Workplace violence refers to an act or threat that signifies physical violence, intimidation, harassment or other threatening behavior that takes place at work. Threats, verbal abuse, physical assaults, homicide, and other violent acts all fall into this category.
Workplace violence can involve employees, customers, and clients. It is a major concern for both employers and employees as acts of violence are currently the third-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States.
Major Causes of Workplace Violence
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, almost two million cases of workplace violence are reported each year in the United States, with many more unreported cases. According to research there are 6 major causes of workplace violence. These are:
- Work that involves exchanging money with the public (delivery drivers, remittance services, etc.)
- Working with psychologically unstable people
- Working in isolated places
- Working in a business where alcohol is served
- Working on graveyard shift
- Working in places with high crime rates
How to Reduce or Prevent Workplace Violence
Violence is not a rare occurrence in the workplace.
Many companies that have identified the risk factors associated with work-related injuries were able to establish appropriate measures to prevent or minimize workplace violence. In order to establish safety in the workplace, it is imperative for businesses to implement measures towards zero tolerance on violence in the workplace. This should cover all employees, contractors, customers, and visitors. Here are practical ways to prevent or reduce workplace violence:
1. Establish a Policy that Prohibits Harassment
This policy should cover all levels in the organization including executives, managers, and employees. It should be disseminated to all levels in the organization. As the employer, be sure to know that everyone in your organization understands that policy. Furthermore, you also need to establish a set of procedures designed to quickly and privately address and take care of complaints and incident reports.
2. Create an Open Line of Communication with Employees
An open line of communication can play a major role in averting workplace violence. The silence of victims and witnesses gives violent employees an opportunity to thrive in the workplace. Stop this by encouraging your workers to communicate with one another especially to the people authorized to investigate, resolve conflicts or impose disciplinary action. This can help to alleviate misunderstandings or defuse tensions, and prevent possible violence from taking place.
3. Offer Training Sessions that Enable workers to Identify Violent Behavior
Invest money and time to train your workers to identify violent behavior and make them aware of the presence of a violent coworker or intruder. Draw up Emergency Response Plans and provide your staff with Emergency Preparedness Training to make them ready for unexpected incidents. This can help to prevent violence in your facility. You may seek the assistance of professionals like Boulder Security Services to make the job easier for you.
4. Establish a Company Code of Conduct that Emphasizes “Zero-Tolerance”
Create a code of conduct that emphasizes zero tolerance to violence in the workplace and make sure that all your employees are aware of it. This works to instill your commitment against workplace violence in the minds of your workers.
5. Encourage Your Workers to Respect Individual Differences
Differences in outlooks and abilities between individuals is an important factor for building a strong team. Instill into your employees the importance of respecting and recognizing individual differences. It’s one of the best aspects of building strategic teams. It is also one of the best ways to avoid conflict in the workplace.
6. Resolve Conflicts Quickly
The immediate resolution of conflicts is an easy way out to prevent violence in the workplace. Monitor how your teams work together and see if there are signs of tensions which can possibly escalate into violence. By resolving conflicts as soon as they begin, you will be able to prevent workplace violence.
7. Define Unacceptable Behavior and Let Your Workers Understand the Consequences of Committing Violent Acts
Let your workers understand what behaviors are unacceptable and let them know the consequences should they commit threatening or violent acts in the workplace.
8. Encourage Your Workers to Report Violent Incidents
Encourage your workers to report all violent incidents by giving them the assurance that you will treat each report with confidentiality. This can help to relieve them from fears of retaliation from co-workers.
9. Install Effective Measures to Deter Robbery
Robbery can happen at companies that sell valuables or handle a lot of transactions in cash. This can include banks, remittance companies (ex. Western Union, MoneyGram, etc.), money changers, and jewelry stores.
Robbery often involves outsiders. Prevent it by installing measures to deter would be criminals from perpetuating violent acts against your company. Make your system robbery-proof with the help of professionals like Belcastro Security Services.
Enjoy the benefit of peace of mind by ensuring a safe workplace for your employees. Let our team at Boulder Security Services provide your company with the knowledge and technology it needs to make your business violence-free.
Call us at (720) 319-0992 for a professional assessment of your organization’s security needs.