Hidden Threats: There are Steps you can Take to Prevent Violence in the Workplace
August 25, 2008
By: Steven R. Peltin and Gregg O. McCrary
More than 70 percent of workplaces in the United States have no formal program or policy to address workplace violence. Yet, as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates, 2 million people each year are victims of workplace violence. Eliminating all such violence may be impossible, but employers can and should confront the problem in the following ways:
1. Take security precautions. Companies may deter violent acts by making changes to the workplace or to workplace procedures. If the perpetrator cannot enter the workplace or is intercepted before reaching the intended target, violence may be averted. Precautions could include controlled access to the workplace, enhanced lighting and visibility, alarms, closed-circuit cameras and cellular phones. Employee training is particularly important. Government or private security professionals can assist in evaluating and upgrading security.
2. Screen applicants carefully. Employers should try to exclude candidates with a history of violence or other unsuitable behavior.
3. Adopt and enforce a “zero tolerance” policy for violence or threats of violence. Companies should create a clear policy so the entire organization understands the commitment to proper workplace behavior and the protocol to follow in case of threats or violent conduct. Companies should ensure that the policy is enforced rigorously. Violence or threats in the workplace should lead to termination of employment or exclusion of visitors from the workplace.
4. Create and train a response team. Even smaller employers should have an experienced team to confront threats of violence
Latest posts by Jason Morris (see all)
- Flaw in Employment Background Check Law is Hurting Candidates - August 28, 2014
- NAPBS Conference Focuses on Criminal Background Checks - April 15, 2014
- WSJ op-ed Writer on Syria Fired For Lying on Her Resume - September 11, 2013