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Workplace Violence

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Title: Workplace Violence


1
Workplace Violence
  • Safety Through Prevention
  • Setting A Policy
  • Open your eyes and youll see it,
  • Open your ears and youll hear it!
  • 10/08
  • David R. Thomas M.S.
  • Johns Hopkins University

2
Goal of Workplace Violence Training
  • Develop an understanding of domestic violence and
    its impact on the workplace
  • Develop policies in the workplace that address
    domestic violence
  • Develop a coordinated response to domestic
    violence in the workplace
  • Develop employees awareness and skill in
    recognizing, responding to, and supporting
    employees who are victims of domestic violence

3
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4
Definitions
  • Workplace violence is any physical assault,
    threatening behavior, or verbal abuse occurring
    in the work setting
  • A work setting is any location either permanent
    or temporary where an employee performs any work
    related duty

5
Definition Contd
  • This includes, but is not limited to, the
    buildings, the campus, vehicles and any area
    under the supervision of the entity.

6
Workplace Violence Includes
  • Beatings
  • Stabbings
  • Suicides
  • Shootings
  • Rapes
  • Near-suicides
  • Psychological traumas
  • Threats or obscene phone calls
  • Intimidation
  • Harassment of any nature
  • Being followed, sworn or shouted at

7
Types of Workplace Violence
  • Violence by
  • - Strangers
  • - Co-Workers
  • - Personal Relations

8
Categories and Analyses of Threats
  • Threat from strangers
  • Threat from business associates
  • Threat from co-workers
  • Threat from domestic relations

9
Understanding The Problem
  • Domestic Violence in MD
  • Domestic violence related crimes
  • Every 5 days
  • 1 in 4 women
  • Will it effect the workplace?

10
Understanding The Problem
  • 26, 544 women
  • One-fourth, or 6,636 women
  • 6000 state employees
  • Will it effect the workplace?

11
Domestic Violence Overview
  • Clarifying what domestic violence is
  • And what domestic violence is not
  • It is exerted through physical, psychological
    and/or economic means.

12
Relationship defined
  • In the context of discussing domestic violence,
    intimate relationships are ones in which
    heterosexual or homosexual partners are involved
    and which have, or had, a sexual relationship or
    emotional relationship.

13
Relationship Abuse
  • A disagreement?
  • An anger management problem?
  • A relationship with ups and downs?
  • Pattern of violent behaviors
  • Utilized in intimate relationships
  • May result in injury and/or death
  • Includes verbal, sexual, and economic control
    over another person

14
Domestic Violence
  • Who are the victims of domestic violence?
  • There is no typical victim
  • Approximately 3.3 million children a year witness
    violence against their mothers
  • In one study, 23.8 of shelter victims reported
    observing animal cruelty by their abusers

15
Do Women Abuse Men?
  • Women do use violence in intimate relationships.
  • They both initiate violence and use violence in
    self-defense.
  • Women do controlling things in relationships and
    can be abusive to their partners.

16
Womens Use Of Violence
  • Yet, when we look at and study womens violence
    in intimate relationships we find that women do
    not typically accompany their violence with
    intimidation, rape, and coercion, even in abusive
    relationships.
  • Violence is not an effective tool for most women.
  • While women use violence, they use it in very
    different ways.

17
Profile of Domestic Violence Victims
  • Domestic violence crosses ethnic, racial, age,
    national origin, religious and socioeconomic
    lines.
  • Approx. 4 million American women experience a
    serious assault by an intimate during an average
    12 month period
  • 25-50 of all marriages experience violence in
    the relationship

18
Profile of Domestic Violence Victims
  • 65 of intimate homicide victims physically
    separated from their abuser
  • 25-50 of pregnant women are battered
  • Up to 50 of all homeless women and children are
    fleeing domestic violence
  • An average of 28 of high school and college
    students experience dating violence
  • 27 of domestic violence victims are children

19
Effects of Domestic Violence on Children
  • Patterns of violent behavior are passed from one
    generation to the next.
  • Approximately 30 of boys who witness violence in
    the home grow up to abuse.
  • Sons witnessing their fathers violence have a
    1,000 higher rate of wife abuse.
  • The majority of abused women who use shelter
    services bring their children.
  • 72 brought children with them with 21
    accompanied by three or more kids

20
Understanding Domestic Violence
  • THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE
  • Tension Building Phase
  • Serious Battering Phase
  • Honeymoon Phase

21
Domestic Abuse Intervention Project
22
WHY DO VICTIMS STAY?
  • Love
  • Children
  • Religion
  • Preservation Of Family
  • Hope
  • Denial
  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • No Relationship Role Models
  • Threats
  • Fear
  • Stalking Victim
  • Retaliation
  • No Place To Go/Hide
  • Economic Dependency
  • Lack Of Resources
  • Lack of Support

23
Remember
  • In an abnormal situation, it is normal to
    respond in abnormal ways!
  • Victor Frankl
  • Concentration Camp Survivor

24
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25
VICTIMS
  • The weight of multiple harms
  • Cumulative effect
  • Leaving is a process not an event
  • Their safety is at greatest risk when they try
    to leave or participate in criminal justice
    process
  • They leave in greater numbers than unhappy
    spouses
  • They dont pick batterers.. batterers pick them!

26
Abuse And The Excuse
  • Mental illness
  • Loss of control
  • Anger problem
  • Alcohol/substance abuse

27
Why Abuse?
  • The claim Anger is the problem
  • The fact 5 to 7 of batterers
  • cannot control their anger
  • The claim I just lost control
  • The fact 5 to 10 have poor impulse
    control

28
Perpetrators Believe
  • Entitled to control their partner
  • Partner is obligated to obey them
  • They get what they want through violence
  • They are moral people even if they use violence
  • Will not suffer significant adverse physical,
    legal, economic or personal consequences

29
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30
Myths or Facts About Domestic Violence?
  • Domestic violence effects only a small proportion
    of the population
  • Battering is only a momentary loss of control
  • Victims of domestic violence like to be beaten
  • Victims of domestic violence have psychological
    disorders

31
Myths or Facts
  • Low self-esteem causes victims to be involved in
    abusive relationships
  • Victims of domestic violence never leave their
    abusers, or if they do, they just get involved in
    other abusive relationships
  • Perpetrators abuse their partners or spouses
    because of alcohol or drug abuse
  • Perpetrators of DV abuse their partners because
    they are under a lot of stress

32
Myths or Facts
  • Law enforcement and judicial responses, such as
    arresting perpetrators or issuing civil
    protective orders, are useless
  • Children are not effected when one parent abuses
    the other
  • Domestic violence is irrelevant to parental
    fitness

33
Why a workplace issue?
  • If a domestic violence victim leaves their
    abuser, where do you think the abuser would have
    more difficulty locating them, at a new residence
    or at work?

34
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35
National Benchmark Survey 2005
  • The Impact of DV on the American Workplace
  • Very important issues ranking
  • Very aware
  • Experienced impact of DV on the workplace.
  • Identified self as victims
  • Socio-economic status
  • Domestic Violence Report, Vol. 11, No. 4,
    April/May 2006

36
Is Workplace Violence Really a Problem?
  • Look at the facts
  • Domestic Violence cost big business 5-8 Billion
    annually
  • 74 of employed battered women are harassed at
    work
  • 56 are late at least five times per month
  • 28 leave early at least five times per month

37
Economic Impact of Workplace Violence
  • Cost
  • 500,000 employees 1,175,100 lose work days each
    year
  • Lost wages 55 million annually
  • Lost productivity, legal expenses, property
    damage, diminished public image, increased
    security
  • BILLIONS

38
Domestic Violence The Workplace
  • 54 miss at least three full days of work a month
  • 24-30 of domestic violence victims lost their
    jobs
  • Workplace violence has tripled in the last decade
  • Among workplace violence victims who took some
    type of protective action more that 80 believed
    it helped the situation

39
Statistics on Workplace Violence
  • Homicide is the second leading cause of death in
    the workplace
  • In 1997, there were 856 homicides in Americas
    workplaces
  • Assaults and threats of violence number almost 2
    million a year

40
Statistics
  • Most common form of violence was simple assaults
    1.5 million a year
  • Aggravated assaults 396,000
  • Rapes and sexual assaults 51,000
  • Robberies 84,000
  • Homicides nearly 1,000

41
Assaults and Homicides
42
National Benchmark Survey
  • 64 Significantly Impacted
  • 26 Somewhat Impacted
  • How?
  • Distracted
  • Fear of Discovery
  • Harassment _at_ work by intimate
  • Lateness
  • Fear of unexpected visits by intimate
  • Inability to complete assignments
  • Job loss Problems with boss

43
National Benchmark Survey
  • Impact on Co-Workers
  • 27 - Extremely to somewhat frequently had to do
    victims work
  • 31 - Strongly to somewhat obliged to cover for
    the victim
  • 25 - Resented co-worker due to the effect of the
    situation on the workplace
  • 38 - extremely to somewhat concerned for their
    personal safety

44
Victims Work Experience
  • 25 written up/fired
  • 61 employers unaware
  • 85 abuse affected job
  • 85 utilized health care system
  • 25 stalked at work
  • 7 never returned to work
  • (Survey Report by Violence Free Families
    committee on Workplace Violence, August, 2002,
    Springfield Missouri)

45
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46
Predictability
  • Violence doesnt usually just happen,
  • like the weather, its predictable.
  • 80 of workplace violence is domestic violence
    related.

47
Predictability
  • Corporate America
  • Violence cant happen here
  • Employee Pool
  • Society

48
Predictability
  • Sexual harassment training
  • Senior executives were included.
  • Domestic/workplace violence education.
  • This must be committed to by workplace
    executives
  • for if they are committed,
  • change will occur.

49
Predictability
  • Two documents a perpetrator will walk around with
    before an incident are the Grievance Procedure
    Manual and the Corporate Personnel Manual.
  • These individuals will read these documents and
    take them literally.
  • They will know it as well as anyone. These are
    red flags.

50
Predictability
  • Many times it is Management v. Union,
    perpetrators use the union to protect them.

51
Polaroid
  • 63 years
  • Close Knit Community
  • Disgruntled Worker
  • Multiple Injuries
  • History of domestic violence
  • Numerous run-ins with management

52
Polaroid
  • Employee Fired
  • Questions Addressed
  • Has Polaroid ever responded this way to workplace
    violence?
  • Has an employee of Polaroid ever been fired for
    workplace violence?
  • Has the company ever documented any incidents of
    workplace violence?
  • Were there ever any incidents of workplace
    violence by this employee?
  • Were these incidents documented?

53
Polaroid
  • How do you think the court ruled?
  • What did Polaroid learn?
  • What changes did they make?

54
National Benchmark Survey
  • Employer Readiness
  • 31 - no programs, support of help
  • 23 - given access to counseling and assistance
  • 18 - provided information and referral to DV
    programs
  • 18 - provided flexible leave and other benefits
  • 12 - assisted in contacting authorities
  • 12 - provided security

55
How Do You Prepare?
  • Three things that you should look at are
  • 1. The personnel manual
  • 2. The grievance procedure
  • 3. The company news letter/paper
  • They will tell you about the company culture,
    about whats happening, whats expected, and how
    far employees may go.

56
Preparation
  • Check to see
  • How many policies deal with workplace violence?
  • How responsive is the company to acts of
    violence?
  • Does the company allow you to fire someone on the
    spot for assault?

57
Preparation
  • Take away options and choices
  • It is their goal to control options and choices.
  • Isolation of management
  • The same thing that a perpetrator does at home,
    he does at work.

58
Preparation
  • As anger goes up the ability to think declines.
  • The companies grievance procedure tells the
    perpetrator who to deal with.

59
Preparation
  • It is very important to remember that violence
    does not just happen.
  • Individuals perpetuating workplace violence want
    validation not help!

60
Management's Role
  • Part of management's role is to create a safe
    work environment.
  • This duty is dictated by the Occupational Safety
    and Health Act (OSHA)
  • Respondeat Superior dictates that principals
    (employers) are liable for the actions of their
    agents (employees).

61
Managements Role
  • To put it simply
  • If the employer knows -- or should have known
    -- of information indicating that a person is a
    risk for committing violence, the employer is
    responsible for any violent acts that that person
    commits.
  • What does that mean to employers?

62
Liability
  • Respondeat Superior Liability
  • Vicarious liability
  • Acts unconnected to job duties
  • Direct Employee Negligence
  • Negligent hiring or retention
  • Did the employer know (or should have known) of
    propensity for violence
  • Acts need not to have been done within scope of
    employment

63
Liability
  • Failure to act after proper notice
  • Failure to warn an identifiable victim
  • Premise Liability
  • General duty
  • Reasonable steps

64
Key Legal Issues
  • The Effect of Workers Compensation
  • The Effect of the Americans with Disabilities Act
    and State Disability Discrimination Laws
  • Relationship to Privacy Laws
  • Remedies Available Where an Employee is Assaulted
  • Court Cases

65
Liability
  • What are the most recent results of actions filed
    against employers who fail to meet this standard?
  • Jury Verdicts on average
  • Cases resulting in death 2.2 million
  • Cases involving rape/sexual assault 1.8 m
  • Cases involving assault 1.2 million

66
OSHA Guidelines
67
OSHA Guidelines
  • Not a new standard or regulation
  • Advisory in nature and informational in content
  • Intended for use by employers who are seeking to
    provide a safe and healthful workplace through
    effective workplace violence programs

68
OSHA Guidelines
  • Based on OSHAs Safety and Health Program
    Management Guidelines published in 1989

69
OSHA GENERAL DUTY CLAUSE SECTION 5(a)(1)
Each employer shall furnish to each of his
employees employment and a place of employment
which are free from recognized hazards that are
causing or likely to cause death or serious
physical harm. This includes the prevention and
control of the hazard of workplace violence
70
OSHA General Duty Clause (contd)
OSHA will rely on Section 5 (a)(1) of the OSH Act
for enforcement authority
71
Managements Role
  • As a manager/supervisor it is incumbent upon you
    to first educate yourself on domestic violence.
  • If you dont have the answers,
  • at least know where to direct someone to get the
    right answers.
  • When someone approaches you in crisis they need
    help right then
  • 24 hours later may be too late.

72
Managements Role
  • Prepare yourself by
  • Knowing about resources in the community
  • Keep up-to-date materials on hand and around the
    work environment
  • Let employees know you are available to talk
    about DV concerns

73
Managements Role
  • Creating the safe work environment
  • Make managements stand on DV clear
  • Display educational materials throughout the
    office
  • Informational materials include but are not
    limited to
  • Pamphlets, Anti DV Posters
  • Educational materials left discretely in
    restrooms and lounges
  • Educational department wide emails

74
Managements Role
  • In short,
  • management must make it clear to both
  • victims and perpetrators that you will
    respond to DV in non-
  • judgmental ways.

75
Managements Role
  • At what point should a manager/supervisor become
    involved without over stepping his/her bounds?
  • The bottom line is
  • If it effects the workplace,
  • a manager/supervisor needs to address it.

76
Workplace Violence Prevention Program Elements
  • Management Commitment and Employee Involvement
  • Training and Education
  • Recordkeeping and Evaluation of Program

77
Management Commitment and Employee Involvement
  • Complementary and essential
  • Management commitment provides the motivating
    force to deal effectively with workplace violence
  • Employee involvement and feedback-enable workers
    to develop and express their commitment to safety
    and health

78
Management Commitment
  • System of accountability for involved managers,
    and employees
  • Create and disseminate a clear policy of zero
    tolerance for workplace violence
  • Encourage employees to promptly report incidents
    and suggest ways to reduce or eliminate risk
  • Ensure no reprisals are taken against employees
    who report incidents

79
Management Commitment (contd)
  • Outline a comprehensive plan for maintaining
    security in the workplace
  • Assign responsibility and authority for program
    to individuals with appropriate training and
    skills
  • Affirm management commitment to worker supportive
    environment
  • Set up company briefings as part of the initial
    effort to address safety issues

80
Talking to an Employee Who is in a Domestic
Violence Situation
  • You may not know what to say..
  • You may feel that you dont know the employee
    well enough..
  • You may have even previously approached the
    individual and received a denial..

81
Talking to an Employee Who is in a Domestic
Violence Situation
  • These are legitimate concerns.
  • Most victims deeply appreciate support from their
    supervisors, even if they dont say so.
  • Hearing your concern may make it easier for
    her/him to escape the abuse.

82
Talking to an Employee Who is in a Domestic
Violence Situation
  • Victims may not disclose at your first approach.
  • They may be too afraid or to embarrassed.
  • However,
  • your concern sends a message that you are
    available to help when ready.

83
Talking to an Employee in a Domestic Violence
Situation
  • Upon disclosure you should communicate five
    important messages to the employee
  • You are concerned for her/him and will support
    them
  • You will make every effort to keep the
    information confidential
  • You will assist in obtaining the appropriate
    resources

84
Talking to an Employee in a Domestic Violence
Situation
  • You are available to work with your employee to
    increase his/her safety while at work and to help
    balance work and personal needs
  • The employee will not be disciplined or penalized
    in the workplace solely for being a victim of
    domestic violence

85
Signs an Employee is Being Abused
  • Repeated physical injuries
  • Isolation
  • Emotional distress
  • Despondence or Depression
  • Distraction
  • Personal phone calls
  • Absenteeism

86
Signs of abuse
  • Makeup
  • Clothing
  • Court Appearances
  • Change of address
  • Non-participation

87
Assessing the Situation Possible Pre-Indicator
Red Flags
  • Status of relationship
  • Order of protection
  • Arrest
  • Alcohol/Drug
  • Victims fear
  • Weapons
  • Suicide/Homicide

88
Red Flags
  • Children
  • Symbolic violence
  • Threats
  • Strangulation
  • Access
  • Past physical violence
  • Past relationship history
  • Abusers personal situation

89
Employee Involvement
  • Understand and comply with the workplace violence
    prevention program and other safety and security
    measures
  • Participate in employee complaints or suggestion
    procedures covering safety and security concerns
  • Prompt and accurate reporting of violent incidents

90
Supervising a Victim of Domestic Violence
  • Methods of Employer Assistance
  • Temporary changes in employees work schedule or
    workstation
  • Creative use of applicable leave policies
  • Screen employees calls/emails or change their
    number/address
  • Security escorts to and from building

91
Supervising a Victim of Domestic Violence
  • Ask the employee how they think you can help them
    be safe at work
  • Refer the employee to the local DV provider
  • If a protection order exist encourage employee to
    give you a copy

92
Supervising a Victim of Domestic Violence
  • Encourage employee to let you know in advance if
    she/he cant meet a deadline or cant handle a
    specific job function
  • If your workplace has an employee assistance
    program, encourage the employee to get into
    contact with them

93
Supervising a Perpetrator of Domestic Violence
  • Self disclosure
  • Joking, harassing phone calls/faxes or emails
    threatening physical violence

94
Analysis of Worksite Violence Indicators
  • ANY COMBINATION OF THESE INDICATORS MAY BE CAUSE
    FOR REPORTING TO DESIGNATED AUTHORITIES FOR
    FURTHER ACTION
  • 1) Past history of violent or threatening
    behavior
  • 2) Co-workers reasonable fear of an employee
    3) Statements of personal stress or
    desperation
  • 4) Evidence of chemical dependency
  • 5) An obsession with weapons/inappropriate
    statements of weapons
  • 6) Observed or perceived threatening behavior
  • 7) Routine violations of department policy or
    rules
  • 8) Sexual and other harassment of co-workers

95
  • 9) Destructive behavior
  • 10) Obsessed with retaliating against workplace
    for discipline
  • 11) Showing little involvement with co-workers
    a loner
  • 12) Resistance or over-reaction to changes in
    agency policies
  • 13) Significant changes in behavior or beliefs
  • 14) Deteriorating physical appearance
  • 15) Statements of excessive interest in
    publicized violent acts
  • 16) Exhibiting behavior that may be described or
    perceived as
  • paranoid

96
Supervising a Perpetrator of Domestic Violence
  • Things to consider
  • Document any threats and/or violence in the
    workplace. If necessary contact the police and
    keep your supervisor apprised of the situation
  • If the employee is utilizing work time or
    resources, such as workplace phones, facsimile
    machines or email to harass threaten or
    intimidate another person, the employee should be
    subject to disciplinary actions

97
Supervising a Perpetrator of Domestic Violence
  • If situation at home is affecting his/her work
    performance, make an appointment to meet with the
    employee and discuss the problem (without being
    accusatory)
  • Before meeting with the employee, consider
    whether you feel the employee could become
    hostile or violent when criticized for poor work
    performance. You may want to have another
    supervisor present for the meeting

98
Supervising a Perpetrator of Domestic Violence
  • You may want to also consider including security
    personnel and/or the police if the situation
    appears to be explosive
  • If abuse is disclosed let them know that you are
    concerned but that you cant condone the
    violence/behavior.
  • Encourage them to contact the local DV provider
    for help

99
Guidelines for Discussing Performance
  • Clearly identify the performance problems
    observed
  • Tell the employee you understand that sometimes
    personal issues can interfere with good
    performance
  • Where clear signs of abuse exist, gently
    encourage the employee to discuss the problem
  • Suggest ways to improve performance in writing
    complete with suspense dates

100
Administrative and Work Practice Controls
  • State clearly to clients/employees/others
    violence will not be tolerated or permitted
  • Establish liaison with local police and state
    prosecutors
  • Require employees to report all assaults and
    threats
  • Set up trained response teams to respond to
    emergencies

101
Security Responses/Options
  • Quick identification and reporting
  • Clear instructions
  • Lock doors
  • Check-in
  • Isolate public access areas
  • Security guards
  • Safe room
  • Electronic access control

102
Security Responses
  • Local law enforcement
  • Protocols
  • Alert law enforcement
  • Information flow
  • Pre-arranged code
  • Coordinated response plan

103
Post-Incident Response
Provide comprehensive treatment for victimized
employees and employees who may be traumatized by
witnessing a workplace violence incident
104
Post-Incident Response
  • Trauma-crisis counseling
  • Critical incident stress debriefing
  • Employee assistance programs to assist victims

105
Training and Education
  • Ensure that all staff are aware of potential
    security hazards and ways of protecting themselves

Workplace Violence Program
106
Training and Education
Training program should involve all employees,
including supervisors and managers
107
Training and Education
  • Workplace violence prevention policy
  • Risk factors that cause or contribute to assaults
  • Early recognition of escalating behavior or
    warning signs
  • Ways to prevent volatile situations
  • Standard response action plan for violent
    situations
  • Location and operation of safety devices

108
Setting up Your Policy
  • Questions to be Addressed
  • Appropriate questioning
  • Unwillingness to consent
  • Roles must be defined
  • Coordinator
  • Confronting the accused
  • What disciplinary action should be taken
  • Retaliation
  • Non-punitive supervision

109
Setting up Your Policy
  1. Notification
  2. Defamation
  3. Commitment
  4. Invasion of privacy
  5. Consultations
  6. Increased security
  7. Security
  8. Employment decisions

110
Setting up Your Policy
  1. Guidelines
  2. Documentation
  3. Making Contacts

111
Recordkeeping and Evaluation
  • Recordkeeping and evaluation of the violence
    prevention program are necessary too determine
    overall effectiveness and Identify deficiencies
    or changes that should be made

112
Recordkeeping
  • OSHA Log of Injury and Illness (OSHA 200)
  • Medical reports of work injuries assaults
  • Incidents of abuse, verbal attacks, or aggressive
    behavior
  • Information on employees with history of violence
  • Minutes of safety meetings, records of hazard
    analyses, and corrective actions
  • Records of all training programs

113
Evaluation
  • Establish uniform violence reporting system and
    regular review of reports
  • Review reports of minutes from staff meetings on
    safety issues
  • Analyze trends and rates in illness/injury or
    fatalities caused by violence
  • Measure improvement based on lowering frequency
    and severity of workplace violence

114
Sources of Assistance
  • OSHA Consultation Program
  • OSHA Internet Site www.osha.gov
  • NIOSH
  • Public Safety Officials
  • Trade Associations
  • Unions and Insurers
  • Human Resource and Employee Assistance
    Professionals

115
  • David R. Thomas
  • 410-516-9872
  • DRT_at_jhu.edu
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