The best security is prevention, not reaction. This fact is no more evident than in the workplace. People typically spend as much as a third of their lives at work, which can be rife with stress and clashing personalities. How big is this issue? According to an OSHA study on the topic, a whopping 18% of all violent crime in the United States occurs in the workplace.
Make prevention a priority
If just a small percentage of workplace violence can be prevented, more employees would be safe and business owners could reduce expenses and liability. Consider these prevention strategies.
Identifying at-risk employees
Knowing who is at risk for workplace violence is the first step. Maintaining open lines of communication can be key. Make it clear where employees can go to alleviate stress or mediate conflicts.
Management responsiveness is essential
Employees must feel their concerns are heard and not dismissed. Encourage employees to keep you filled in on any risks such as domestic violence situations. Perform background checks when hiring to know exactly who you are hiring and what risks they bring with them.
What factors can you identify that are likely to set an employee off? Are they working a lot of overtime? Are they in situations that are physically, mentally or emotionally stressful for an extended period of time? Look for ways to mitigate or resolve these situations.
Mental health resources in particular are important. Choose insurance plans that include mental health services and offer an EAP or other program to address issues early.
Provide constructive outlets
Consider ways to allow employees to blow off steam, whether that’s a company softball team or encouraging mental health days.
Teach people what to look for
Employees should understand potential security hazards and how to protect themselves and their co-workers.
Identify high-risk situations by conducting employee surveys, observing the physical workplace and reviewing injury and illness data.
When designing the workplace, keep in mind engineering, administrative and policy best practices to prevent or limit violent incidents.
Need additional advice on workplace violence prevention strategies?
Trust the experts at BOS Security. We help keep commercial and residential buildings secure 24/7/365. If you would like more information on secure office design or other strategies to keep your building and people safe and secure, contact us at 404-793-6965.