CNN states that each year, around 700 people are murdered in their workplace. Between the years 1992 and 2012, 14,770 cases of workplace violence were reported all of which 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 that there are about 2 million cases of workplace violence a year; varying between verbal and physical abuse to homicides.
Workplace violence is a rare situation but can easily be prevented by taking certain measures that ensure your workplace will be non-violent. Below, are ten ways to prevent workplace violence in your facility:
1. Create a policy that prevents harassment.
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 while ultimately defusing any possibility of violence.
3. Training sessions and awareness is a key factor in helping to prevent violence.
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.
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 individual’s strengths and weaknesses.
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. Show that the quality of the relationships between each members of a team is important to you and everyone else on that team.
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.
8. Communicate with each level of your facility the unacceptable behavior and the consequences of threatening any other employee or committing any violent acts.
Define these unacceptable behaviors clearly and precisely and give clear examples. State your facility’s view of workplace violence and its commitment of a safe workplace.
9. Encourage everyone to report any and all violent incidents.
Ensure your employees of the confidentiality in which they can report incidents and assure each that no retaliation will be made against those that report 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.
By taking these measures to prevent violent intruders or domestic violence in the workplace, you are ensuring your employees that their safety is your main concern. Workplace violence is a horrible situation and by trying to prevent it we can reduce the amount of violence per year and create a safe workplace.