About

Policy 1430 – Violence Free Workplace Policy

Revision Date: 8/21/2002

Responsible Office: Department of Human Resources

Reference: University of Louisiana System, Policy M-11, Board Rule Chapter 3, Section XIX


Table of Contents


1.0 INTRODUCTION

Employees are the State’s most valuable resource and their safety and security are essential to carrying out their responsibilities. Every employee has a reasonable expectation to perform his/her assigned duties in an atmosphere free of threats and assaults.

  • 1.2 Recognizing the increasing incidence of violence in the workplace, the Governor of the State of Louisiana issued an executive order committing the Governor and the State of Louisiana to work toward a violence-free workplace for state employees.

  • 1.3 Louisiana Tech University fully supports this effort and is committed to a violence-free workplace.

2.0 PURPOSE

The purposes of this plan are to:

  • 2.1 direct implementation of effective security measures and administrative work practices to minimize exposure to conditions that could result in harm to state workers;

  • 2.2 promote a positive, respectful, and safe work environment that fosters employees’ security, safety, and health, and

  • 2.3 require ongoing analysis of the workforce and each work site for hazard prevention and control.

3.0 DEFINITIONS

  • 3.1 Assault is an attempt to commit a battery or the intentional placing of another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery. (Example: I may have a stick raised and know that I have no intention of striking you, but based on the circumstances, you have a reasonable apprehension that I plan to strike you.)

  • 3.2 Battery is the intentional use of force or violence upon another or the intentional administration of a poison or other noxious liquid or substance to another.

  • 3.3 A credible threat is a statement or action that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the safety of him/herself or that of another person and does, in fact, cause such fear.

  • 3.4 The possession of firearms on the Louisiana Tech campus are governed by the Firearm Free Zone Law (RS 14:95.2 and RS 14:95.6.) These laws make it illegal to possess a firearm on a university campus or within 1000 feet of a campus with some exceptions.

  • 3.5 Intentional refers to conduct when the circumstances indicate that the offender, in the ordinary course of human experience, must have considered the criminal consequences as reasonably certain to result from his act or failure to act.

  • 3.6 Violence is the commission of an assault or battery or the making of a credible threat.

  • 3.7 The workplace is any site where an employee is placed for the purpose of completing job assignments.

  • 3.8 Workplace violence is the act or threatened act of physical and/or verbal force being used in a harmful or destructive manner in an employment setting.

4.0 VIOLENCE FREE WORKPLACE ORGANIZATION

  • 4.1 The Violence Free Workplace Committee will be notified immediately in the event of an incident of violence in order to determine the scope and extent of the threat.

  • 4.2 Violence Free Workplace Committee Members

    • Director of Human Resources (Chairman)

    • Director of Environmental Safety

    • Chief of University Police

    • Faculty Representative

    • Counselor

    • Civil Service Representative

5.0 MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES

Louisiana Tech University shall comply with Federal and State statutes, rules, regulations, and/or guidelines in making reasonable efforts to:

  • 5.1 hire, train, supervise, and discipline employees;

  • 5.2 intervene in situations of harassment in the workplace where the employer is aware of the harassment;

  • 5.3 ensure employees and/or independent contractors are fit for duty and do not pose unnecessary risks to others;

  • 5.4 provide security precautions and other measures to minimize the risk of foreseeable criminal intrusion based upon prior experience or location in a dangerous area;

  • 5.5 maintain an adequate level of security;

  • 5.6 establish and implement a written policy and plan dealing with violence in the workplace;

  • 5.7 provide employee training for the agency plan, how to recognize warning signs of potential for violent behavior, and precautions which may enhance the personal safety of the employee at work;

  • 5.8 warn an employee of a credible threat made by another to do harm to that employee;

  • 5.9 support the application of sanctions and/or prosecution of offenders, as appropriate;

  • 5.10 accommodate, after appropriate evaluation, employees who require special assistance following incident(s) of workplace violence;

  • 5.11 cooperate with law enforcement agencies;

  • 5.12 establish a uniform violence reporting system with regular review of submitted reports;

  • 5.13 initiate procedures to protect from retaliation employees who report credible threats; and

  • 5.14 keep up-to-date records to evaluate the effectiveness of administrative and work practice changes initiated to prevent workplace violence.

6.0 MANAGEMENT COMMITMENT

  • 6.1 At Louisiana Tech University, management commitment, including the endorsement and visible involvement of top levels of supervision, provides the motivation and resources to deal effectively with workplace violence and includes:

    • 6.1.1 organizational concern for employee emotional and physical safety and health;

    • 6.1.2 commitment to the safety and security of all persons at the workplace;

    • 6.1.3 assigned responsibility for the various aspects of the workplace violence prevention program to ensure that all supervisors and employees understand their roles and responsibilities;

    • 6.1.4 allocation of authority and resources to all responsible parties;

    • 6.1.5 accountability for involved supervisors and employees;

    • 6.1.6 debriefing/counseling for employees experiencing or witnessing assaults and other violent incidents;

    • 6.1.7 support and implementation of appropriate recommendations from violence prevention committees; and

    • 6.1.8 treatment of workplace violence, incidents, complaints and concerns with seriousness, keeping confidential all reports and the identification of parties, except to those who have a legitimate need to know and to the extent required by law.

    • 6.1.9 This plan will be maintained and updated through and by the Violence Free Workplace Committee and will be housed in the Louisiana Tech University Department of Human Resources. Any questions should be directed to either the Director of Human Resources (Ext. 2235) or the Director of Environmental Safety (Ext. 2120).

7.0 EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITIES

At Louisiana Tech University:

  • 7.1 Employees are required to report to the Violence Free Workplace Committee/University Police all threats or incidents of violent behavior in the workplace which they observe or of which they are informed. Examples of inappropriate behavior which shall be reported include:

    • 7.1.1 unwelcome name-calling, obscene language, and other abusive behavior;
    • 7.1.2 intimidation through direct or veiled verbal threats;
    • 7.1.3 physically touching another employee in an intimidating, malicious, or sexually harassing manner, including such acts as hitting, slapping, poking, kicking, pinching, grabbing, and pushing; and
    • 7.1.4 physically intimidating others including such acts as obscene gestures, “getting in your face,” fist-shaking, and throwing any object.
  • 7.2 Employees’ involvement and feedback enable workers to develop and express their own commitment to safety and security and provide useful information to design, implement, and evaluate the program. At Louisiana Tech University, employee involvement includes, but is not limited to:

    • 7.2.1 understanding and complying with the workplace violence prevention program and other safety and security measures;

    • 7.2.2 participating in employee complaint or suggestion procedures covering safety and security concerns;

    • 7.2.3 providing prompt and accurate reporting of violent incidents;

    • 7.2.4 cooperating with the safety and security committee that reviews violent incidents and security problems and makes security inspections; and

    • 7.2.5 participating in continuing education covering techniques to recognize and abate escalating agitation, assaultive behavior, or criminal intent.

8.0 NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES (HOW TO REPORT AN INCIDENT OR THEFT)

  • 8.1 The following procedures are established to report any incident(s) of violence:

    • 8.1.1 once an incident of violence or threat of violence occurs, the employee shall IMMEDIATELY CALL:

      UNIVERSITY POLICE – NUMBER 4018

    • 8.1.2 University Police, once the situation is under control and there is no immediate threat to life, will contact the Chairman of the Violence Free Workplace Committee.

    • 8.1.3 The Violence Free Workplace Committee may evaluate the situation, depending on the severity of the incident, and decide the appropriate response or course of action.

9.0 WORKPLACE ANALYSIS

  • 9.1 The process of workplace analysis involves a step-by-step, common-sense look at the workplace to find existing or potential hazards for the occurrence of workplace violence. The workplace analysis entails reviewing specific procedures or operations that contribute to hazards and specific locations where hazards may develop. The workplace analysis program includes, but is not limited to:9.2 At Louisiana Tech University, the responsibility for conducting and maintaining workplace analyses is assigned to the Violence Free Workplace Committee.

    • 9.1.1 analyzing and tracking records;

    • 9.1.2 monitoring trends;

    • 9.1.3 analyzing incidents; and

    • 9.1.4 analyzing workplace security.

  • 9.3 Ongoing workplace analysis for Louisiana Tech University shall be performed by the Violence Free Workplace Committee on a periodic basis.

  • 9.4 Additional information concerning the performance of a workplace analysis can be found in Attachment 1, “Workplace Analysis.”

10.0 HAZARD PREVENTION AND CONTROL

  • 10.1 After the completed workplace analysis is reviewed and approved, workplace adaptations, engineering controls, administrative controls, and work practice controls shall be implemented by Louisiana Tech University to prevent or control to the extent possible any discovered hazards. If workplace violence does occur, the post-incident response and evaluation section of this policy (Section 11.0) shall be implemented.
  • 10.2 Engineering controls and workplace adaptations remove the hazard from the workplace or create a barrier between the worker and the hazard. Examples of engineering controls and workplace adaptations can be found in Attachment 2, “Hazard prevention and Control.”
  • 10.3 Administrative and work practice controls affect the way jobs or tasks are performed and ultimately affect the security of the workplace. Examples of administrative and work practice controls can be found in Attachment 2.
  • 10.4 At Louisiana Tech University, the responsibility for hazard prevention and control is assigned to the Environmental Safety Officer.

11.0 INCIDENT RESPONSE AND EVALUATION

  • 11.1 Assistance for victimized employees and employees who may be affected by witnessing a workplace violence incident will be provided. Whenever an incident takes place, injured employees will receive appropriate medical treatment and psychological evaluation as necessary in accordance with existing statutes. At Louisiana Tech University this assistance is provided through the Violence Free Workplace Committee.

  • 11.2 An employee who has been threatened or assaulted by another in the workplace will immediately notify the University Police and their immediate supervisor. The University Police will then notify the chairman of the Violence Free Workplace Committee.

  • 11.3 Written statements shall be obtained from all involved, including those who witnessed the incident. A statement form which may be used is found in Attachment 3, “Violence Incident Statement.” The form is designed to answer all pertinent questions about the incident while the event is still current with those involved in the matter. After written statements are obtained, the University Police and/or the Violence Free Workplace Committee shall interview all parties to the incident, including victims, subjects and witnesses, and prepare written summaries of the interviews. The summaries shall be the basis in order to determine the facts of the event.

  • 11.4 The following actions should be taken in accordance with the severity of the incident:

    • 11.4.1 The situation is not dangerous:
      *separate employees involved and isolate until they are interviewed and their statements are taken;
      *separate witnesses until they are interviewed and their statements are taken; and
      *document all actions and statements.

    • 11.4.2 The situation is dangerous:
      *contact University Police at ext. 4018
      *order all those presenting the danger to leave the facility immediately (unless this action must be taken by University Police);
      *do not attempt to physically remove an individual (leave it to the police); and
      *document all actions and statements.

  • 11.5 Additional information concerning post incident response and evaluation can be found in Attachment 4, “Incident Response.”

12.0 RECORDS

  • 12.1 Records associated with violence in the workplace need to be kept in a permanent, secure, and confidential manner. It shall be the responsibility of the Department of Human Resources and the Violence Free Workplace Committee to help evaluate security, methods of hazard control, and identify training needs. The following records are important and shall be maintained in accordance with pertinent statutes as part of the violence prevention program:
    • 12.1.1 reports of work injury, including worker’s compensation injuries, if necessary;
    • 12.1.2 report for each reported assault, incidents of abuse, verbal attack, or aggressive behavior occurring between persons in the workplace;
    • 12.1.3 police reports of incidents occurring in the workplace;
    • 12.1.4 minutes of safety meetings, records of hazards’ analysis, and corrective actions recommended;
    • 12.1.5 violence in the workplace training, including subjects covered, attendees, and qualifications of trainers, and
    • 12.1.6 other appropriate reports.

13.0 EVALUATION

  • 13.1 Regular evaluation of safety and security measures affecting the violence prevention program shall be conducted at least annually. At Louisiana Tech University, this evaluation shall be the responsibility of the Violence Free Workplace Committee.
  • 13.2 The evaluation program consists of
    • 13.2.1 reviewing reports and minutes from staff meetings on safety and security issues;
    • 13.2.2 analyzing trends in illness/injury of fatalities caused by violence;
    • 13.2.3 measuring improvement based on lowering the frequency and severity of workplace violence;
    • 13.2.4 surveying employees before and after making job or workplace changes or installing security measures or new systems to determine their effectiveness;
    • 13.2.5 requesting periodic outside review of the workplace for recommendations on improving employee safety; and
    • 13.2.6 interviewing employees who experience hostile situations about the medical treatment received (initial and subsequent treatment).

14.0 COMMUNICATION

  • 14.1 Louisiana Tech University recognizes that to maintain a safe, healthy, and secure workplace, we must have open communication among employees, including all levels of supervision on these issues. The open communication process includes, but is not limited to:

    • 14.1.1 periodic review of this policy with all employees;

    • 14.1.2 discussions of violence in the workplace during scheduled safety meetings;

    • 14.1.3 posting or distributing information on violence in the workplace; and

    • 14.1.4 procedures to inform supervisors about violence in the workplace, hazards, or threats of violence.

  • 14.2 The Violence Free Workplace Committee/Department of Human Resources shall provide an appropriate place for employees to discuss security concerns with assurance that confidentiality will be maintained.

15.0 TRAINING AND EDUCATION

  • 15.1 At Louisiana Tech University,

    • 15.1.1 all employees, including all levels of supervision, shall have training and instruction on general, job-specific, and work site-specific safety and security practices;

    • 15.1.2 training and instruction shall be provided within one year of policy implementation and annually thereafter; and

    • 15.1.3 training shall begin with orientation of new employees within three months of employment and annually thereafter.

  • 15.2 At Louisiana Tech University, workplace violence training shall be the responsibility of the Violence Free Workplace Committee, Department of Human Resources, the University Police, and the Environmental Safety Office.

  • 15.3 General violence in the workplace training and instruction address, but are not limited to, the following areas:

    • 15.3.1 explanation of the violence in the workplace policy as established by Louisiana Tech University;

    • 15.3.2 measures for reporting any violent acts or threats of violence;

    • 15.3.3 recognition of hazards including associated risk factors;

    • 15.3.4 measures to prevent workplace violence, including procedures for reporting workplace hazards or threats to appropriate supervision;

    • 15.3.5 ways to defuse hostile or threatening situations;

    • 15.3.6 measures to summon others for assistance;

    • 15.3.7 routes of escape available to employees;

    • 15.3.8 procedures for notification of law enforcement authorities when a criminal act may have occurred;

    • 15.3.9 procedures for obtaining emergency medical care in the event of a violent act upon an employee; and

    • 15.3.10 information on securing post-event trauma counseling for those employees desiring or needing such assistance.

16.0 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONCERNING WORKPLACE VIOLENCE