Prevention of Work Place Violence

in Violence

A fist in the face or a shot gun fired at a person is an obvious act of violence. Violence can take the forms of verbal harassment and property destroyed. Most of us spend a large part of our days at work and we need it to be a safe place. Remember that workplace violence is not just about a co-workers or bosses acting in a threatening way but it can also come from domestic abuse or customers threatening or physically attacking staff and other customers. Workplace violence is a definite concern of business as well as the general public. 

The official statistics on work place violence, from the Bureau of Labor statistics, are based on the year 2006. According to these records, a person has a higher chance of dying from an act of violence at work then dying from a fire or mechanical accidents. The service industry tends to have a higher level of reported incidents because of the level of one on one contact with the public. Women generally have more to fear from people they know. The odds of having a domestic partner shooting them at the workplace are higher than for men. Men tend to have a higher chance of being physically attacked by customers or other co-workers. The statistics do not show the incidents of verbal abuse or verbal harassment, only deaths at a place of business. These forms of violence often go unreported because people simply do not know what to do or how to define what is considered verbal violence. Verbal abuse or harassment takes a toll on their victims and can result in law suits against their employer, low productivity, or physical retaliation because of a hostile work environment. Often people just quit and go to another job meaning that the business looses a valuable resource.

There is no way to control the personal life of employees or to monitor all personal interactions in a company. Despite this fact, prevention is still extremely important. In the United States, employers have the legal responsibility of maintaining a safe workplace environment. If an incident does happen then it is up to the employer to prove they made an attempt to guarantee a safe environment for their employees and customers. Having clear policies on what is considered workplace violence is very important. Training on anger management and how to handle abuse by appropriately responding and reporting is a big part of prevention. Keeping the work environment as positive as can be possible plus having a no tolerance policy against any act of violence can go a long way to keeping workplace violence out of the company.

One key to a safe workplace environment is pre-employment screening. Having access to legal records for a history of illegal and violent behavior can weed out people with an already proven tendency for violence. Both large and small companies can benefit from using pre-employment screening companies like A company like provides a quick turn around on reports because of their established access to courthouses and legal data bases across the country. Knowing that a possible future employee has a history of child abuse, domestic violence or other violent behavior can help the employer decide if this is a person they wish to hire.

There are many benefits to keeping workplace violence out of a business's environment. A safe environment allows people to focus on their jobs and provide great service to their customers. The employers can do a lot to keep the atmosphere as positive as is possible. One way is to use the resources from experienced pre-screening companies for hiring the best possible people for the job. Treating all people with respect, including employees and customers is another means for a peaceful place of business. Training people how to handle potentially dangerous situations goes a long way to keeping the workplace safe. Keeping workplace violence out of the workplace should be the goal of all human resource departments and small business owners.

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Prevention of Work Place Violence

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This article was published on 2010/12/21