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Negligence, Culture Contribute to Workplace Violence

Oct. 1, 2015, 4:00 AM

One reason companies are so often blindsided by incidents of workplace violence is that they systematically fail to take the warning signs seriously, a consultant told a gathering of safety professionals Sept. 24.

“There is no such thing as a surprise workplace violence incident,” said Jean Haertl, the former head of workplace violence and domestic violence prevention programs in Massachusetts. “There are discrete behavioral details and signs. People escalate over time. And those signs are ignored, minimized and not reported, and minimized again and normalized by management.”

To avoid those patterns, employers must develop written policies that cover what constitutes ...