Safety and Agency Responsibility

Safety and Agency Responsibility

In recent years, workplace violence has been receiving much attention. As a result, human services organizations are encouraged to construct effective response plans to address traumatic emergencies. This is encouraged since workplace violence unlike other disasters or hazards involves mobile, thinking, and dangerous human beings. The situations must be dealt with in a specifically designed manner as a way of avoiding errors that can worsen the situations (Zelnick et al., 2013). When disasters occur, communications to save people is often the main concern. Therefore, it is important to come up with an effective plan that will incorporate different steps taken to ensure the traumatic emergency has been solved.

The first step to addressing an incident of workplace violence is identifying the most crucial occasions and incidents that contribute to the activation plan. It is important to define the incident first (Shier et al., 2018). The best definition to use might be a serious injury, death, or psychological traumas. It also incorporates situations that are likely to seriously interfere with the normal operations of the organization. The next step is the establishment of a response plan for workplace violence including the processes needed for violent situations. To achieve this, organizations need to review their human resource, safety, and security policies. Organizations must ensure that their policies are synchronized.

The third step is the pre-incident preparation. The first part of this stage is ensuring there is a violence prevention program and the second part is ensuring there is a safety plan for all departments and employees (Tupin et al., 2019). The safety plan should include a different way to recognize early warnings, techniques of diffusing hostile situations, emergency procedures, a concealment plan, and an exit plan. Above all, there should be an effective communication plan. The fourth step involves coming up with a crisis communication plan and a critical incident stress debriefing. An accurate communication plan should address elements such as speed, accuracy, flexibility, reliability, and effectiveness (Zelnick et al., 2013). Organizations should have a system that can be accessed from different devices to allow communication with everyone in any location. This system will allow organizations to pinpoint their messages to the affected people. Organizations also need to come up with critical incident stress debriefing actions that will help people deal with the psychological and emotional fallout they experience after the incident. The process of debriefing is important since it affects the speed at which organizations will resume to be productive and normal.

The next step incorporates training and testing. During this step, employees need to be trained adequately on the overall crisis response plan and their responsibilities in executing the plan. The training process should include warning signals, emergency shutdown procedures, evacuation and response procedures, and how to use communication and specific equipment during a violent incident (Shier et al., 2018). They also need to test if the employees have understood all the procedures through exercises. The last step is integrating the response plan with a business continuity plan. The plan should be integrated with common methods and organization resources.

Long term effects of workplace violence fear, constants thoughts about the traumatic situation, depression, withdrawal from family, and anger. If these problems are not addressed, they can develop into posttraumatic consequences. One of the most effective ways of dealing with this includes the enhancement of emotional expressions, decreasing the distressing symptoms, and assimilating the traumatic experience (Tupin et al., 2019). These processes can be facilitated by friends and family who understand the trauma. They should be allowed to talk about the situation and accept the road to resolution. If the incident affects a larger portion of the organization, professional help will be necessary. This will help employees discuss and deal with the post-traumatic effects. Community resources and services should be made available especially to victims of crime. These services are crucial for stalking and domestic violence victims. Furthermore, organizations should screen and locate mental health professionals who will provide services in case of long-term effects.

My utmost concern regarding the security of mental health specialists who work in human services organizations is the fact that most of them fail to recognize that violence is an issue that also impacts them. Even though there is increasing attention on workplace violence, mental health professionals often face hurdles when trying to save employees and themselves from a violent situation (Zelnick et al., 2013).  Most of them ignore that violence is like to also affect them. This is because most of them do not fully understand about self-safety measures in such situations. Furthermore, some mental health professionals only consider high-risk activities as violence and fail to recognize it as an issue that may affect their profession. Most mental health professionals have a false sense of security especially when it comes to the safety of employees. These are extremely risky assumptions to have especially when they think little about their personal safety. Therefore, a safety manual should be developed to ensure that all mental health professionals working in human service organizations are protected. This can be achieved by hiring personal security and having an effective connection with the local police. Even though mental health professionals are service providers, they need to take care of themselves to ensure every human service organization is safe.





Shier, M. L., Nicholas, D. B., Graham, J. R., & Young, A. (2018). Preventing workplace violence in human services workplaces: Organizational dynamics to support positive interpersonal interactions among colleagues. Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance42(1), 4-18.

Turpin, A., Shier, M. L., Nicholas, D. B., & Graham, J. R. (2019). Workplace Violence in Human Service Organizations: A Qualitative Inquiry Of Team-Level Dynamics. Journal of Health & Human Services Administration42(3).

Zelnick, J. R., Slayter, E., Flanzbaum, B., Butler, N. G., Domino, B., Perlstein, J., & Trust, C. (2013). Part of the Plan? Workplace Violence in Massachusetts Social Service Agencies. Health and Social Work, 38(2), 75-85.




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