How to Prevent Workplace Violence: A Quick Guide

Workplace Violence

Two million Americans are victims of workplace violence every year.

It’s your job as an employer to prevent workplace violence. You can do so by educating yourself, your employees, and ensuring policies are in place to protect them.

Keep reading to find our tips on workplace violence prevention.

Know Who’s at Risk

Knowing who’s at risk is critical in stopping workplace violence. Anyone can become a victim, but certain factors can increase risk.

Women are more at risk of workplace homicides than men. Healthcare and social work employees also see higher rates of violence. Almost 75% of workplace assaults happen in healthcare settings.

Know Who’s Being Violent

There are four main types of workplace violence.

  1. Criminal violence occurs when someone with no relationship to the workplace commits a crime there. This can be a physical assault or a robbery.
  2. Violence between customers and clients can happen at or outside the workplace.
  3. Worker-on-worker violence happens between two employees. They can be current, prospective, or former members of the workplace.
  4. Personal relationship violence occurs between an employee and someone they know personally. Domestic violence cases would fall under this category.

Not all violence falls under one of these categories, but it’s good to keep an eye out for them.

Develop a Prevention Program

The key to stopping workplace violence is preventing it in the first place. Every business should have a prevention program place.

Employees should have specialized training so they know how to react if a situation arises. Training modules should focus on anticipating problems and control measures when they arise. Protective equipment is also critical for employees in high-risk jobs.

Put policies in place to protect the confidentiality of your employee’s information. Do not give out personal information like phone numbers, addresses, or work schedule. You may also wish to deny or restrict access to the building depending on what services you provide.

Know Your Role

One of your roles as an employer is to protect and support your staff. You can do so by ensuring they know the violence policies inside and out.

Employers should have conflict resolution training. They would then able to help employees resolve issues before they escalate.

Treat staff fairly and ensure consistent disciplinary procedures are in place. Create an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. This trust should be between employees and management, as well as between coworkers.

You may need to ask for help from outside resources in some situations. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from professionals and law enforcement if necessary.

React Appropriately

Knowing how to react if a violent act occurs is essential. You’ll be able to ensure everyone is safe while keeping your employees calm.

If someone has been injured, call emergency professionals as soon as possible. As an employer, it doesn’t hurt to know the local workers comp doctors either. You can help your staff find out who to turn to if they’ve been hurt.

Prevent Workplace Violence Through Preparation

The best way to prevent workplace violence is to be prepared. You don’t want to have a violent act happen and not know how to react.

Pass on our workplace violence prevention tips to your staff so they, too, can be prepared. Keep reading our Business section for more tips for employers.

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