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Workplace violence is any physical assault, threatening behavior or verbal abuse occurring in the work setting. It includes, but is not limited to, beatings, stabbings, suicides, attempted suicides, shootings, rapes, psychological traumas such as threats, obscene phone calls, an intimidating presence and harassment of any nature.
If you are the victim or witness to any of the above situations, or others not mentioned, you should do the following:
- Call the police immediately. On campus call the UND Police Department (UND-PD), 701-777-3491, or for an emergency call 911.
- Try to remember details so you can describe the offender(s), including sex, age, race, hair, clothing and distinguishable features. Also attempt to obtain a description and license number of any vehicles involved. Note the direction taken by the offender(s) or vehicles and report these to police.
- Where possible, preserve the crime scene. Do not touch any items involved in the incident. Close off the area of the incident and do not allow anyone in the crime area until police arrive.
- Students should consider contacting the UND Counseling Center at 701-777-2127. The Counseling Center may be able to help ease trauma you may feel as a victim or witness of a crime. Employees can contact the Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-327-7195 for counseling.
Individual departments are encouraged to implement procedures that address departmental specific considerations (ie. layout/design of building, type of activities conducted, level of security, etc.) to properly deal with workplace violence issues in their work areas.
Hazard Assessment Checklist
Your department may want to use a checklist as a tool to help prevent workplace violence. Checklists can help to identify present or potential workplace violence problems. To obtain a sample checklist, contact Safety and Environmental Health or visit them on the web.
Dealing With Potentially Violent or Disruptive Persons
- Assess the situation.
- Project calmness.Be patient and empathetic, and encourage the person to talk.
- Ask questions. Find out specifically what the problem may be.
- Focus your attention on the other person to show you are interested in what he/she has to say.
- Maintain a relaxed, yet attentive, posture and position yourself at a right angle rather than directly in front of the other person.
- Acknowledge the person's feelings.
- Ask for small, specific favors such as asking them to move to a quieter area.
- Establish ground rules if unreasonable behavior persists, but accept criticism positively.
- Use delay tactics that will give the person time to calm down.
- Be reassuring and point out choices.Ask for recommendations and repeat what you feel is being requested.
- Arrange yourself so that your exit is not blocked.
- Have a neutral manager or third party in the room with you.
- Don't use styles of communication that generate hostility.
- Don't reject all of their demands from the start.
- Don't pose in challenging stances.
- Avoid any physical contact, finger pointing or long periods of eye contact.
- Don't make sudden moves that may seem threatening.
- Don't challenge, threaten or dare the individual.
- Never belittle or make the person feel foolish.
- Don't criticize or act impatient, especially if the person is agitated.
- Don't attempt to bargain with a threatening individual.
- Don't try to make the situation seem less serious than it is.
- Don't make false statements or promises you cannot keep.
- Don't explain technical or complicated information when emotions are high.
Don't take sides or disagree with fabrication.
- Don't take remarks personally.
- Don't show your anger.
- Don't patronize; show respect.Don't invade the individual's personal space.
Restraining Orders If you have applied for or have obtained a protection or restraining order listing UND locations as protected areas, please inform the UND-PD. Informing the UND-PD in a timely fashion will help facilitate enforcement of your order.
If you have been sexually assaulted, you are encouraged to seek medical treatment immediately. It is recommended you do not bathe, douche, use the toilet or change clothing. Report the crime a soon as possible. For further information and resources, see the Sexual Assault Policy located in The Code of Student Life and Administrative Manual.
Obscene or threatening telephone calls should be reported to the police immediately. Other harassing phone calls should be reported if they persist. If you receive such a call, remain calm and hang up.