Workplace violence: A possible threat to your propane operation

September 20, 2018 By    
Workplace violence can effect employees and customers at a propane operation. Photo: iStock.com/ KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Workplace violence can affect employees and customers at a propane operation. Photo: iStock.com/ KatarzynaBialasiewicz

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines workplace violence as any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the worksite. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide. It can affect and involve employees, clients, customers and visitors.

Here are some facts about workplace violence that Lt. Michael Pearl of the Concord (New Hampshire) Police Department shared during an educational session at the Northeast Propane Show:

    • 2 million workers a year are affected by some form of workplace violence.
    • Workplace violence costs American businesses $6 billion to $36 billion a year.
    • The typical perpetrator is male, age 30-45.
    • The leading cause of workplace violence is poor supervisory practices.Pearl noted four types of workplace violence suspects:
    • Disgruntled employee – “Just sit down with a disgruntled employee and see what’s going on. Let them vent,” Pearl says.
    • Domestic violence suspect – “Have a policy in place for that person (the victim/employee) to be additionally protected. You’re looking to protect everybody” at your business, he adds.
    • Delusional person with no connection to the workplace – However, they’ll usually have some connection, somewhere, somehow, to the business, Pearl counters.
    • Customer – “Do you have a process in place if someone threatens your business? You have to take this stuff seriously,” Pearl says.

Pearl, also the lead consultant at First Line Defense, which develops customized safety plans for businesses and schools, says having a trained response to these types of incidents will ensure your readiness to act.

“How you respond dictates how that incident goes,” he says. “If you are not trained properly, you’re going to fail.”

1 Comment on "Workplace violence: A possible threat to your propane operation"

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  1. Steven Cardow says:

    Thanks Lt. Pearl. Some of the requirements for installation can help in preventing a perpetrator from using your LP system against you by causing fire, explosion, loss of life, property, service(s) or customers. Fence in area around with barbed wire tops, gate kept locked, inspection of area daily, protection of related piping system, tank or tank farm, install vehicle impact protection, security. And a good “see something, say something policy,” if someone unauthorized is in the area.