Stop Workplace Violence Before It Begins.
Nearly 2 million American workers report having been the victims of workplace violence each year according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). While we recognize that homicide in the workplace may seem more prevalent than it actually is due to being highly publicized, many other forms of workplace violence occur on a regular basis in the form of threats, verbal abuse, harassment or intimidation. And these types of violence often times go unreported.
Workplace violence can go beyond work-site employees to include patients, clients, visitors, contractors, and anyone else who may come in contact with the employees. There are several things employers can do to prevent violence before it even begins.
4 Steps Every Employer Can Take to Minimize Workplace Violence
Develop a clear zero-tolerance harassment and workplace violence policy in the workplace. State the policy clearly and specifically in your employee handbook. Include what an employee should do if he or she is the victim or has observed an act of violence in the workplace and what the consequences of such acts will be.
Enforce the policy regularly and consistently. Inconsistencies lead to confusion and leave employers vulnerable to lawsuits.
Offer regular anti-harassment and violence training sessions to your employees. Reiterate what employees should do about known harassment and ensure management knows how to handle any incidents reported or observed.
Pay attention to relationships within the workplace. When employees seem to be hostile or dangerously close to crossing policy lines, encourage one-on-one meetings between them and their manager or an HR professional. Address the behavior and give the opportunity, tools and/or resources to correct the behavior before it turns into an act of violence.
It is every employee’s right to a safe work environment. The best employers will proactively put programs in place to minimize or alleviate workplace violence for a more productive and positive workforce.
Tandem HR partners with small and mid-sized businesses to offer the best HR practices and robust benefits packages, so you can remain compliant and competitive in the war for talent.
Need a workplace violence policy, an employee handbook or general HR advice?
Call us today at 630.928.0510.