Human Resources Management Policy
TOLERANCE TO WORKPLACE VIOLENCE
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.
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:
- any act that is physically abusive or
- any physical or verbal threat, behavior, or action
which is interpreted by a reasonable person to carry the potential
- to harm or endanger the safety of others;
- to result in an act of aggression; or
- to destroy or damage property
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 employees, students,
or visitors 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.
- The Workplace Violence Prevention
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.
- Sub-functions of the Workplace Violence Committee
The Threat Assessment Team is a subgroup of the
Workplace Violence Prevention Committee. The Threat Assessment Teams
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.
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
- 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.
are suggested guidelines for assisting an employee who has been a victim
of workplace violence.
Medical University Board
Director of Human Resources