Company Overview

Surviving Workplace Trauma

It’s much more than another compliance burden. Your employee’s lives are in your hands.


•     1 in 4 workers are attacked, threatened or harassed each year, costing:

•     13.5 billion dollars in medical cost a year

•     500,000 employees missing 1,750,000 days of work a year

•     41% increased stress levels


The aftermath of the horrifying events at the World Trade Center have left American workers with a feeling of insecurity the likes of which have never been experienced in our history. Fueling those fires is the constant bombardment of media accounts discussing the likelihood of future terrorist attacks. Most assuredly, organizational problem solvers will respond by providing enhanced physical security—doors and barriers designed to protect workers from outside threats. This will be coupled with upgraded building access procedures that will purport to eliminate or restrict the flow of unknown people into their workplace.


While such efforts might begin to address the outside threat, it does little or nothing to address the threat from within our own ranks. The internal workplace trauma threat has been with us long before the terrorist attacks and will linger long after. This threat is more complex than the outside threat. The threat in this instance comes from one of our own. A person we have entrusted with an access key allowing them into our mist. They are, after all, one of us. While it is a relatively simple process to enhance physical security and to develop enhanced access procedures, it is far more complex to attempt to understand what triggers traumatic stress in a fellow employee.


The profile of the workplace victimizer can be summed up in one sentence. In well over 99% of the cases the victim and survivor are, a chairman, chief executive, chief operations, doctor, nurse, manager, receptionist, mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, sister, brother, best friend, janitor, neighbor, sitting across from us at work. In other words they are an employees or employers. In any event, the lives of the innocent are victimized.


Despite the growing phenomenon of physical and verbal violence in the workplace, companies large and small are clinging to two prevailing myths. “It can’t happen here”! “It can’t be prevented”! If the epidemic of anger and violence during the past few years has demonstrated anything, it is that it can strike…at anytime, and any place. In fact workplace homicide is the fastest growing category of murder in the U.S. And homicide is now the leading cause of on-the-job death for women (and second leading cause for men).


Bad things happen to people and places. Sometimes these bad things involve injury and even death. However, it doesn’t take death for people to be seriously impacted in their lives. Surviving Workplace Trauma™ explores the inner workings of workplaces in America and give targets of workplace abuse, cubicle terrorism and boss/co-worker related conflict a voice and an opportunity to be a catalyst for change. 


 Myths Concerning Workplace Trauma:


Myth: We don’t need to train our staff about workplace trauma.

That is a personal issue that has nothing to do with workplace.

Fact: by ignoring the direct or indirect effects of trauma on employees business, owners lose between 3 and 5 billion dollars annually for medical cost alone. In addition, employers forfeit another 100 million in lost wages and lost work with workplace trauma. Workplace trauma does affect your bottom line!


Myth: If a victim of workplace trauma wants help, we have human resource staff available. All the trauma victim has to do is ask.

Fact: Workplace trauma victims usually will not approach their employer for help. Research on trauma victims demonstrates the primary reason the victim does not disclose abuse at work is fear of job loss or retribution. Remember my job represents my only source of independence.  Also the HR staff is only qualified – at best - to identify a potential problem.  They are no more qualified to deal with this ailment as they are to handle  


Myth: All we can do is offer EAP (Employee Assistance Programs) services. Beyond that we don’t have any financial liability.

Fact: currently jury awards to victims, co-workers and their estates have ranged from $25,000 to several million dollars paid by employers who fail to properly and adequately address traumatic stress in the work place.


Myth: If they don’t ask for help, they must not want it to stop.

Fact: Victims stay in abusive situations for many reasons, financial being one, fear of superior, safety issues, societal expectations, shame/humiliation, fear of retribution, self esteem, or lack of other resources are some of those reasons.


Module I: Developing an Understanding for Workplace Trauma


I. Survival and Cooperation: The Need for Collaboration

Empowerment and Collaboration: Key Concepts

The Goals of This Curriculum

What is Psychological Trauma?

Profile of Workplace Victimizer

Profile of Workplace Survivor

The Baggage of Traumatic Abuse

Basis for Discussion

Application Exercise


II. Understanding What Triggers Traumatic Stress in Fellow Employee

Early Warning Signs

Organizational Factors Contributing to the Trauma

Responding to Workplace Trauma: The Three Self Capacities



A Matter of Direction

Application Exercise


III. Introduction to Managing Workplace Trauma for Executives: Personal Responsibility Empowerment and Planning™ (PREP)


Module II: Using PREP™ to Develop a Safe Workplace for Employees


I. General Goals of Workplace Safety

Executives Role in Workplace Safety

Safety and Respect: Framework and Boundaries for Working with Trauma Survivors on the Job

Internal Workplace Trauma

PREP Reminder: What Makes this Work?


II. Psychological Effects of Downsizing/Layoffs

Insensitive Communication Equals Law Suits

Surviving a Natural Disaster

Hostage Survival

Crisis Response Team


III. Design Workplace Survival Kit™

Assessment of Survival Kit


IV. Crisis Intervention Team™ (TSA Preemptive & Emergency Response Cell)

Preemptive Mental Health Checks

Emergency Response Cell

Web Hosting Companies