Preventing Workplace Violence
Worker safety laws are in place to prevent violence and protect lone workers, however, workplace violence is on the rise. Your company will need a team of HR and Operations Executives to manage the cause.
Workplace violence is a lone worker’s worst nightmare and an employer’s worst thought. Ensuring worker safety is everyone’s job – it truly takes a team to prevent workplace violence.
The Insurance Information Network reports there are six million serious threats, two million assaults and 650 homicides reported each year on the job. Two-thirds of those were preceded by behavioral red flags. Statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) show that an average of 20 employees are murdered each week in the U.S., and around 18,000 workers are victims of non-fatal on-the-job violence every week.
All of this amounts to a significant cost to employers. “American businesses lose approximately 36 billion dollars per year as a result of workplace violence, due to lost productivity, legal fees, settlement costs and jury verdicts.”
It takes a team of highly aware personnel to prevent workplace violence. Assessing the risks of your workplace is crucial to worker safety. Review any history of job-related violence in your own workplace, and evaluate similar places of employment for a history of violence.
Some options for research include:
· Consulting incident reports and health and safety committee and first-aid records
· Asking employees if they are concerned for others or for themselves
· Assessing your workplace for violent risk factors
· Inspecting your workplace for any practices that may lead to violence
· Collecting information related to violence in your industry
· Seeking advice from local security experts
Additionally, risk of violence on the job may be greater during late hours of the night or early hours of the morning, and during tax season or holidays.
Contrary to what many believe, the majority of on-the-job violent attacks come from strangers intent upon committing a crime rather than other employees “going postal”. According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, “most workplace homicides are committed by robbers trying to steal from the business, not by current or former employees.” Workers who deal with the public in any capacity are most likely to be targets of this type of workplace violence.
How can your team work to promote safety in the workplace?
Employers: Train your workers how to recognize and respond to risky environments and threatening situations. Provide clear examples of workplace violence and what they should watch for. Give lone workers an effective, comprehensive means of protecting themselves in emergency situations, and make sure they are trained in its use.
Employees: Be mindful of your environment. Take care to follow safety guidelines set up by your employer. Notice and care for your co-workers. Watch for signs of violence and report any suspicious activity. Learn how to use safety devices and when to employ safety protocol.
If you are part of a safety committee, identify and correct work safety hazards. Keep your workplace informed of new information, issues, and solutions. Demonstrate and discuss, and practice and review drills and safety procedures.
Teams that are effective in preventing workplace violence are focused on the same safety mission, work together toward the same goal, cooperate with and depend upon one another to identify risks and follow safety procedures and communicate well.
Ensuring each worker – lone or in-house – returns home safely at the end of the day is your safety team’s most important responsibility. SoloProtect allows you to do just that. We know it takes a team to prevent workplace violence. SoloProtect is on your team. Contact us today at 866-632-6577 to find out how we can work with you.