Violence at work is a huge problem and can be considered a risk which canbe minimized or preventable to some extent by the employers. Workplace violencecan be range from threats to physical attack.
Violence directed at employeescan be caused by customers, clients, patients, or any others for whom thecompany provide services. However, there are steps that the employers or thehuman resource managers can take to reduce the likelihood of violence atworkplace. The first step is to increase the security measures at the workplaceand this can be treated as the first line of defense.
According to OSHA, the measures should be taken by the employers such as improveexternal lighting at the compound of the premise. They should encourage dropsafes to minimize cash on hand for daily transaction which can draw attentionfor robbery especially during late night hours. Secure the workplace by installingsilent alarms for emergency evacuation plan and surveillance cameras for the movementmonitoring of staffs and outsiders. In addition to this, employers can increasethe number of staff on duty especially night shift to avoid any unintendedviolence.
Employers should provide safety training or program for the employeesso they know what conduct is unacceptable and how to handle workplace violence.Policies and procedures for visitors can be developed to address the conduct ofvisiting hours and employees got the rights to refuse and provide servicesafter office hours. Bringing dangerousweapons and dangerous items to the premise by the visitors are strictlyprohibited.The second step that the employer can take is to improve the employeescreening. Screening out the potential violent applicants is the responsibilityof the employers.
Employers can screen out these types of violent applicantsbefore hiring them and create a problem later in the company. All these can bedone by checking through the applicant’s background, history, education or anyuseful references. A complete background checking should include an incompleteor false statement in the resume, a false reference for the previous job, anycriminal history for the previous job, any history of drug or alcohol abuse, any strong indication for frequent job changesand lost of licenses or accreditation for the previous job. The third step that the employers can take to reduce workplace violence isto provide workplace violence training for the supervisors. This is to ensuresupervisor can figure out the potential violent current employees in thecompany. Common clues include any act of violence on or off the job from theemployees, loss of perception, any sexually aggressive behavior, tendency toisolate from others, treating subordinate with a threat of violence, any actionagainst the regulation of security, any violation of privacy rights of others. Themost critical is to check for any possession of weapons, guns, knives ordangerous items by the employees in the workplace which can cause violence anytime.
Employers also need to be careful when firing a high risk employee. Employersmust document all the threats and responses of the terminating employees.Employers need to advise the terminated employees no longer permitted to enterthe employers’ properties. They should keep the termination short and brief. Inaddition to that, employers can offer a severance package for the employees toleave or quit and protect other employees interest without demotivate them.Lastly, employers need to terminate the employees with care with the present ofwitnesses or security who can make a threat to others. Finally, employers also need to give focus and concern for the violencetoward women at work.
According to the statistic, a lot of women became thevictims of the violence at the workplace. One of the major reasons maybebecause women is weaker when facing violence as compared to men. Employers needto establish procedures for women to report violence cases and start amediation program to resolve the violence issues rather than left unattended.