What Employers Can Do To Prevent Workplace Violence
What Employers Can Do To Prevent Workplace Violence

What Employers Can Do To Prevent Workplace Violence

April is Workplace Violence Awareness Month, so there’s no better time to ask what employers can do to prevent workplace violence. As an employer you can’t possibly predict workplace violence, but having the right procedures in place to address an incident of workplace violence can help keep your employees safe.

Thoroughly screen potential employees.

Step number one to avoiding violence at the workplace  is keeping individuals prone to violence from being employed at your business. Thoroughly screen your candidates to check if they have criminal records. Also, use the job interview as a way to assess a job candidate’s personality. Ask questions about previous terminations or gaps in employment and see how the person reacts. If these questions make a person uncomfortable, that is a red flag the person may have difficulties dealing with anger.

Make a clear plan, and have consequences for violent actions.

Even the best safety plans are only effective if they are put into practice.

To feel safe, employees need to know what policies are in place to protect them. This means conducting drills, no matter how unlikely an event might seem. Have employees practice where they’d evacuate or how they would react to scenarios like a robbery or shooting. After each drill, leave time for questions so employees can discuss any concerns they might have.

Also, make it clear what consequences employees face if they act violently. Most employers have zero-tolerance policies regarding workplace violence, though some handle these incidents on a case-by-case basis depending on the circumstances.

For example, if an employee throws a mug but doesn’t hit anyone or destroy company property, is that cause for termination? No matter how unlikely a situation may seem, make sure everyone knows what will happen as a result. That way, employees will see there are no loopholes that excuse violent behavior.

Know the warning signs.

Office managers should not be expected to predict violence, but they do need to identify signals for potential anger issues.

Some warning signs, such as being absent for work on multiple occasions, may seem harmless. However, a sudden change in attendance may be a sign that an employee is going through a rough patch. Taking the time to speak with this employee shows managers  care about the employee’s well being and may help address issues before they turn violent.

The following are precursors to violent behavior:

  • Acting out of character
  • Lying or partaking in risky behavior
  • Not taking responsibility for one’s mistakes
  • Distancing oneself socially

Encourage employees to speak up.

Office managers can’t be everywhere all the time. This is why employees need to feel safe coming forward if they feel threatened. They need to know there’s a way they can report incidents without fear of retribution. Encourage all staff to say something if they see something, so that managers can address concerns before they escalate.

Violent behavior must be dealt with quickly and in a way that makes employees feel comfortable in their workplace. Hire the best elite security guards to protect your condo, office, and schools. Call 305-418-9214 today to schedule Pro-Secur’s elite guard services.

 

Sources:

  1. workplaceviolenceawareness.org
  2. https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/factsheet-workplace-violence.pdf

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