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How to Combat Workplace Violence

Download whitepapers Several studies show that each year, as many as two million employees are victims of some form of workplace violence, 18 percent of violent crimes are committed at the workplace, and roughly 800 workplace homicides occur each year -- that's about 16 per week. In addition, workplace homicide is the leading cause of on-the-job deaths for women and the second leading cause for men.

These staggering numbers indicate that workplace violence is indeed a problem that must be addressed. It is more important than ever for HR managers to have a policy in place that takes into consideration all aspects of the workplace that have potential hazards for violence. Since no one law prohibits workplace violence, it is also vital to identify certain behaviors that are red flags.

Some potential signs of trouble include when an employee:

  • Makes threats
  • Intimidates or controls other employees
  • Exhibits angry or aggressive behavior
  • Shows a fascination with or acceptance of violence
  • Holds grudges
If an employee exhibits any of these behaviors, managers must be prepared to take reasonable action. Although workplace policies and training can't guarantee safety, they can be effective in reducing violence. Further, they are essential to your defense when violence does occur. And in these tough economic times, the resulting stress may well increase the possibility of both customer and employee violence, meaning now is the time to review policies and conduct training.
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