Workplace violence refers to brutality or the danger of brutality against employees of a certain organization. Although the term suggests that the violence is restricted in the workplace, the truth is that this violence can happen inside or outside the workplace. The extent of workplace violence can range to anything from bullying and oral abuse to physical attacks and murder.
Homicide has been termed as one of the leading causes of work-related fatalities. Regardless of how it is carried out, work-place violence is becoming a major concern for managers and workers all over the country. In order to prevent workplace violence, all companies should set up some certain controls. By doing this, the company can efficiently stem objectionable issues and the possibility of work-related violence would be greatly reduced.
In order for these controls to be effective, both the employer and the employees should be committed in implementing them. In order for employees to feel safe in the workplace, there is need for the government and employers to adopt strict measures meant to reduce all form of work-related violence. (U.S. Department of Labor, 2002)
According to statistics, close to 2 million American employees are victims of work-related brutality each year. One thing about workplace violence is that it can happen anywhere, and no one is exempt from it. However, it is important to note that the risk is increased among a certain class of workers. This class of workers either includes those who work for financial organizations and those who are tasked with delivering goods or services in the transport sector.
Another group of workers who stand a higher risk of workplace violence is those who work individually or in small groups, those who work late at night or during the early dawn hours and those who work in crime-infested areas. Others at higher risk include people who work as community developers or in establishments where they have widespread association with the community.
This group comprises of health-care and community examination workers such as appointment nurses, psychiatric assessors, and corrective officials. Other community workers such as electricity and water service workers, telephone and digital television installers, postal workers, and cab drivers are also at high risk of encountering work-related violence. (American Nurses Association, 2010)
In light of this information, the best security that employers can proffer is to adopt a stern policy regarding violence toward its employees or by the workers. In order to carry this out, the employer is required to set up a workplace brutality avoidance plan to cushion its workers. Alternatively, the company can integrate the information into an existing disaster deterrence plan, employee instruction manual, or manual of standard working measures.
Additionally, it is vital for employers to ensure that all workers know the policy and assure them that all claims of work-related violence will be probed and acted upon immediately. On top of this, employers should conduct additional protections by carrying out extra measures to ensure that the workers are completely on the know concerning their security. (Heathfield, 2010)
The extra measures should be carried in an interactive way between the employer and the employees. This can be done by providing safety education for workers so they know what behaviors are not expected of them as employees. The safety education should also include educating the employees on what they are supposed to do once they observe or if they fall victim to workplace violence, and how to defend themselves. It is also important for employers to make the workplace safer.
This can be done though installing surveillance cameras, providing adequate lighting, and alarm systems and restrict access to licensed personnel only. This restriction can be carried out through the issuance of recognition insignias, electronic coding, and hiring security guards to operate all entrances. (Northrup, 2010)
For organizations that deal in cash, there should be designated drop safes to reduce the sum of money on supply. In addition, organizations that work late in the night should encourage their employees to ensure that only a small amount of cash is available in the cash registers during the night.
For workers who operate in the field, the management should ensure that they are equipped with mobile phones and alarms and ensure that there is a person who knows of their whereabouts throughout the day. There is also the need of ensuring that the vehicles that the field workers use are properly serviced to avoid a situation where they are stuck in unsafe areas. In addition to this, workers should be taught how to avoid locations where they feel that their safety would be compromised. (USDA, 1998)
One thing that has been observed is that majority of workers who perpetuate violence to their workmates have a history of doing so. This then calls for the need of a thorough pre-employment screening to ensure that they check the history of their new employees. This can be done by carefully analyzing the interview questions and carrying out a background and reference checks for the employee to ascertain their history.
There is also the need for employers to establish agencies and family life programs in the workplace. This agency is supposed to recognize and alter internal rules and measures which could evoke negative atmosphere in the workplace. If they are effectively carried out, these measures can drastically reduce the possibility of workplace violence. (Cuizon, 2009)
Although none of the measures put up by employers to prevent workplace violence is 100% effective, there are things that the employer can do to reduce the odds of such violence. Employees should learn how to identify, keep away from, or disperse potentially violent situations by attending individual security instruction workshops. (U.S. Department of Labor, 2007)
They should also notify their supervisors of any concerns about safety or security and account all occurrences soonest possible in writing.
By exercising these measures, an employee can potentially reduce the risk of being subjected to workplace violence either by their colleagues or by people outside the workplace. By alerting supervisors of any concerns that they think compromises their security, the employee is able to reduce the chances of their colleagues or themselves getting hurt. (Mathis & Jackson, 2007)
Workplace violence is a widespread occurrence in our country. This makes it a serious concern for all employers and employees alike. What makes workplace violence an even bigger concern for employers is that no one is immune. Although this is the case, some people are at a greater risk of falling victim to work-related violence. This group includes people working in the banking industry and those who often interact with the community.
Although it is hard to predict when one will be subjected to workplace violence, there are some important measures that can be taken to reduce such violence. Some of these include employers adopting a stern policy regarding violence toward its employees or by the workers. This can be done by ensuring that all employees are aware of the company’s position concerning workplace violence. It is also important for companies to investigate and act upon any act of violence that comes to their attention.
American Nurses Association. (2010) Workplace Violence.
Cuizon, C. (2009) Programs Needed to Prevent Workplace Violence. Retrieved from
Heathfield, S. (2010) Workplace Violence: Violence Can Happen Here. Retrieved fromhttp://humanresources.about.com/od/healthsafetyandwellness/a/workviolence.htm.
Mathis, R. & Jackson, J. (2007) Human Resource Management. New York: Cengage Learning. Northrup, L. (2010) Workplace Violence News. Retrieved from http://workplaceviolencenews.com/
USDA. (1998) The USDA Handbook on Workplace Violence Prevention and Response. Workplace Violence. Retrieved from http://www.usda.gov/news/pubs/violence/wpv.htm.
U.S. Department of Labor. (2002) Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA Fact Sheet. Retrieved from http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/factsheet-workplace-violence.pdf
U.S. Department of Labor. (2007) Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Workplace Violence. Retrieved from http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/