Workplace violence is a serious social issue that can affect any place of employment anywhere in the world. While violence at the workplace is often unpredictable and there are no foolproof ways to eliminate it completely, there are ways to reduce the risks associated with workplace violence. Below you will find violence-prevention tips and ways you can help protect your workplace.
Defining Workplace Violence
Workplace violence is defined as any behaviors that make a workplace dangerous. Examples of workplace violence include actual violence, threats made against others or the business in general, verbal abuse, harassment of any type and any other dangerous behaviors.
Ways to Reduce Workplace Violence Risks
One of the best ways to reduce the risk of workplace violence is to be proactive. Employers and employees who are able to identify risky behaviors may be able to reduce the possibility of a violent workplace incident.
Zero Tolerance Policy
To ensure your workplace is safe for everyone, your employer should have a zero tolerance policy against any type of workplace violence. This means anyone who threatens, harasses, verbally abuses or exhibits dangerous behaviors towards others is referred to supervisors for the appropriate actions.
All employees including supervisors should be given workplace violence training. Training supervisors and employees in identifying workplace violence can help reduce the risk of an incident occurring.
Policies and Procedures
Before any type of dangerous behavior is exhibited, employers should have policies and procedures set in place to deal with these type of situations. This way the employer and the employee are well aware of what to do and what to expect if this type of incident occurs.
Employees and employers need to accept reality, and understand that workplace violence is a real possibility. By accepting reality, they will be better prepared mentally to handle any type of situation they are faced with.
Employee Assistance Programs
Since many individuals involved with workplace violence have extreme stress or underlying mental health problems that spurred the violence, it is important for employers to offer employee assistance programs. These programs should offer employees the opportunity to seek mental health counseling or other services to deal with their underlying issues.
In addition to the tips above, employers and employees should also receive training that includes how to handle a violent workplace incident. Since many people are often surprised by a sudden burst of violence, it is important that employees and supervisors are given the training to deal with these situations if they occur. With training, employees and supervisors may be able to handle a dangerous situation quickly and more efficiently, which could help save lives.
Using the above workplace violence prevention tips can help you reduce workplace violence. Knowing exactly what you need to do, and whom you need to contact in a dangerous situation can have a huge impact on how the situation is handled. Stay safe at work by being aware of your surroundings and knowing exactly what to do, where to go and who to talk to if you feel threatened.
Lynn Darsow is a security consultant. Her articles mainly deal with security at both the workplace and at home. Visit selecthomesecurity.com for more security ideas.