According to a study conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workplace violence affects over 2 million American workers every year. Yet, these are only the reported cases. Countless individuals suffer on a daily basis just to make ends meet. What is workplace violence and how do we stop it? At Mesa Alarm Systems, a Houston security company, we value the safety of local businesses, big and small. This is why we came up with a few workplace violence prevention strategies to keep your employees safe and your business thriving.
What is Workplace Violence?
In reference to the Occupational Safety and Administration’s definition of workplace violence, “any act or threat or physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site.” From physical to verbal abuse, workplace violence is detailed by a wide spectrum of inappropriate and dangerous behavior. Among them is homicide. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that 403 of 4,679 fatal workplace injuries were homicides in 2014. In order to avoid the unthinkable, it’s important to understand the different types of workplace violence and the various ways to prevent them.
Types of Workplace Violence
When identifying workplace violence, it’s important to reference the four different types outlined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. By properly categorizing these violent acts, you’ll be able to properly report and take action against them.
Violence from Outside Criminals
This type of workplace violence is committed by criminals that have no connection to the employees or customers. It’s often associated with robberies, unforseen assaults, or other similar violent acts.
Violence from Customers
This category of violence is directed toward employees by customers, clients, students, inmates, patients, or other individuals that make use of the business’ services.
Violence from Former Employees
This type of workplace violence is identified by individuals that once worked for the establishment and returned to commit the act.
Violence from Associated Parties
Often committed by a domestic partner or spouse, this category is committed by individuals that share some kind of relationship or connection with the employees of the business.
Ways to Prevent Workplace Violence
Implementing workplace violence strategies requires multi-faceted solutions and isn’t the sole responsibility one person. Preventing violence in the workplace is a joint effort and should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. For the safety and health of your team members, here are a few guidelines for preventing workplace violence.
Establish a Workplace Violence Policy
To prevent victims in the workplace, it’s vital to establish a violence policy and ensure each employee is aware of the established laws. We recommend drafting or adopting an employee handbook for everyone to reference when needed.
Establish Manager Protocol
It’s important for managers to be aware of their surroundings and actively prevent workplace violence. We recommend establishing a daily protocol or checklist for them to observe periodically throughout the day.
Provide Workplace Violence Training
As mentioned before, it’s everyone’s responsibility to prevent verbal or physical violence in the workplace. In order for employees to fully understand their role, it’s important for them to take part in proper workplace violence training.
Cultivate a Positive Culture
Workplace violence is sometimes a symptom of a much deeper issue. By cultivating a positive workplace culture, you can decrease the likelihood of workplace violence occurring.
Cautiously Terminate Employees
It can be beneficial to cautiously terminate employees based on industry best practices. Disgruntled former employees may have an incentive to take violent action against your staff or property.
Install an Advanced Security System
Commercial alarm systems can be used to prevent workplace violence through advanced solutions like access control, burglar alarms, and camera systems. In further detail, access control systems grant the ability to keep out unwanted visitors; burglar alarms alert you of intruders; and surveillance systems can capture essential footage. All of these services can be monitored 24/7 by trained professionals allowing you to take care of what matters most—your business.
At Mesa Alarm Systems, a Houston-based security company, we understand the importance of workplace safety. Through top-of-the-line security systems and preventative measures, you can make your business a safe and thriving enterprise. If you’d like to learn other security tips for your business, check out our other blogs or contact an industry expert at Mesa Alarm Systems.