Although it's been around for quite some time, violence in the workplace seems to be appearing more often in the news. You've probably come across a local article that details an employee being assaulted or sometimes even killed. Then there are the ones that make the national news that involve multiple fatalities. Sometimes it's a begrudged employee or a mentally ill patient. Others involve workers under stress or some type of post traumatic condition.
The U.S. Department of Labor reports that there 564 workplace homicides in 2005. That's a significant number. Then consider that the vast majority of workplaces probably have not even broached the subject with their workers.
No matter what the reason for someone’s psychological state, there are guidelines available that help employers spot hazards that can prevent a workplace tragedy from happening.
How can you be proactive? There are three basic steps which at a minimum need to be covered:
- Recognizing warning signs
- Preventing occurrences
- Responding to incidences
If those three items look like basic loss control measures, it’s because they simply are. The trick, as always, is to train your employees. To learn more about prevention solutions and other resources available, visit OSHA’s Workplace Violence.