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Death In the Workplace

Death In the Workplace; Counseling for grief of a of co-worker

People go to work expecting things to be business as usual. At the end of the day, they go home to their personal lives, friends, partners and families. The last thing any of us expects is for a co-worker to die in the workplace, either from natural causes, or as a result of a tragic event or industrial/work related incident such as:

rig and refinery

industrial plant

construction site

line of duty (LODD)

fire and disaster

transportation vehicles

murder / suicide

When a death in the workplace happens, workers have to deal with additional concerns in addition to the shock, the death of a co-worker and the loss of safety in the work environment. Workers, Human Resources and Management may be concerned about how and why the incident occurred and what sort of steps are being taken to ensure that another accident will not happen and/or the security is being increased to protect them from future acts of violence. Death in the workplace may result in feelings of anger, guilt, unease, fears for personal safety plus the pervasive need for someone or something to blame.

When a death in the workplace occurs it can send shock waves through the various parts of the organization. Often times, workers do not get a chance to air their thoughts and feelings about what has occurred with their colleagues and managers in any structured process. People respond to loss differently. Some find it very difficult to return to work, whereas others find it helpful to keep busy; their work diverts them away from grieving, sadness and mourning. For other workers, simply getting back to standard routines and avoiding any special activities or remembrances related to the loss or death, may be the best way of putting the event behind them. Moreover, while they want to continue performing at peak levels, it becomes difficult to impossible. Low productivity and absenteeism are unfortunate but common results of unprocessed grief. On the other hand, Human Resources and Managers often do not know what format or mechanism to follow in the aftermath of sudden and unexpected loss in the office.

My services facilitate the beginning of a healthy grief process. Workers feel accounted for and part of a larger effort of empathetic responsiveness on the part of the company when their needs are addressed. As a crucial part of this larger empathetic (and practical) response, the grief counselor becomes your ally and guide through a complicated passage. (*please read the statement below)

Call Now: (713) 489-3329

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*The above service is for individuals and delivered at our central office. If an incident has occurred at your company and you are calling about onsite services for the employees – please go to the Critical Incident Stress page (under Corporate Services) for further assistance.

Ben Carrettin is a Nationally Board Certified Counselor (NCC), Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor (LPC-S) and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC). He is the owner of Practice Improvement Resources, LLC; a private business which offers an array of specialized counseling, evidenced-based clinical consultation, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and targeted ESI-based services to individuals and businesses.

 

Death In the Workplace