The workplace should be a place where all employees come to work in an environment that is free from hazards or harm… right? Sometimes it is easier to notice a blocked exit than it is to notice someone suffering from workplace violence. As an employer, it is important that you recognize these “hazards” as well.
OSHA states that workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide. It can affect and involve employees, clients, customers and visitors. One of the most shocking statistics that I have come across is that homicide is currently the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), of the 4,547 fatal workplace injuries that occurred in the United States in 2010, 506 were workplace homicides. It is said that nearly 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. Unfortunately, many more cases go unreported.
What can you do to STOP Workplace Violence?
S: See the Risk Factors: In most workplaces where risk factors can be identified, the risk of assault can be prevented or minimized if employers take appropriate precautions. Examples (Crying, sulking or temper tantrums, Excessive absenteeism or lateness, Disregard for the health and safety of others and, Disrespect for authority)
T: Train Your Employees: It is critical to ensure that all workers know the policy and understand that all claims of workplace violence will be investigated and remedied promptly. In addition, OSHA encourages employers to develop additional methods as necessary to protect employees in high risk industries.
O: Offer Zero Tolerance: One of the best protections employers can offer their workers is to establish a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence. This policy should cover all workers, patients, clients, visitors, contractors, and anyone else who may come in contact with company personnel.
P: Produce a Prevention Program: OSHA believes that a well written and implemented Workplace Violence Prevention Program, combined with engineering controls, administrative controls and training can reduce the incidence of workplace violence in both the private sector and Federal workplaces.
This article originally appeared on Safe a holic