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1.5 Worker Safety PPT

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WORKER SAFETY
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HOW TO USE THIS PRESENTATION
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Using this Presentation
This self-paced presentation is part of an instructional sequence.
(Click the step buttons at lower left to advance the presentation)
1. Complete this Presentation
2. Complete the Worker Safety Assignment
(part of the Module 1 checklist)
3. Discuss the content with your supervisor as part of the Module 1
checklist, and with your coach, and cohort as applicable
3
Competencies
SW122-01 Understands the provisions of agency policies, procedures, and formal
protocols designed to ensure the safety of staff members
Curricular competencies:
• Awareness of potentially dangerous conditions in workplace and/or in the field
• Ability to recognize potentially dangerous conditions in workplace and/or in the
field
• Ability to react appropriately and safely when faced with dangerous situations
• Knows the emotional and behavioral indicators of escalating violence and
potential dangerousness and safety strategies, including developing an exit plan
to protect oneself during home visits
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Why be Concerned about
Worker Safety?
Psychological or
physical
aggression
Dangerous
animals
Driving hazards
Trip or fall hazard
Methamphetamine
Why be Concerned about
Worker Safety?
Dangerous
animals
By learning about these
hazards and how to
Driving hazards
prevent or protect yourself
from
Trip orthem,
fall hazard you can keep
yourself safe.
Psychological or
physical
aggression
Hazardous
substances
SELF AWARENESS
• Boundaries / Limit setting behaviors
• Communication
• Feelings
• Intuition
• Problem solving skills
• Conflict Management
THINK ABOUT BOUNDARIES
• What is acceptable behavior?
• How to set limits
• Maintaining limits
BOUNDARIES
• Boundaries set the tone for a professional relationship
• Know your triggers
• What would a reasonable person do?
• Do you bend your rules?
• Talk with your supervisor about limits
COMMUNICATION
Awareness of ALL communication
• Verbal
• Nonverbal
• Paraverbal
CHECK
• Is it OK for a client to yell at me?
• Is it OK for me to yell at a client?
• Is it OK for a client to threaten me?
• Is it OK for me to threaten a client?
• Is it OK for a client to lie to me?
• Is it OK for me to lie to a client?
POWER
Don’t get into a direct power struggle with an angry client.
• Do not be defensive
• Do not defend yourself or anyone else
• Do not make the client show you that they must be
respected; show them respect no matter what
• Avoid putting clients in positions that embarrass them
• Help them “Save face” rather than pushing for them to
admit errors
MESSENGERS OF INTUITION
• Nagging feelings
• Persistent thoughts
• Sarcasm
• Wonder
• Anxiety
• Curiosity
• Hunches
• Gut feelings
• Doubt
• Hesitation
• Suspicion
• Apprehension
Personal Safety Risk Assessment
One of the most effective interventions to ensure worker safety is to assess for safety
before ever leaving the office.
In fact CA Operations Manual 8612 mandates it. Click here to read the policy.
Personal Safety Risk Assessment
Before making client contact, staff will make ongoing assessments of situations based on
the nature of the allegation(s) or changing case characteristics and risk factors. The
following are issues for social workers and supervisors to consider before making field
visits
1. Are firearms or other weapons noted in the referral or record?
2. Is there a previous history of domestic violence or other violent behavior towards
others (this includes adults and youth)?
3. Is there a history of criminal activity, mental illness, substance abuse, and
ritualistic abuse or cult practices?
4. Is the family's geographic location isolated or dangerous and is there cell phone
coverage in that location?
5. Is the contact scheduled after normal working hours?
6. Are there aggressive animals on or near the premises?
7. Is there a "danger to worker" notification screen on the referral?
8. Is there lack of available information?
Common Risk Factors
Prior Violence
Physical Risk
Factors
Defensive Feelings
Situational Factors
Assessing Worker Safety
when DV is Present
(Adapted from Domestic Violence Protocol, Massachusetts Department of Social
Services)
Crucial
Learning to identify
dangerous behavior
Your involvement may:
• Threaten the batterer’s control of the situation
• Increase the risk to the family and to you
Some Possible Behaviors of DV Perpetrators
• Blaming everyone but self
• Obsessive behavior - jealous, accusatory
• Threatening suicide, violence, kidnapping,
harming those who try to help
• Stalking
• Presenting as if he/she is the victim
• Vengeful - may file for an injunction against the victim
or sue for custody of the children
• Powerful - may report having friends in positions of
power (i.e., police, organized crime, wealthy individuals)
• Paranoid/hypersensitive
• Criminal record of violent offenses
• Belligerent toward authority figures - including
representatives of the agency
• Current alcohol and drug abuse
• Access to weapons
Triggers which may cause a DV perpetrator
to respond in a violent way:
Mom is preparing to leave - i.e., shelter, injunction, separation,
or divorce.
Children are going to be removed - before, during, or after a
hearing.
Perpetrator has just been released from jail or is facing
serious criminal charges or possible incarceration.
Allegations have been made directly about him regarding child
maltreatment or domestic violence (or both).
He is asking for information about the family’s location if there
has been a separation.
Permanency plan goal changes to adoption.
Planning for Worker Safety when Possible
Risks are Identified
CA policy mandates:
If the initial assessment reveals possible risk to the staff person, the
following may be considered to increase the safety of all parties:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Call upon law enforcement and/or another staff person for accompaniment.
Carry a cell phone.
Use a state car rather than personal vehicle (or visa versa).
Carry personal safety equipment, such as a whistle or personal alarm.
Conduct a criminal history check before making contact.
Consult with other informal sources, such as local law enforcement, previous
social workers, collateral contacts, coworkers or colleagues from other
agencies.
ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS
• In the office
• Making visits
• Outdoor safety and travel
OFFICE SAFETY
• Arrange your office/meeting room so that no one sits
between you and the door
• Maintain physical distance
• Ask yourself “Does my office/room have a calming
effect?”
• Avoid having pictures and personal items visable
• Know your agency policy about visits
Safety considerations when meeting with a
potentially violent individual in the office:
Avoid meeting with potentially violent individual alone. If possible, plan the
visit at the local office, or take a colleague with you.
Notify colleagues that a potentially dangerous client is coming in to meet
with you. Tell them when and where you will meet.
Whenever possible, use a meeting room with multiple exits, in case you
need to leave quickly.
• If possible, have security nearby.
BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE OFFICE
• Tell someone where you are going and when
you will return
• Obtain specific directions
• Find out history
• Know about any previous concerns
• Try to conduct home visits in pairs, if possible
• Bring your cell phone
MAKING VISITS
1.
2.
3.
4.
Parking and approaching residences
Entering residences
Residence awareness
Exiting residences
Safety considerations when meeting with a
potentially violent individual in the field:
Always make sure others are aware of your location when you are in the field.
Avoid meeting with a person who is under the influence.
Be aware of where you park the car, noting an exit plan. Park so that you will not be
required to back up in order to leave the residence. Be prepared to leave quickly if
needed.
Have an adequate amount of gas in the car at all times.
Know your office policy regarding vehicle safety, i.e. what to do in the event of a
breakdown, flat tire, or other mechanical problem with the vehicle.
Always lock the car, even when moving. Keep windows rolled up to the point where
someone cannot put their arm inside the car. Lock your purse or other valuables in
the trunk of the car.
Safety considerations when meeting with a potentially
violent individual in the field (Continued)
Be aware of your surroundings. Is the area isolated? Are there unknown people or
vehicles parked around the residence?
Be aware of your attire. For example, wear shoes that you can move quickly in if
necessary. Be cautious when wearing jewelry, scarves, ties, etc. that can be
potentially grabbed, and where you may be harmed. Wear Department ID on breakaway lanyards. Carry as few items as possible on your person.
When you knock on the door, listen to what may be going on at the residence.
For example, is there fighting, crying, a dog barking, etc.? Stand to the side of
the door, never directly in front of the door.
Safety considerations when meeting with a potentially
violent individual in the field (Continued)
Do not enter a residence without being welcomed in by the occupants. Never enter
a residence where no one has responded and the door is unlocked or ajar. Do not
walk around the residence looking in windows when no one answers the door.
Be aware of how to exit the client home once they have invited you in.
If invited to sit, be aware of where you sit, so you do not sit on sharp or wet items.
Always wash your hands once you leave a home visit. It may be helpful to carry
prepackaged towelettes or anti-bacterial solution for use after a home visit.
Be aware. Know which situations are the most likely to heighten risk factors, such
as a Child Protection action where children are removed from their home.
KEEPING SAFE INSIDE OF A HOME
• Always wait to be invited to sit
• Be aware of all possible exits in the house
• Ask to turn the TV off, as “I” have trouble
hearing.
• Keep a clear path to the door.
MAKING VISITS
• Avoid positioning self so that you
become trapped if needed to make a
quick exit.
• If situation escalates, LEAVE.
• Always carry car keys in same place
where they are readily accessible.
METHAMPHETAMINE LABS
No single sign indicates the presence of a meth lab
Any combination of these might mean a deeper problem:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Strong chemical odor coming from house, garbage, or detached building.
Visitors come and go throughout the day and night and stay for short periods of time.
Extra efforts to cover windows or have extensive security, such as reinforced doors.
Deterioration of property and excessive amounts of trash, such as large amounts of
antifreeze, drain cleaner, and glass containers.
Appear to have plenty of money but don't seem to go to work - drive expensive cars,
pay rent or bills with cash.
Never take trash out to be collected or put garbage in another neighbors collection
area.
Residents come outside to smoke cigarettes.
Children and pets of the home appear to be neglected.
Residents act unfriendly, paranoid, or appear secretive about their activities.
Source: Washington State Department of Health
METHAMPHETAMINE LABS
CA Policy
If you suspect a meth lab:
• Exit the property
• Call 911 to request law
enforcement response
If you may have been exposed:
• Consult your physician within 2 hours of
exposure
WEAPONS
• Assume that every home has a weapon
• Assume that every client could access a
weapon
• Watch for signs of escalation
• Know when to leave or request help.
• Look for weapons when you are in someone
else’s space.
• Guns are often in bedroom, knives in
kitchen
• Never reach for a weapon
Maintaining Safety
Tool for
minimizing
violence
Practice Model
Genuine
Empathetic
Respectful
If Conflict Escalates
Situation may be
escalated when
you arrive
May not be able to
engage families in a
way that avoids
conflict
VERBAL DEFUSING TECHNIQUES
(IF NO WEAPONS PRESENT)
• Most families are not a threat
• Planning for your own safety promotes awareness
and helps reduce fear, so we can focus on helping
families
TWO IMPORTANT THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Practice
before they
are needed
De-escalation
techniques are
abnormal
Reasoning with an
enraged person is not
possible
Must appear
centered and
calm even when
frightened
THREE PARTS TO BE MASTERED IN VERBAL DEESCALATION
The worker’s
demeanor
Worker needs to
be in control of
him/herself
Physical Stance
De-escalation
conversation
No not stand
close or directly in
front of person
Calmly bring the
level of arousal
down to baseline.
DEFUSING TECHNIQUES
If things escalate:
• Kept it from escalating; try to stay
calm and listen attentively;
• Avoid sudden movements;
• Avoid confrontation;
• Maintain eye contact and
personal space;
DEFUSING
More tips, for when things escalate:
•
•
•
•
Keep situation in your control;
Use calm tone of voice when speaking;
Do not argue with the person;
Discretely signal someone that you need help (try
not to let angry client see this).
Additional de-escalation strategies are available on the National
Association of Social Workers website.
ANIMAL HAZARDS
Check for prior involvement or info on
intake
• Watch for clues
• Be vigilant
• Do not pet pets
DEALING WITH DOGS
Checking your surroundings
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Site evaluation should be made for all homes
Check for signs - bones, feces, dog dishes
Be prepared - carry protection items
Check conditions of the fences
Make noise to alert the dog of your presence
Evaluate strength of ropes and chains
Respect dog's territory
Dogs are VERY protective of children
Have owner put the dog away
DEALING WITH DOGS
If knocked down WITHOUT protection:
• Be still and calm
• Protect head and necks
with your fists
• Wait until the dog
leaves before getting up
• Move slowly
• Watch for the dog as
you move
146869744
If knocked down WITH protection:
• Let the dog bite your
protection item
• Hold on to the protection item
until you are safe
• When you are safe, let the
dog take your protection item
DEALING WITH DOGS
If a dog starts to attack:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
STOP!!
Do not panic or scream
Stand still, stay calm
Say: "NO!"
Speak in a firm voice
Tell the dog: "GO HOME!"
Keep hands around your neck
Keep elbows close to body
92280236
No direct eye contact
Wait until dog leaves you before you move away to safety
Give the dog something to bite
COMMUNICABLE DISEASES AND
HEALTH HAZARDS
• Know agency safety procedures
• Hand washing is critical
• Know when to protect yourself
• Lice
• Airborne & Fluid surface contamination
OUTDOOR SAFETY AND TRAVEL
• Driving conditions and weather
• Knowledge of neighborhoods and safety
• Car safety
DRIVING HAZARDS
• Keep fuel tank full
• Leave valuables locked
• Drive defensively
SUMMARY: COMPETENCY REVIEW
SW122-01 Understands the provisions of agency policies, procedures, and formal
protocols designed to ensure the safety of staff members
• Awareness of potentially dangerous conditions in workplace and/or in the field
• Ability to recognize potentially dangerous conditions in workplace and/or in the
field
• Ability to react appropriately and safely when faced with dangerous situations
• Knows the emotional and behavioral indicators of escalating violence and
potential dangerousness and safety strategies, including developing an exit plan
to protect oneself during home visits
Thank You
This session is now complete. Thank you for your time.
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