Workplace violence has many faces. While shootings may be the first thought that comes to mind, harassment and threats and cyberbullying are also considered workplace violence. Unfortunately, with 2 million people (and counting) reporting every year they have experienced some form of violence where they work, the need for prevention plans in your company or institution is increasingly important.
It should be noted that no industry is exempt from these reports. Healthcare, education, social services, retail, food service, transportation, and manufacturing employees have all reported incidents of workplace violence. However, healthcare workers account for 50% of such crimes.
Do you have a violence prevention plan for your workplace? Atlas Aegis can help assess your risks and develop a safety plan.
Perhaps just as important: Do your employees know what to do when an incident does occur? In 2020, 30% of employees said they were unaware of their company’s emergency plans in the event of workplace violence or an active shooter.
With that being said, there are multiple reasons why a violence prevention plan are important for your workplace:
- Workplace Violence Is Not Uncommon
- Violence Protection Is Required by Law
- Zero-Tolerance Policies Reduce Risks
- Plans Educate Your Employees
- Atlas Aegis Can Help
Workplace Violence Is Not Uncommon
It’s frightening, but it is a reality that employers must be aware of – and prepared to deal with. Here are a few specific workplace violence statistics:
- 60.4 million Americans are affected by workplace bullying (threatening, humiliating, intimidating, sabotaging, verbal abuse). This is estimated at 20% of employees experiencing the bullying themselves and 19% who witnessed it. (ISHN)
- 38% of women have experienced sexual harassments on the job, and nearly 3 in 4 of men and women who experience sexual harassment in the workplace do not report it. (Inspired eLearning)
- In 2021, the following workplace shootings claimed 39 lives and injured 7: the FedEx warehouse shooting (Indiana), Boulder supermarket shooting (Colorado), San Jose VTA shooting (California), Atlanta massage parlor shootings (Georgia), and Orange office complex shooting (California).
Violence Protection Is Required by Law
One in 7 employees do not feel safe in their workplace – a staggering and unacceptable number, if you think in terms of the workforce at large. Your employees are protected by federal law and may speak up without fear of retaliation if they believe their safety is at risk.
According to OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to provide their workers with an environment that is free of conditions that could be harmful when there are ways to prevent such hazards. This is yet another incentive for employers to assess their worksites and identify ways to reduce the likelihood of incidents occurring on their watch.
Zero-Tolerance Policies Reduce Risks
Does your violence prevention plan express zero-tolerance for weapons, harmful physical behavior of any kind, or the use of language or conduct that may be perceived as ill-toward or threatening in any way?
Creating a zero-tolerance policy for your workplace (that is communicated during orientation or in an employee handbook) can set expectations for any physical, verbal, or digital assault that takes place between your employees. While it cannot entirely eliminate risks, it outlines consequences that would discourage such behavior within your company and removes any employees who do violate the policy.
Plans Educate, Empower Your Employees
Having a violence prevention plan for your workplace not only communicates to your employees that you care about their safety, it empowers them to know what to do if an incident occurs. Educating them about the safety measures that are in-place and also providing any necessary training equips them with the tools they need to respond, report, and protect both themselves and others.
Besides, employees who feel protected and safe at work will be more productive, satisfied, and likely to stick with your company!
Atlas Aegis Can Help
Atlas Aegis’ workplace violence prevention programs help organizations stay safe and productive by providing the security, training, and incident management services necessary to prevent and defuse dangerous situations.
Our security risk assessment will help develop a program that helps your company avoid the fallout – physically, emotionally, and financially – of workplace violence.