Violence in America is not a new phenomenon, but it has pushed to the forefront of most aspects of our lives, including preventing workplaces. Americans are forced to deal with violence daily because of disgruntled employees, confused patients, or angry family members. Murders and physical assaults have reach new levels. While we all tend to think “it won’t happen here” or “not to me”, the reality is that workplace violence is bordering on becoming an epidemic. Healthcare and social service settings have the highest incidence of workplace violence, eclipsing noted high risk jobs such as police or taxi drivers. This shows that even in settings where the service is aimed at helping people and showing compassion in the workplace, the risk is always there.
Preventing violence in the workplace is a team effort. While employers have a legal responsibility to promote a safe work environment, employees also play their part in curbing possible violent incidents. Some of your employer’s responsibilities may include:
-Notifying all employees of any procedures implemented for assessing workplace threats and emergencies
-Informing employees of workplace violence policies and procedures
-Responding quickly and understanding that a timely reaction is crucial for success
-Involving management in the workplace violence policy creation process
-Taking all threats seriously
-Controlling access to building including providing adequate security systems
-Responding to potential threats and escalating situations by utilizing available resources from law enforcement
-Having a designated person to whom employees should report all threats. Designated safety officers should be trained on workplace violence and know whom to contact at the local designated law enforcement office
Just as the employer must take an active role in the prevention of workplace violence, an employee’s awareness of the potential for workplace violence is essential to its deterrence. Some of your responsibilities may include:
-Taking any threat, physical or verbal, seriously and reporting threatening behavior directly to management or the designated safety officer
-Reading and understanding the organization’s policies involving workplace violence
-Notifying supervisors about possible threats or unusual strangers in the workplace
Taking these measures can do a lot to prevent violence in the workplace. Ensure that your employees know that their safety is the company’s main concern. Workplace violence is always a difficult thing to deal with, but hopefully by taking some extra steps in the planning process we can reduce the amount of incidents and create a safer workplace for everyone.
Could your office use workplace violence training? Contact us today!