Workplace violence is an unfortunate reality in today’s world. Domestic violence spilling over to the workplace, sexual harassment, physical violence, intimidation, threats, and disruptive behavior all occur at the workplace. It is well documented that workplace homicides are in decline, but other forms of workplace violence such as harassment, physical fighting, and verbal abuse are on the rise. In addition, active shooter incidents and mass shootings are on the rise.
Employers have a legal and ethical obligation to provide a workplace free of threats and violence. So what can you do to address the issue of workplace violence at your place of business? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Understand that workplace violence is more than just an armed gunman in the building. Workplace violence also includes threats, intimidation, harassment, and violent behavior.
- Understand that some situations are more likely to bring out violence – mishandled termination, the breakup of a marriage, drug or alcohol abuse.
- Understand some of the behaviors that are warning signs – increasing belligerence, worsening relationships with coworkers or bosses, aggressive outbursts.
- Know your rights as an employee for a safe work environment. Know your obligations as an employer to provide this to your employees.
- Have a physical security survey and assessment done of your premises.
- Create a risk management plan and put it into effect.
- Contact a physical security and risk consulting firm to discuss how security professionals can guide you through this process.
There must be support from the top of a business or organization if there is going to be any meaningful action taken to address workplace violence. It is important to understand that here is no one-size-fits-all strategy to this issue. Each business, each organization, each campus or location will have different risks associated with it and thus require a unique plan.
Read Here for a more in-depth look at workplace violence.