Your workplace is where you spend the vast amount of your time, where you make a living and the last thing you need is to encounter bullying or violence there. Statistics show that violence in the workplace is a big problem that occurs more often than we can even imagine. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), violence in the workplace is defined as harassment, a threat of physical violence, intimidation or other disruptive behavior. Workplace violence includes verbal threats and physical confrontation and in some cases ends with homicide.
According to CNN, around 700 people are killed at the work site annually. Between 1992 and 2012, there were filed 14,770 cases of workplace violence and all of them were homicide victims. Unfortunately, workplace violence is a real hazard and can end tragically. Not all the situations end in homicide though, and non-fatal cases remain more common. Generally, OSHA reports that an estimated 2 million cases of workplace violence, from verbal to physical abuse to homicide, occur every year.
However, there are easy steps an organization can follow which will help to prevent workplace violence.
Policy Against Harassment
Create a policy against harassment in your organization. You have to ensure that every department and each employee at all the levels of the facility (managers, executives, and employees) are well informed of this policy and understand it. Create a set of procedures that will help you quickly and privately handle complaints and take care of the conflicts.
Set up effective means of communication in the work site. Effective communication is a key to stay atop of situations that create the ground for workplace violence. Ensure that the employees who work in the same or different departments can communicate with each other and that you can stay connected with your employees. That is especially important for people who work in various locations. Use walkie-talkies, cell phones, beepers to ensure that the employees can communicate. Also, encourage them to communicate through team meetings to eliminate tension and misunderstanding.
Your employees will be able to find peace of mind easier if you create a secure workplace. Install security cameras and increase the amount of light in the office. If you are involved in the construction area and have to work in various locations, hire security guards to escort your employees. This can be effective extra protection if your employees work in areas with high crime rates. It’s also recommended to provide your workers with ID badges to keep the possibility of intruders creating disturbance down.
Find a secure safety and ethics hotline, such as Red Flag Reporting, and ensure that you and your employees can easily contact it and get assistance. The safety hotline can help you manage the conflicts, detect and report unsafe behavior and promote the protection of your employees. Hotline providers provide the companies with case management solutions educating people through training, ongoing communication, providing comprehensive reporting options, etc.
In addition to preventing violence, be prepared if it occurs:
Provide Active Response Training
Remember: Run, Hide, Fight. See https://www.ready.gov/active-shooter.
Learn Basic First-Aid Skills
Contact organizations such as your local Red Cross to learn CPR and other basis first-aid skills.
Building up and strengthening the security and protection of your employees is a crucial thing for every organization. So, you shouldn’t neglect it and you should strive to prevent workplace violence, which not only will help people feel safe and comfortable at the work site but also reduce the mortality level when violence occurs.