In today’s day and age, preventing workplace violence has never been more important. According to CNN, around 700 people are murdered in their workplace each year. Between the years 1992 and 2012, 14,770 cases of workplace violence were reported, and all of these were homicide victims. These statistics are a horrible reminder that violence in the workplace is a very real possibility and a tragic situation.
Many cases of workplace violence have resulted in fatalities; however, nonfatal cases are more common. CNN states that in 2009, 572,000 cases of nonfatal crimes were committed at work. Overall, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration estimates there are about 2 million cases of workplace violence a year; varying between verbal and physical abuse to homicides.
Workplace violence is a terrible situation, but it can easily be prevented by taking certain measures that ensure your workplace will be non-violent. When you know how to prevent workplace violence, you can be part of the solution and make your company a safer place for all employees.
Below are ten ways to prevent workplace violence in your facility:
1. Create a policy that prevents harassment.
This is a really important part of preventing workplace violence. When you do this, be sure to involve each level of the facility, such as the managers, employees, and executives and keep them informed about the new policy. Distribute the policy as wide as possible and be sure to know that every employee understands it. Complaints can be handled well with a set of procedures that take care of them quickly and privately.
2. Create an effective line of communication.
Communication is a key factor in preventing workplace violence. Violent intruders thrive on silence from the victims and any witnesses. Encourage your team members to communicate by having regular team meetings. These meetings will help defuse tensions and misunderstandings and ultimately help with preventing workplace violence.
3. Training sessions and awareness is a key factor in workplace violence prevention.
Take the time to have training sessions and provide awareness of a violent intruder. Emergency Response Plans should be drawn up and Emergency Response and Preparedness Training should be provided as well. Emergency Management Training will help to prevent workplace violence in the higher levels of your facility.
4. Establish a “Zero-tolerance” code of conduct.
When you refuse to tolerate signs of harassment and danger, you promote workplace violence prevention. Be sure to check that all employees are aware of your facility’s code of conduct. This helps to show your company’s commitment to preventing a violent intruder.
5. Encourage your employees to accept individual differences.
Help your teams to understand that the differences between each member are a vital factor in team strength. Activities can help the teams get to know each other and recognize an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledging differences as positive attributes can help in negating conflict and preventing workplace violence.
6. Prevent conflicts from turning into harassment or violence.
Monitor your teams and how they work together. Some team situations can cause tensions and if these tensions are not relieved, they can fester and grow into a negative workplace causing violence and harassment. Resolve these conflicts quickly as soon as they begin.
7. Demonstrate respect in the workplace and show your team members you value them.
Be sure to encourage each person to be open-minded to team members and give each of them an important role showing that their work is meaningful. Be fair and respectful to every member, showing that when they treat you and everyone else with respect, they in return will be shown respect. Along with preventing workplace violence, this behavior will boost employee morale and work ethic.
8. Communicate what qualifies as unacceptable behavior and the consequences employees will face from committing violent, threatening acts.
Define these unacceptable behaviors clearly and precisely and give clear examples. State your facility’s view of workplace violence and its commitment to a safe workplace.
9. Encourage everyone to report any and all violent incidents.
A great way to start preventing workplace violence is to establish trust between you and your employees. Ensure your employees of the confidentiality in which they can report incidents and assure each of them that no retaliation will be made against anyone reporting acts of violence.
10. Reduce the risk involved in handling the assets of your company.
Robbery is a large factor in workplace violence. You can reduce the risk of this by keeping the amounts of the assets to a minimum, use electronic pay systems to reduce assets that are available, and install a locked drop safe.
Discover How to Prevent Workplace Violence with ALICE Training
When you abide by these ways to prevent workplace violence, you are ensuring your employees that their safety is your main concern. Violence in the workplace is a horrible situation, and by trying to prevent it, we can reduce the number of incidents per year and create a safer working environment. With the ALICE Training Business Program, preventing workplace violence has never been easier. With the help of our trained experts, we offer courses so you know what to look for, how to react and, ultimately, how to prevent workplace violence. Contact us today to start preventing workplace violence and ensuring your employees’ safety.