Workplace violence is violence or the threat of violence against employees, contractors & guests. It can occur at or outside the workplace and can range from threats & verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide, one of the leading causes of job-related deaths. However it manifests itself, workplace violence is a growing concern for protection agents, security management, employers and employees around the world.
What can senior management do to help protect their staff?
1. The best protection they can offer is to establish a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence against or by their employees. An employer should establish a workplace violence prevention program or incorporate the information into an existing accident prevention program or employee handbook, etc. It is critical to ensure that all employees know the policy and understand that all claims of workplace violence will be investigated and remedied promptly.
2. Provide safety education for employees so they know what conduct is not acceptable what to do if they witness or are subjected to workplace violence, and how to protect themselves.
3. Secure the workplace. Where appropriate to the business, install video surveillance, extra lighting, and alarm systems and minimize access by outsiders through identification badges, electronic keys, and guards.
4. Provide drop safes to limit the amount of cash on hand. Keep a minimal amount of cash in registers during evenings and late-night hours.
5. Equip field staff with cell phones and hand-held alarms, and require them to prepare a daily work plan and keep a contact person informed of their location throughout the day. Keep employer – provided vehicles properly maintained.
6. Instruct employees not to enter any location where they feel unsafe. Introduce a “buddy system” or provide an escort system in potentially dangerous situations or at night.
7. Offer conflict de-escalation training. Communication in high stressed environments can calm or escalate a situation. Never assume that just because a person is ____ years old, that they know how to communicate / argue their point in a mature fashion.
So, put these ideas to thought and as always… stay safe!Brian K. Allen, Director International Security Training, LLC