UWP promotes safety in the workplace

September 8, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE - As students were eagerly getting ready to come back to school, faculty and staff at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville were also getting organized for the upcoming year. At this year's fall in-service on Aug. 28, put on by the College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture, employees of the University were able to come together to discuss violence in the workplace and methods of prevention.

The main focus of the in-service was a presentation given by John Deere & Co. employees, Steve Loeffelholz and Pam Hillary. The two discussed violence in the workplace, ways in which it can be prevented, if and how colleagues can see it coming and what "red flags" can be identified. The two also gave examples of situations that occurred at John Deere and the ways that they were handled.

The presenters concluded with a video about how to detect that someone might potentially be a problem. The attendees were than able to discuss how to deal with the problems and what is the most effective resolution. The presenters suggested developing a committee to create an action plan just in case something were to happen and how the situation would be handled. They also recommended to make employees feel comfortable with informing supervisors of potential problems.

"If you don't have something written down, you can't do anything about the problem," said UWP Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Carol Sue Butts.

After the discussion of the video, a panel was set up to inform the attendees about the UWP policies on violence and what they are doing to prevent situations from arising.

The director of UWP campus police, Laurel Skrede, encourages people to report instances that they think might possibly lead to a condition for documentation.

"It won't hurt to report an occurrence. Even if you're not sure, at least this way we can look back and see that there were previous occurrences," Skrede said. "Also, sit down in your departments and discuss what you would do if something did happen."

"Very rarely have instances which involve misconduct or violence occured at UWP," said Human Resources Director Kate Kelley.

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