Workplace Violence: How to Reduce Your Risk
Unfortunately, workplace violence is a very real threat in today’s world. Homicide is the third highest work-related cause of death in the United States, and one-sixth of all violent crimes in the U.S. take place in the workplace. These are pretty startling figures.
With this disturbing information in mind, many employers (and employees) are asking what can be done to reduce the risk of workplace violence. After all, the safety of employees should be at the top of any employer’s list of priorities. Today, we will discuss some preventative measures that employers can take to reduce their risk of violence and maintain a safe, secure work environment.
What You Can Do to Reduce Workplace Violence
Much can be done to reduce the risk of workplace violence. Step one is to institute employee background checks. If a person has a criminal history or a history of violence, then employing them should be carefully considered. Employers can also ensure that fair procedures are implemented internally. For example, instituting a clear and regimented procedure for offering promotions and dismissals can prevent surprises and outrage. Ultimately, clear communication and established protocols can help prevent problems from arising.
Nevertheless, sometimes an outbreak may be unavoidable. No employer has a crystal ball; they cannot predict how someone will react to news of being laid off. This is where a professional security company can play an important role in combating workplace violence.
A security company can provide valuable eyes and ears within a company. In some instances, the security company can only be deployed at times when an incident of violence is anticipated. In other cases, security officers can be on site full- time and become part and parcel of the company. Front desk security, with officers monitoring the lobby, reception and area in front of elevators, can provide a powerful first line of defence for your business. Officers can check for weapons and other prohibited items before entering the office.
Partnering with a reputable security company can reduce workplace violence considerably. Uniformed officers who have a law enforcement background, either as former serving officers or as off duty police, can make a big statement in any workplace. From the outset, uniforms can act as a deterrent, conveying that trouble will be not be accepted. Simultaneously, uniformed officers can put employees at ease, knowing that their safety is in good hands.
Security guards have been trained to be vigilant, and vigilance is one of the keys to reducing workplace violence. There are many telltale signs that indicate that violence may occur, and while employees may not notice them, a security officer will be able to spot the signs and take immediate action.
When Can a Security Guard Help?
Employee dismissals offer the potential for violence. At this emotional time, an employee may feel the urge to hit someone or make a commotion by breaking furniture. Uniformed and even armed security officers who have a law enforcement background can make dismissals a more secure process for employer and employee alike. In addition to acting as a visible deterrent during the dismissal, a security officer can also help escort an employee off the premises, ensuring a safe departure.
Another potentially violent scenario is when an employee seeks retribution for perceived ills. Reasons for seeking revenge can vary. An employee can respond violently to a dismissal perceived as undeserving; they can act out against a coworker with whom they were involved in a romantic relationship gone awry. Whatever the specifics of the revenge scenario, the presence of a security guard at the workplace can help prevent violence from taking place—and respond swiftly if it does.
Used as part of a total security solution provided by a respected security company, qualified security officers can help to reduce workplace violence considerably. A fast and assertive response to violence is one thing; however, being able to monitor and potentially avert workplace violence is another thing altogether.
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