Web page spotlights warning signs of workplace violence

A new Web page designed to spotlight the warning signs of workplace violence has been released on the Penn State University Police website. Located at http://www.police.psu.edu/workplaceviolence/ online, the page outlines the significance, severity and warning signs of workplace violence.

Workplace violence is any act of physical, verbal or psychological threat or abuse, assault or trauma on an individual that results in physical and/or psychological damage. The Web page covers issues such as bullying and domestic abuse, offers information about what employees should do if they suspect workplace violence is occurring in their office and offers links to training.

"Workplace violence can happen anywhere and at anytime," said University Police Officer Rebecca Bywater. "It's something that everyone should understand."

The page covers employee responsibilities and what employees should do if they are a victim or witness.

"There are different warning signs," Bywater said. "If you suspect that your coworker is going through troubling times, it's better to confront the problem when it's small."

Training programs, available through University Police and Penn State's Human Resource Development Center, include "A Day In the Life: Penn State's Response to Domestic Violence in the Workplace" and "Safety and Security for Office Personnel." For more information on the programs, visit http://www.police.psu.edu/workplaceviolence/Training.shtml online.

"It is important for employees to remember that their Human Resources representative and/or supervisor can be an advocate for them if they are a witness or a victim of workplace violence," said Cassandra Kitko, coordinator of the Health Matters Program at Penn State. "This is just one type of situation for which the Penn State Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can be used."

The EAP is available to employees and their household members free of charge for up to five in-person visits with a therapist. Employees can call 866-749-1735 for assistance. The line always is answered.

The Workplace Safety Subcommittee of Penn State's Creating a Safer and More Secure University Key Initiative assembled the Web page. Bywater said the page is the result of a combined effort between the Workplace Safety Subcommittee, University Police and the Office of Human Resources.

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Last Updated September 02, 2010