According to OSHA there are more than 2 million incidences of workplace violence each year; however, workplace violence is not just someone going on a rampage or “going postal.”
Workplace violence covers a broad spectrum including any act in which a worker is abused, threatened, intimidated or assaulted in his or her employment. Homicides may be the most publicized but not the most prevalent.
Do your company policies, procedures and safety training cover all types of workplace violence situations, from verbal to the physical? And, have your supervisors and managers been trained to handle these situations?
Workplace Assault, Violence and Harassment
According to the National Safety Council, both fatal and non-fatal assault injuries are on the rise, with it being the fourth leading cause of work-related deaths. In 2016, assaults resulted in 16,890 injuries and illnesses involving days way from work and 500 fatalities.
Assaults are intentional injuries inflicted by another person and include (but not limited to):
- Stabbing, cutting, slashing or piercing
- Hitting, kicking, beating and shoving
- Rape and sexual assault
- Intentional shooting
Workplace harassment is inappropriate or offensive attitudes, words and behaviors toward others and can manifest in a broad range of conduct and behaviors including (but not limited to)
- Damaging a co-worker’s property
- Violent confrontations in the workplace
- Threats of violence by an employee
- Armed robbery of an employee
Workplace Violence Training for Supervisors and Managers
With the increase in workplace violence and harassment, it is imperative to ensure supervisors and managers receive specific training on how to identify early warning signs and how to handle individuals who display signs of violent tendencies. This training should be designed specifically for your workplace and environment.
Other skills you may want to train supervisors and managers on include:
- Addressing performance and disciplinary problems promptly.
- Handling terminations, layoffs and demotions in a sensitive manner.
- Defusing a potentially violent situation and how to respond when a critical incident occurs.
Training should be more than just watching a video about how to run, hide and fight. It should include drills on how to react should a situation occur. It should cover various workplace violence situations, including bullying, verbal abuse and more; not just an active shooter incident.
Make sure your supervisors and managers have the tools they need to address workplace violence and harassment situations.
Resources for You
- Five Strategies for Handling Workplace Violence
- DOL Workplace Violence Program
- How to Handle Violence in the Workplace
- Workplace Violence