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Workplace Violence Prevention Policy
Amherst College is concerned and committed to our faculty, staff, student and visitor’s health, safety and general well being. Therefore, the College will not tolerate any type of violence in the workplace and will make every effort to prevent violent incidents from taking place by implementing a Workplace Prevention Policy (WPVP), in accordance with the requirements of the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Amherst College shall, as required provide the necessary funding and resources to responsible departments and personnel to assist in keeping our employees in a healthy, safe and secure working environment.
All deans, department heads and supervisors shall be responsible for the implementation and management of the Amherst College WPVP. The College strongly encourages employee participation in the design, implementation and maintenance of our WPVP.
In as much as it is our collective responsibility to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for the entire campus, all employees, including deans, department heads, faculty, staff and their supervisors shall adhere to the work practices, policies and procedures that are designed to make the College more secure. This requirement shall include refraining from verbal threats or other physical actions that could create a security hazard for others in the workplace.
Within the last couple of decades, workplace violence has become one of the most important health and safety issues in the United States. Each year approximately 2 million workers in the United States report issues of workplace violence. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released information which indicates that between 1.5 and 4 million people are assaulted at work annually. The reason for the large discrepancy is that they estimate 50-80% of these assaults go unreported. Workplace violence has become the third leading cause of mortality for men and the primary cause for women while on the job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) greater than 20% of all workplace fatalities are attributed to violence in the workplace. Collectively, OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have identified a number of environmental conditions associated with workplace assaults as well as some of the control strategies that employers should be taking to better protect their employees from the acts of workplace violence. As of this date, OSHA has not yet authorized a workplace violence prevention regulation, but has indicated that each employer shall publicize a company wide policy in accordance with the requirements of the General Duty Clause, section 5(a)(1) of the OSHA Act of 1970.
For the reasons stipulated above, and with the best interests of our faculty, staff, students and visitors in mind, Amherst College has developed, implemented and will annually review and amend as necessary a Workplace Violence Prevention Program (WPVP) for the health, safety and general well-being of our campus community.
In accordance with the regulatory requirements referenced above, and the policies to protect our faculty, staff and students, the administration of Amherst College will not tolerate violence in the workplace.
Workplace violence consists of prohibited behaviors that shall include, but are not limited to a physical assault, verbal or psychological abuse, threatening behavior, and/or the destruction of or damage to the property of the person associated with this institution. Amherst College will, in support of this policy, provide the necessary funding, resources and training to responsible departments and personnel to assist in the preservation of a healthy, safe and secure working environment.It is the collective responsibility of each employee to provide a safe and healthy working environment for the entire campus. All employees, including deans, department heads, faculty, staff and supervisors shall adhere to the working practices, policies and procedures that are designed to the make the College more healthy, safe and secure. Department heads and supervisors are responsible for the implementation and management of the Amherst College WPVP, including appropriate disciplinary action, as required.
Amherst College shall, in an effort to comply with our program workplace violence, require that each and every employee provide prompt and accurate reporting of all incidents of workplace violence to the Human Resource Department at 79 South Pleasant St., regardless of whether or not physical injury has occurred. If an incident of workplace violence occurs after normal business hours, or results in serious or potential serious harm, the incident should be immediately referred to the Amherst College Police Department at extension 2111.
The College will take all workplace violence issues and threatening incidents seriously by investigating and taking the appropriate action to mitigate any hazard that would place any of our employees at risk. Any individual responsible for oral or written statements, gestures or expressions that communicate a threat (direct or indirect) of emotional or physical harm may be removed from the premises and may be subject to disciplinary action, termination, criminal penalties or all three, as determined by the Department of Human Resources.
Amherst College shall;
Amherst College shall require that each and every employee provide prompt and accurate reporting of all incidents of “workplace violence” to the Amherst College Police Department, regardless of whether or not physical injury has occurred. The College will take all violent and threatening incidents seriously by investigating and taking the appropriate action to mitigate any hazard that would place any of our employee(s) at risk. Amherst College shall take all the necessary steps to help with employee assistance and peer support policies if an incident occurs, and will not discriminate against any victims of workplace violence, regardless of method.
A copy of the Amherst College Workplace Violence Prevention Policy is available to all employees either on-line at www.amherst.edu or through the office of Human Resources, located at 79 South Pleasant St. at 542-2372.