here

Louise Hopkins (
Sheppard Pratt, MD)

“The Mandt system far surpassed even our own expectations in reducing our staff dependency on restraints in working with challenging people with developmental disabilities since we started utilizing the Mandt system in mid-year 2004. Our organization has a completely different philosophy in working with challenging situations that the Mandt system has contributed to substantially, that has allowed us to flourish in regards to growth and stability for all those we serve.”

Wayne H. Harvey (
Chief Operations Officer 
Independent Opportunities)

“Thank you for your assistance and allowing me to teach this course to The Lighthouse employees. I have already been getting excellent reviews from my boss and employees. I have also noticed a reduction in restraints and when they do occur they are much safer. We are on our way to meeting our goal of reducing restraints by 50% by next summer. I look forward to re-training in April 2012.


Trent Levins
 Director of Operations
The Lighthouse II, Inc.
P.O. Box 141812
Spokane Valley, WA 99214-1812

“I believe in the Mandt System and I brag about how well it works in our department here at Bexar County Juvenile Detention Center. Thank you, I had a great time in training . . . .”

Randy Barela
 Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department 
600 Mission Road 
San Antonio TX  78210



To learn more about The Mandt System core training foundation, click here