700-20
VIOLENCE FREE WORKPLACE

POLICY & PROCEDURE

Subject:

VIOLENCE FREE WORKPLACE

Index: SAFETY

Number:    700-20

Effective Date

4/1/2006

Supersedes

N/A

Page

1 of 3

Staff Contact

Michael Webby

Approved By

Kathy Keolker

1.0 PURPOSE:

The City of Renton is committed to a continuing effort to provide a safe and secure environment for its employees, visitors, and the general public. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to employees when they encounter situations that could potentially result in violent reactions.

2.0 ORGANIZATIONS AFFECTED:

All departments/divisions

3.0 REFERENCES:

City of Renton Policy & Procedure 360-01 - Discipline

City of Renton Policy & Procedure 340-03 - Harassment

RCW Chapter 49.17 (WISHA) (1970)

4.0 POLICY:

4.1    City Response to Violent Actions:

4.1.1    The City will provide training to employees whose work assignments are determined to be at risk of confrontational situations.

4.1.2    Facility modifications may be implemented where they are deemed to be the most effective method of reducing the danger of confrontational situations.

4.1.3    Departmental/divisional supervisors will ensure that new employees are provided a copy of this policy during orientation.

4.1.4    The City will provide employees a place of employment that is free from known risks and recognized hazards that are causing, or likely to cause, death or serious emotional or physical harm.

4.2    Employee Response to Violent Actions:

4.2.1    Employees involved in situations where they believe that physical retaliation may take place, or where someone has made verbal threats of physical violence, or physically threatening acts, should immediately notify his/her supervisor, appropriate management, or Human Resources and Risk Management Department.

4.2.2    Employees may be involved in personal disputes with family or neighbors that carry over to work. They are advised to take all practical actions to ensure that risk to them and their fellow employees is minimized.

4.2.3    Employees involved in making verbal/physical threats or fighting will be immediately disciplined according to policy #360-01.

4.2.4    While the City has a strong commitment to customer service; no employee will be required to submit to continuous verbal/physical abuse or threats from a customer.

5.0 DEFINITIONS:

5.1    Violence: Violence is an action, which is the use of physical force or intimidation, or abuse of power or authority, where the impact is to control by causing pain or fear.

5.2    Physically Threatening Acts: Are defined as, but not limited to, threatening gestures, hitting, pushing, kicking, holding, impeding or blocking the movement of another person. The pointing of a gun, knife, explosive device, biohazard or similar threatening agent or weapon at another person, employee, or group of people.

5.3    Threat: A threat is defined as any spoken or written word or gesture that causes a reasonable person to believe that his/her life or safety of family members or significant others is in imminent danger.

5.4    Harassment: Is the act of annoying or persistently tormenting an individual.

5.5    Verbal Abuse: To assail, trick, deceive, or injure through the use of coarse or insulting language.

6.0 PROCEDURES:

6.1    Action by the City:

6.1.1    The Human Resources and Risk Management Department will develop and schedule training in conflict resolution and related communication skills for employees and supervisors.

6.1.2    Standard operational procedures will be installed by management for predictable situations in each working division of the City. These procedures will be reviewed annually, or after any violent confrontational situation.

6.1.3    The Facilities Director will identify all customer service areas and survey them for safety and/or security modification within budget limitations. This will include but not be limited to, where applicable, security screens, “panic buttons,” and “safe rooms.”

6.1.4    Supervisors will take any necessary action, to include calling 911, or evacuating an area in an emergency situation if they observe any behavior that fits the definition of violence.

6.1.5    The City prohibits any retaliation, or threat of retaliation against any person attempting to comply with this policy.

6.1.6    Supervisors will ensure that all employees are familiar with the contents of this policy and will review the provisions of the policy when appropriate.

6.2    Actions by Employees:

6.2.1    Employees who are party to an Anti Harassment Order, No Contact Order, Protection Order, Restraining Order, or other similar court ordered direction, will report the issuance of such an order and a description of the individual named in the order to his/her supervisor. Violations of the provisions of that order, occurring in the workplace, will be immediately reported to the Renton Police Department.

6.2.2    Employees will request the immediate presence of a supervisor should they be subjected to verbal/physical abuse or threats from a customer or any employee.

6.2.3    Employees who become suspicious of letters, packages, or containers should notify a supervisor and the Renton Police Department immediately.