Workplace Violence Type 2 – Public Employee Attacked after Water Disconnect
According to Missouri local news reports, a Caruthersville, Missouri City Hall employee was stabbed multiple times on Thursday morning, June 26, according to police.
Chief of Police Tony Jones said the suspect was mad his water was turned off.
Richard Edward Jaworski, 50, from Caruthersville, is facing possible charges of first degree assault, armed criminal action, burglary first degree and unlawful use of a weapon.
It happened in the water department office around 11:15 a.m.
According to the probable cause statement, Jaworski went in the south door of city hall and walked into the water department. He walked past the service counter with a large knife in his right hand and began violently stabbing Elizabeth Hardesty. The statement shows the attack ended with 13 stabs and/or attempts to stab Hardesty.
Jaworski was met by a another city hall employee as he was leaving the water department and he allegedly threw the knife back over his shoulder in a threatening manner. He also allegedly threw it down the hallway toward a third employee as she was leaving her office.
Officers say they found a large kitchen knife with a black handle on the hallway floor, east of the water department. They say it had what they believe to be blood on the blade.
An employee told officers that Jaworski said, “I’ll teach you to turn my ******* water off.” As he was leaving the building, the employee said he stated, “Call the police, I don’t care.”
Employees were able to provide a description of the suspect and an officer found him on the front porch of his home. According to the probable cause statement, Jaworski told the officer, “Yeah, I did it.”
The officer said Jaworski told him, “I went to city hall with a knife with full intention of killing that ***** for robbing me of my money and turning my water off.”
Police say Hardesty was flown to a Memphis hospital for treatment.
Chief Jones says she came out of surgery Thursday evening and is expected to recover.
According to the city’s website, Hardesty is the water department bookkeeper.
Officers were still on location as of early Thursday afternoon.
According to the Mayor of Caruthersville, City Hall will be closed on Friday, June 27 and will re-open on Monday, June 30 with a police officer on duty during business hours.
Jaworski’s next court date is set for June 30 at 10 a.m.
Understanding Workplace Violence
Workplace violence is violence or the threat of violence against workers. It can occur at or outside the workplace and can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide. However it manifests itself, workplace violence is a growing concern for employers and employees nationwide.
Any definition of workplace violence must be broad enough to encompass the full range of behaviors that can cause injury, damage property, impede the normal course of work, or make workers, managers, and customers fear for their safety. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines workplace violence as, “violent acts, including physical assaults and threats of assault, directed toward persons at work or on duty.”
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) expands this definition to the following: Workplace violence is any physical assault, threatening behavior or verbal abuse occurring in the work setting. It includes but is not limited to beatings, stabbings, suicides, shootings, rapes, near suicides, psychological traumas such as threats, obscene phone calls, an intimidating presence, and (including cyber-bullying) harassment of any nature such as being followed, sworn at or shouted at.
At the low end of the ASIS workplace violence spectrum above are disruptive, aggressive, hostile, or emotionally abusive behaviors that generate anxiety or create a climate of distrust, and that adversely affect productivity and morale. These behaviors of concern could – but will not necessarily – escalate into more severe behavior falling further along the workplace violence spectrum; however, independent of the question of possible escalation, these behaviors are in themselves harmful and, for that reason, warrant attention and effective intervention.
Further along the spectrum are words or other actions that are reasonably perceived to be intimidating, frightening, or threatening to employees and that generate a justifiable concern for personal safety. These behaviors include, among others, direct, conditional or veiled threats, stalking, and aggressive harassment.
In the instance detailed above, this is Type 2 Workplace Violence:
Type 2: Violence directed at employees by customers for whom the company provides services.
Type 2: In general, these verbal threats, threatening behavior or physical assaults are committed by an assailant who either receives services from or is under the custodial supervision of the affected workplace or the victim. Assailants can be current or former customers/clients such as passengers, patients, students, criminal suspects or prisoners.
The customer/client may be provoked when they becomes frustrated by delays or by the denial of benefits or services.
Violent reactions by a customer may be unpredictable, triggered by an argument, or anger at the quality of service or denial of service, delays, or some other precipitating event.
Help protect your employees through preparedness training.
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Firestorm’s Workplace Violence Self-Assessment offers a diagnostic tool that provides an in-depth evaluation of your organization’s readiness. The self-assessment:
- Measures current performance levels and assesses your readiness to prevent and respond to acts of workplace violence.
- Establishes a baseline, and sets up process improvement metrics to ensure the best possible return on the resources invested.
- Is completed in a one-hour interview.
How Firestorm’s Workplace Violence Self-Assessment Works
Description of Service: The self-assessment is a series of fifty plus questions that are divided across the following areas of a Workplace Violence Prevention Program:
- Program & Framework
- Roles & Responsibilities
- Prevention & Control
- Monitoring & Triggers
- Training & Awareness
- Reporting & Investigation
- Incident Response
- Follow-Up / Corrective Actions
Through a single group interview, Firestorm engages in a conversational series of questions with key representatives from your Workplace Violence Prevention Program. Each question is designed to capture a specific, structured response from a multiple choice selection.
Upon completion of the interview, Firestorm produces a narrative analysis that includes a calculated Preaction Index Rating™ and a chart demonstrating overall scoring by the key dimensions, as well as an overall ranking of program “readiness”.
If needed, Firestorm will propose a strategy for your company to implement a Workplace Violence Prevention Program that will align with industry best practices.
PREDICT.PLAN.PERFORM.®: The Perfect Roadmap for Readiness
PREDICT. Firestorm’s Workplace Violence Self-Assessment diagnostic tool measures your organization’s current level of readiness, and shows you how to implement improvements with the highest return on investment.
PLAN. With Firestorm’s self-assessment and analysis completed, you can utilize Firestorm’s Workplace Violence Prevention Program ToolKit™ to begin building a program that meets best practices in all categories.
PERFORM. By implementing Firestorm’s recommended improvements and adjustments, your organization will gain value from overall preparedness.