Preventing Workplace Violence
Employees expect to work in safe, respectful environments without the threat of interpersonal violence. Companies and organizations bear brunt of the responsibility and liability for providing a violence-free environment. But according to the Occupational Safety and Health Organization, providing a safe, respectful environment may not be an easy task. OSHA asserts that nearly 2 million workers in the United States report incidents of workplace violence each year. Even more alarmingly, homicide is the fourth leading cause of occupational death.
Fortunately, there are various steps a company or organization can take to ensure the health and safety of employees, customers, and stakeholders. This article will share the essentials of implementing a safety plan that mitigates incidents of interpersonal workplace violence.
Essential Elements of a Prevention Plan
- Create a policy that prevents harassment
Distribute the policy as wide as possible and be sure to know that every executive, manager, and employee understands it. Complaints can be handled well with a set of procedures that take care of them quickly and privately.
- Open 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, misunderstandings, and the potential for violence.
- Training sessions and awareness is a key factor in violence prevention
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.
- 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 violence.
- 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 an individual’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Support team building and tolerance initiatives
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.
- Update facilities for access controls and monitoring
Consider using electronic access cards, door codes, and keys that cannot be duplicated. A more expensive option is a biometric system, which uses physical characteristics, like fingerprints, palm prints, and iris patterns. Also, consider lighting and installing security cameras in secluded areas.
- Create a system for tracking security issues
A system needs to be in place for monitoring health and safety threats such as stalkers, agitated clients, and unsecured premises. Provide a simple logbook or spreadsheet for these occurrences and mandate an employee or manager to take responsibility of it.
As a business executive, it’s your job to secure a healthy, safe work environment for your employees, clients, and stakeholders. A prevention plan is key to ensuring the success of your efforts. If you have more questions about drafting and implementing a safety plan, reach out to TCOR today.
It is our job to help you identify those areas that are most vulnerable to loss. We help you design an effective program to manage your total cost of risk (TCOR). This Risk Control Plan ™ helps minimize your exposures and protect your way of life. We’ll help you design a plan that suits your needs and offers you the best protection.