Model workplace policies directed at preventing Type III workplace violence (coworker violence) are widely available, yet their impact on workplace and worker health has never been rigorously evaluated. This application describes an organizational level intervention focused on organization justice because there is a growing awareness of the importance of organizational climate in contributing to Type III violence. Workplaces with good organizational justice environments foster a healthy work climate that is less permissive towards Type III workplace violence. To date, organizational justice research has been largely correlational, with no intervention studies to show that changing this important aspect of the work setting can reduce coworker violence. Research which includes process and outcome measures are critically needed to assess the impact of prevention efforts on victims, employers and workplaces. An interdisciplinary team of seasoned intervention researchers and state government partners who have conducted workplace violence intervention research for the past seven years will carry out the proposed work. The proposed research will be conducted in two phases. Phase one will include a screening survey of a large cross-section of state government workers and managers (N= 18,000) to assess the prevalence of Type III workplace violence in their workplaces and associated climate for organizational justice. These screening data will then be used to rank workplaces by risk of Type III violence. Six agencies at high risk of Type III violence will be randomly assigned to either the intervention or control condition. Researchers and agency partners will then develop, implement and rigorously evaluate the impact of a violence prevention intervention on Type III workplace violence, and organizational justice climate. The following specific aims address both phases of the proposed work: 1) To assess past six month prevalence of Type III workplace, associated circumstances and employer response to violence using a screening cross-sectional survey. 2) To describe organizational justice climate for Type III workplace violence prior to intervention in six NY state agencies. 3) To develop and implement a workplace violence prevention policy and associated activities in three NY state agencies with a high prevalence of Type III workplace violence based on screening. 4) To evaluate the impact of a workplace violence prevention program on organizational justice climate and the incidences and prevalence of Type III workplace violence by comparing intervention and control agencies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZOH1-BBK (55))
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Kumar, Lata
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University of Maryland Baltimore
Schools of Nursing
United States
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Lipscomb, Jane; London, Matt; McPhaul, Kate M et al. (2015) The Prevalence of Coworker Conflict Including Bullying in a Unionized U.S. Public Sector Workforce. Violence Vict 30:813-29