Human Resources Management Policy

ZERO TOLERANCE TO WORKPLACE VIOLENCE

Policy 40

 

NOTE: THIS POLICY, LIKE ALL OTHER MUSC HUMAN RESOURCES POLICIES, IS NOT A CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS SUCH. THIS POLICY MAY BE CHANGED AT ANY TIME BY THE MEDICAL UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA.

  1. Policy

  2. The Medical University of South Carolina is committed to creating and maintaining a working, learning, and patient care environment, which is free from violence. Understanding and mutual respect toward all individuals are essential elements to excellence in teaching and learning, to the existence of a safe and healthy workplace, and to the maintenance of a campus culture and Medical Center environment which serves the needs of the community. The University prohibits violent acts or threats of violence. Any employee, student or visitor who commits a violent act, or threatens to commit a violent act, is subject to disciplinary action and/or civil or criminal prosecution as appropriate (Refer to Human Resources Policy No. 45, Disciplinary Action).

    The Medical University of South Carolina has zero tolerance for violence against any member of the workforce, any other persons in the workplace, or its property. Any person who makes threats, exhibits threatening behavior, or engages in violent acts on university property shall be subject to removal from the premises as quickly as safety permits. For the purpose of this policy, violence and threats of violence include but are not limited to:
  1. PROCEDURES
    1. Reporting

    2. Each allegation of violence or threat of violence will be taken seriously. Individuals (including students) are responsible for reporting acts of violence, threats of violence, or any other behavior, which by intent, act, or outcome could harm another person or property. Reports shall be made to the most appropriate of the following:


        • Immediate supervisor,
        • Medical Center Security, or
        • Appropriate College Dean.

      The Director of the Department of Human Resources (792-2121) should be contacted immediately if you anticipate that the actions of anyone in your area have the potential or appearance of creating an environment that could cause or contribute to an act of violence. The following are examples of warning signs, symptoms, and risk factors, which may indicate an employee’s, student’s, or visitor’s potential for workplace violence:
        • Dropping hints about knowledge of firearms.
        • Making intimidating comments, threats, or allusions to violence against others in the organization.
        • Possessing at work reading or video material with themes of violence, revenge, and harassment.
        • Acting out either verbally or physically.
        • Expressions of excessive bitterness by disgruntled employee or ex-employee.
        • Preferring always to work alone or on the night shift, and isolating oneself from fellow workers.
        • Having a corroborating history of interpersonal conflict or police record for violence or threats of violence.
        • Expressions of intense anger, lack of empathy.
        • Having the risk factor of domestic problems; unstable/dysfunctional family situation.
        • Exhibiting brooding, depressed, strange behavior.
        • Displaying physical signs of hard breathing, reddening of complexion, menacing stare, loudness, fast profane speech.

    The role of the Public Safety Department, in regards to workplace violence, is to provide an immediate response to a critical situation, not only by dispatching public safety officers but also by requesting and coordinating fire department, city police, or any other authorities deemed necessary. The Department will provide physical security for threatened or at-risk persons; enforce applicable laws; and thoroughly document all incidents and actions. Supervisors, faculty, students and staff, are encouraged to contact Public Safety or Medical Center Security when issues regarding workplace or personal security arise. The Public Safety Department will fill out the official MUSC incident report describing the situation. Once an incident has been identified, the Director of Public Safety or the Manager of Medical Center Security will notify the Workplace Violence Prevention Committee of the occurrence.

    1. The Workplace Violence Prevention Committee
      The Workplace Violence Prevention Committee is established to design, formalize, implement, and revise the policies and procedures needed to prevent and resolve threats of or violent acts in the workplace. Once the committee is notified of the occurrence of a workplace violence incident, the Workplace Violence Prevention Committee will determine if additional resources are necessary to resolve the matter. The members of this committee represent all aspects of MUSC, including the medical center, academics, and administration. The committee also serves as the oversight committee for the Threat Assessment Team (see below) and the Workplace Violence training function.
    2. Sub-functions of the Workplace Violence Committee
      The Threat Assessment Team is a subgroup of the Workplace Violence Prevention Committee. The Threat Assessment Team’s primary function is to assess the workplace and identify the risks associated with threats and/or violence in the work areas. The Team is also responsible for assisting the Workplace Violence Prevention Committee with situations involving threats or violence. The Workplace Violence Prevention Committee assigns members to the Team based on their expertise in threat assessments and workplace analysis.
    3. Training
      In order to eliminate and/or minimize the risks involved with violence in our workplace, the training division of Human Resources Management is responsible for scheduling workplace violence training for MUSC faculty, students, Medical Center staff, and employees. Public Safety and the Medical Center Security staffs are responsible for designing and implementing the training. The Workplace Violence Prevention Committee will review the training programs annually to ensure they are compliant with OSHA guidelines and are appropriate for MUSC. All employees, regardless of their level of risk, will receive the following training:

      • Techniques for recognizing the potential for violence.
      • Procedures, policies and work environment arrangements developed to control the risk of violence to workers.
      • Proper use of security devices (i.e., burglar alarms, panic buttons, etc.).
      • The appropriate response to incidents of or potential threats of violence, including emergency and hostage situations.
      • How to obtain medical assistance and follow-up.
      • Procedures for reporting, investigating and documenting threats and incidents of violence.
      • Travel safety.
      • Cash and other asset handling procedures.

      Workers with job tasks that place them at higher risk for violence will be provided specialized training in addition to those topics outlined above. Training will be designed to deal with the nature of the risk. Managers and supervisors will undergo the same training as outlined above in addition to training that will enable them to recognize potentially hazardous situations.
     

Attached are suggested guidelines for assisting an employee who has been a victim of workplace violence.

 

Approved by:

Information Contact

Effective Date

Medical University Board of Trustees

Director of Human Resources Management

September
2000