Workplace violence prevention is not something that managers or business owners usually write on top of the to-do list. After all, it does not have a good ring to it, unlike “double your earnings” or “increase your traffic.” But workplace violence cannot be taken lightly. According to a study on workplace violence statistics by Rutgers, the following factors make a job more likely to be at risk for workplace violence:
- Having public contact
- Delivering goods, services or passengers
- Working in a mobile setup
- Working with unstable persons (healthcare, criminal justice or social services)
- Working alone or in small numbers
- Being involved in early-morning or late-night jobs
- Working in areas with high crime rates
- Protecting expensive items and goods
- Working where alcohol is readily served
While these are major risk factors for occupational violence, no job is immune. So every employee must take caution and promote prevention techniques at work.
Workplace Violence Prevention – What The Management Can Do
In many ways, the management is responsible for protecting the staff on the job. First and foremost, it is the responsibility of the management to make the work environment as safe as possible. This involves scheduling work hours appropriately, assuring lighting is sufficient, installing security cameras at work, controlling workplace access to avoid unauthorized entry, and providing workplace violence training. Preparing staff members for these potential “what if” situations, through continuous workforce training, can make all the difference.
Workplace Violence Prevention – What The Employees Can Do
Employees play an important role in preventing workplace violence. More often than not, prevention lies in the hands of those on the front lines. Here are a few tips from those who have been there and done that:
- Set up a buddy system, so someone always knows where you are
- Ask questions if things seem awkward or dangerous
- Carry a communication device at all times
- Don’t take risks—safety is the primary priority
- If your employer asks you to break a rule or law, don’t do it blindly—ask questions and don’t be afraid to state that you feel unsafe
- Report suspicious or unstable persons to the proper authorities.
As you can see, preventing violence in the workplace is a team effort. Much like preventing accidents and dealing with other safety concerns, this is something that is best accomplished when everyone on your team is well informed and prepared to handle any situation that comes their way.