Topic: Workplace Violence

Linda Beverly

The February meeting featured a program on Workplace Violence presented by our own Linda Beverly and a tribute to our chapter's founder, the late Ted Webb. We were proud to be joined by Ted's wife Brenda and daughters Lindsay (who is our Chapter Secretary) and Lauren. Also present was chapter member and husband of Lindsay, Taylor Farr.

The program began with the tribute to Ted. Those sharing stories about Ted included Carl Vincent, Tom Tinker, Nancy Morgan and Brian Bennett. 

Carl shared how he had approached Ted while taking the CFM exam and inquired as to whether he might be able to "bend the rules" a little bit. Carl said Ted replied that the rules are the rules. Tom shared about how he had tried to do business with Ted, but was unable to do so until he changed companies. Once Tom went to work for Steelcase, he called on Ted again to let him know that he could work with him now. Nancy talked about how she was now working with Ted's daughter, Lindsay, on their new building project. Brian shared how Ted and IFMA Tulsa could be compared to the story of George Bailey and It's a Wonderful Life. Brian suggested that without Ted, IFMA Tulsa would not be the successful chapter it is today. Brian reiterated the words he came up with to describe Ted's gift to IFMA nominating Ted for the 2009 IFMA Distinguished Member of the Year Award. Brian said, "The greatest gift Ted Webb gave to IFMA was Ted."

After the tributes, chapter president, Stephanie Pugh, presented Ted's wife Brenda with an engraved glass vase from the IFMA Tulsa Chapter. One last note, Mark Faulkenberry with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative presented IFMA with a check for $2500.00 to go towards the memorial fund set up in Ted's name to benefit the OSU facility management program. Chapter Treasurer, Brian Bennett, shared that with that donation, a total of $3865.00 had been donated so far. Workplace Violence was the topic of the day. IFMA Tulsa Chapter member Linda Beverly was the featured speaker. Linda's program focused on the story of how her husband, David Beverly, was shot while on the job at NASA. In addition, Linda's program included these sobering facts:

  • According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the workplace is the most dangerous place to be in America. There are between 1.5 and 2 million incidents of workplace violence each year.
  • Half the biggest employers in the United States reported an incident of workplace violence within the 12- month period prior to completing a Bureau of Labor survey. One sixth of all violent crimes occur in the workplace.
  • 17-20 people will be murdered on the job and another 1500 will be assaulted, raped, stabbed, shot or beaten - THIS WEEK ALONE!
  • The annual cost to companies as related to workplace violence is $36 billion.

Linda also discussed the profile of an employee that may be prone to workplace violence. Those characteristics included males over 35 years of age that are loners and chronically disgruntled. They have problems with authority, never accept responsibility for their mistakes, don't accept change well and are suspicious or sometimes paranoid of their fellow workers.

Warning signs include someone who engages in irritating, intrusive or obnoxious behavior to "test the waters" to see how far he/she can go before being stopped. Other warning signs can be personal hygiene, health problems, financial hardships, tardiness, etc. Linda shared a story about asking someone at NASA what her husband was wearing that day. The employee replied they could not remember what David was wearing, but could remember what the shooter, Bill Phillips, was wearing because he wore the same thing every day!

Common triggers that might instigate violence include termination, lay offs, believing they were passed over for promotion and bad performance evaluations. The NASA shooter, Bill Phillips, had received bad performance evaluations and believed his job was in jeopardy. That was Bill Phillips' tipping point.

Thanks to Linda for a great program. Also, a big thank you to Ted Webb's family for joining us to celebrate Ted's life. We all loved Ted and will miss him deeply. There will never be another Ted Webb.