Preventing Workplace Violence
Statistics, preventative measures you can take today, Instructions on how to deal with an active shooter according to the FBI, and a checklist to evaluate your workplace today.
Workplace violence has unfortunately become increasingly frequent. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to prevent it or be prepared if it does happen to you.
According to Saint Luke’s, two of the most common reasons for workplace violence include an employee’s job being at risk and personal problems influencing conflicts at work.
Background checks can help identify potential red flags that may lead to violence in the workplace.
What You Can Do Today
In general employers have a legal duty to provide reasonable protection to their employees and members of the general public from violence in their workplace.
Twenty-six states, including Georgia, have adopted State Plans, approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which incorporate similar “general duty” language.
1. Are workers trained in identifying situations that can lead to workplace violence?
2. Are workers trained in conflict resolution?.
3. Are procedures established to to address what actions to take following a violent incident?
4. Have procedures been established to encourage open communications between workers and supervisors?
5.Are supervisors trained to recognize potential worker conflicts and behavior leading to workplace violence?
Preventing Workplace Violence Checklist
This checklist helps identify present or potential workplace violence problems. Employers also may be aware of other serious hazards not listed here.
Designated competent and responsible observers can readily make periodic inspections to identify and evaluate workplace security hazards and threats of workplace violence. These inspections should be scheduled on a regular basis; when new, previously unidentified security hazards are recognized; when occupational deaths, injuries, or threats of injury occur; when a safety, health and security program is established; and whenever workplace security conditions warrant an inspection.
Periodic inspections for security hazards include identifying and evaluating potential workplace security hazards and changes in employee work practices which may lead to compromising security. Please use the following checklist to identify and evaluate workplace security hazards. TRUE notations indicate a potential risk for serious security hazards:
What to do in Case of an Active Shooter
Horrifyingly, active shooters in and outside of the workplace are more and more common, especially in the United States. According to the FBI Active Shooter Safety Resources, here’s how you can prepare for and handle the situation should it arise:
First and foremost, in this order:
Run. Hide. Fight.
Watch the FBI video below for more details:
Statistics on Workplace Violence
Statistics from a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), one of the most comprehensive studies of violence in the workplace, are staggering:
Homicide was the second leading cause of death from an injury in the workplace, accounting for approximately 7,600 deaths from 1992 to 1997;
Forty-one percent (41%) of all deaths from occupational injuries involving women were the result of homicides;
- Seventy-five percent (75%) of all occupational homicides were the result of gun use; fourteen percent (14%) could be attributed to knives or other piercing tools;
Non-fatal workplace assaults resulted in nearly 900,000 lost workdays and an annual $16 million in lost wages; and
In 1997 alone, employers were hit with over $4.2 billion dollars in lost productivity and legal fees due to workplace violence.
Under Section 5(a)(1), often referred to as the “General Duty Clause,” of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act, an employer is required to “furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.”
Statistics from the CDC
While background checks can help identify red flags an mitigate risk, there are other factors you should take into consideration like employee’s mental health and general workplace environment.
Follow the above checklist to evaluate your own workplace and identify what you’re already doing correct and areas of improvement.
Always remember that a workplace should be a safe environment for employees and clients alike.