Workplace Violence Is a Safety Issue You Can't Ignore

In light of the many headline-grabbing reports of workplace shootings and other forms of violence, this would be a good time to review your workplace violence prevention policy and conduct risk assessments and vulnerability audits. Most of the country’s employees are well aware of the violence that goes on in workplaces across the U.S. Your own employees may be concerned about the potential for violent crime in their workplace. 

In response to these concerns, employers should take steps to prevent violent incidents and help employees cope with such acts should they occur. 

 

Tips to Prevent Violent Incidents in Your Facility 

Upper management needs to promote a clear anti-violence stance by addressing the issue in a formal written policy that is distributed and discussed with all employees. Meanwhile, managers and supervisors should take the following actions: 

  • Review hiring practices
  • Implement pre-screening techniques 
  • Conduct background checks 
  • Encourage employees to report threats or violent behavior 
  • Establish termination policies 
  • Provide post-termination counseling 

Furthermore, employees should be trained to recognize the warning signs of aggressive or violent behavior and also receive information regarding threat assessment and de-escalation techniques. 

 

The toll of a single incident of workplace violence can continue weeks and even months after the event occurs. Employees who witness violent acts in the workplace report increased levels of stress and lower morale, eventually leading to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism and higher turnover. The adverse impact on organizations and individuals can also include: 

  • Property damage, theft and sabotage 
  • Diversion of management resources
  • Increased security costs
  • Increased workers’ compensation costs 
  • Increased personnel costs 

Some Final Thoughts 

By reviewing your anti-violence policy, examining hiring practices and training employees to stay alert regarding aggressive behavior, you may prevent a serious incident from occurring in your facility. When all is said and done, the benefits of doing so far outweigh any sacrifice of time or resources.