Online Program

Do workplaces at increased risk for customer – related violence have an increased risk of co-worker conflict and bullying?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Jane Lipscomb, PhD, RN, Center for Community-based Engagement and Learning, University of Maryland Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
Mazen El Ghaziri, MPH, BSN, RN, School of Nursing, University of Maryland Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
Matt London, MS, Health and Safety Department, NYS PEF, Albany, NY
We conducted a large cross sectional survey of 12,546 public sector employees (response rate was 72%) who worked in four large state agencies that provide a range of public services. We measured coworker conflict by a six-question modified version of Einarson's Negative Act Questionnaire and with a standard definition for bullying. At the request of one agency, we included a set of questions on Type II violence, in this case violence perpetrated by the “driving public or a client”. We also conducted a large focus group with MH facility employees to discuss and interpret survey data. Respondents from the agency providing mental health services and those working in transportation reported a significantly higher prevalence of workplace conflict compared with workers employed in the other two state agencies. When we examined the Type II and Type III data from the transportation workers who had contact with the driving public, we found a significant dose response relationship between Type II outcomes and coworker conflict. Among workers employed by the MH agency, those who work on in-patient units reported significantly higher prevalence of conflict than MH workers in the outpatient and administrative units. Findings from the focus group with MH staff provided important insight into the high prevalence of coworker conflict in the MH work setting. Staff reported that staffing reductions, constraints around the use of restraint and seclusion (R/S) and the potential consequences to staff when R/S are used are highly stressful and may lead to staff “lashing out” at other staff.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Differentiate four types of workplace violence and possible work organization risks that are common to Type 2 and Type 3. Discuss strategies to reduce all types of workplace violence in public sector workplaces.

Keyword(s): Workplace Safety, Workplace Stressors

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PI on the NIOSH funded grant that supported this work. I am responsible for the conceptualization and conduction of the research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.