For incidents that have already occurred, a TAT investigator is dispatched to the site. (TAT has employees around the country. Those stationed at the Philadelphia distribution center respond to calls in and around the city.) TAT personnel conduct investigations and serve as liaisons to all parties, including employees, management, and human resources.
TAT also monitors any reports of aggressive behavior, changes in mood, or any other red flags that might signal a possible future workplace violence incident. Members of the team meet with district managers quarterly to go over all complaints and incidents.
Safe and Secure. Another PIS program engages the 500,000 USPS employees and 100,000 contractors about workplace violence directly. As part of the program, PIS employees give quarterly presentations to groups of postal employees, providing a targeted message.
PIS worked with managers to develop guidelines targeted to various groups. For example, letter carriers are urged to be on the lookout for disgruntled members of the public. Plant employees are taught how to interact with other workers and spot colleagues who may be under stress.
A new guideline currently in development is targeted towards the drivers who transport mail over long distances. This guideline will help drivers by reminding them to avoid high-risk situations, such as parking overnight in a high-crime area, and it will teach them how to deal with break-downs and how to secure cargo.
These guidelines are presented during talks by postal inspectors, and each group is asked to watch a training video tailor-made for that group. “We go out, show the video, and engage employees in discussing the information,” says Wallace. “The idea is to physically meet with people. Make contact. Make people comfortable so they feel comfortable making reports.”
The PIS gathers annual reports on the number of assaults on employees, broken out by categories. While the specific numbers are not made available to the public, Wallace notes that the numbers have gone down in all categories over the past several years.