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Violence in the Workplace

It would be tragic if a violent situation were to arise in the workplace and appropriate preparations were not made. Yet, recent history shows incidents are becoming more commonplace in today's working environment. When incidents of violence in the workplace are mentioned, they generally are related to non-DoD organizations. However, Army is not exempt from workplace violence. Supervisors play a key role in recognizing potentially violent situations and taking proactive measures to reduce the negative impact of such incidents.

To further understand this continuing problem, review the following sections:

While violence in the workplace is a problem of major concern, it cannot be
viewed in social isolation. Though most violent acts are limited to threats, Army must be prepared to react to the worst-case scenario. In many cases, acts
of violence may be prevented using the strategies discussed.

One common thread exists in preventing workplace violence: good leadership.
Good leadership creates a healthy, productive workplace and can prevent crisis situations. A leader should keep in touch with employees, make sure they have the skills and tools they need to accomplish their jobs, help them with obstacles, and show concern and fairness to each one. Leaders are careful to observe personnel practices such as setting clear standards, noting employee problems promptly, conducting performance counseling, and using discipline and other management tools conscientiously.

Good leadership, prior planning, comprehensive employee involvement, and
utilization of the appropriate professional resources all play a vital role in
reducing workplace violence. All Army employees are obligated to provide a safe and healthy working environment for our work force under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).

For further information, including a lesson plan covering this material, please
contact your servicing Civilian Personnel Advisory Center.

Content last reviewed: 7/10/2009-RJL