Understand and prevent workplace violence.
Workplace violence is typically regarded as an incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in the circumstances relating to his or her work. This type of violence can range from life-threatening physical attacks to verbal abuse. The Department of Justice found violence to a be a leading cause of fatal injuries at work with around 1,000 workplace homicides every year. Understanding the different types of workplace violence can go a long way in preventing it in the workplace and even catching it before it gets out of hand.
OSHA enforces that employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe workplace for all employees. Should an employer become aware of threats or intimidation occurring in the place of work, certain procedures should be put into place. A violence prevention program can help to reinforce company policies that violence will not be tolerated on any level. Not only should businesses be aware of this for the safety of their employees, but also for the livelihood of their company. A business can be cited for a violation if they are aware of violence and do not do reasonable, feasible actions to stop it.
When Is a Business at Risk?
Certain features about a business make them more exposed to suffering or sparking workplace violence. When a business has any of the following risk factors, business owners should address their policies and employees moving forward.
- Exchange of cash
- Employees working alone, especially at night or during the early hours of the morning
- Valuable items such as money or jewelry easily available
- Guarding money, property or possessions
- Maintaining public safety factions in the community
- Working with individuals with a known history of violence
- Employees with a history of assaults or threatening behavior to others
How Can a Business Recover After an Incident?
When a business faces workplace violence, the owner must make important changes to prevent another incident and protect staff members. This can occur in a few ways, including:
- Provide prompt medical evaluation and treatment after the incident
- Discuss changes in policies during employee meetings
- Talk to employees about the incident and encouraging them to share information and concerns
- Offer stress debriefing session and posttraumatic counseling services to employees
- Reinforce to employees to report and log all incidents and threats of workplace violence
- Investigate all violent incidents and threats, monitoring them closely
Helping to recognize the signs of an agitated or angry employee can help a business and employees to stay safe. For more information on employers liability issues, contact Hoffman Brown Company. We are happy to help