Workplace violence is a growing problem. Business owners are expected to keep their employees, residents, and customers safe on their property. When people don’t feel safe at work, it can drag down productivity and lead to attrition. Taking security measures is essential to maintain a safe workplace. Understanding the warning signs can prevent a tragedy.
What is Workplace Violence?
Any violent act or threat of violence can be considered workplace violence. It also includes harassment, stalking, and verbal abuse or intimidation. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to see that your employees can perform their job duties and be on your property without interference. Workplace violence can come from several sources – other employees or managers, significant others, vendors, delivery people, or intruders. Be alert to the warning signs and let your employees know what to watch for as well.
Make Reporting Threats Simple
You can’t be everywhere or see everything, so let your employees know how to report an incident or suspicion and be sure to follow up. If someone comes forward with concerns, don’t dismiss them. They can be your eyes and ears. Better to investigate a few false alarms than miss a serious incident due diligence could have prevented.
Be Aware of Common Warning Signs of Workplace Violence
When someone you know is suspected to be a threat, it’s possible to observe changes – in behavior, attendance, and performance, for example. Also note if any existing behaviors escalate – joking, insulting, pranking that goes from an occasional annoyance to disrupting the workplace or making others uncomfortable.
Be especially mindful of the following:
- A history of violence
- Dramatic mood changes
- Increased or excessive use of drugs or alcohol
- Intimidating behavior
- Unwelcome sexual attention
- Poor response to stress
- Dwelling on personal, financial, or work-related problems
People at high risk of becoming a threat often display characteristics such as a sense of entitlement, unfounded suspicion of others, or inability to take criticism. They may also blame others for their problems while having no empathy for others. They can cover low self-esteem with grandiose behavior. They often display prejudice or hatred toward groups such as women or people of a race, religion, or ethnicity not their own or individuals like their manager or a current, former or imagined romantic partner.
How Can Business Owners Prevent Workplace Violence?
- Start with a thorough security assessment to look for weaknesses and establish an emergency response plan:
- Learn how to detect early warning signs.
- Assess security plan for prevention and response.
- Teach employees what to look for and how to respond.
- Put a workplace violence program into place.
Rely on the Experts at BOS Security
Prevention is always better than even the best response. BOS Security can help you find the right combination of onsite security officers and remotely monitored security cameras to help keep your employees safe on the job. BOS provides a range of security options designed to give you and your employees peace of mind. Contact BOS Security at 404-793-6965 to get started.
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