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Workplace Violence Prevention Program Updates

August 08, 2022

MD Anderson’s workplace violence prevention program has been operationally placed under the stewardship of UT Police. A comprehensive workplace violence prevention program is a component of the Joint Commission. 

William Adcox, vice president, chief of police and chief security officer, has been designated as the institutional leader of the workplace violence prevention program. 

Program enhancements include the establishment of a multi-disciplinary team of senior leaders from the clinical, research and administrative areas to inform and lead collective efforts to prevent violence on campus. As part of this change, Workplace Violence Prevention Policy (ADM0257) has been revised to reflect these updates. Workplace violence is defined as an act or threat occurring at the workplace. Signs of workplace violence can include verbal, nonverbal, written or physical aggression, threatening, intimidating, harassing or humiliating words or actions, bullying, sabotage, sexual harassment, physical assaults, and behaviors of concern. 

Anyone who experiences behaviors of concern or feels threatened with violence from an employee, patient, or visitor can call 2-STOP (713-792-7867) for help. Always call 911 if you are in immediate danger. 

Behaviors of concern may signal the need for intervention to prevent a violent incident. Calls can be kept confidential so there is no fear of retribution.  

Behaviors of concern can include warning signs such as: 

  • Unusual or sudden changes in behaviors or patterns 
  • Extreme reactions to a loss or a traumatic event  
  • Preoccupation with weapons, violent events or persons who have engaged in violent acts
  • Uncharacteristically poor work performance  
  • References to harming others or planning a violent or destructive event 
  • Evidence of depression, hopelessness or suicidal thoughts or plans  
  • Inappropriate responses such as prolonged irritability, angry outbursts, or intense reactions 
  • Strained interpersonal relations, new or worsening social isolation, or low self-esteem  
  • Significant change in life circumstances such as loss of a job or relationship 
  • Inappropriate search for or acquisition of proprietary or classified information on subjects not related to the employee's work duties 

Studies show there are usually warning signs that indicate when behaviors of concern could escalate into something worse. If recognized and reported to the proper authorities, these warning signs could prevent acts of violence on campus.  

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