4 Tips for Preventing Workplace Violence

Workplace violence is an unfortunate reality in this day and age. Although it may be impossible for business owners to completely protect their organizations from violent attacks, there are plenty of measures that they can take to help prevent it or reduce the chances of an issue escalating. After all, having robust policies and procedures in place to protect against unexpected violence in the workplace can save the lives of your employees and customers.

What is workplace violence? It can be defined as the threat or act of violence, harassment or disruptive behavior in the workplace. Although there are many levels of workplace violence, from verbal abuse to active shooter situations, all of them are serious and must be addressed before they become a more significant problem.

As a business owner, you must create a game plan if violence does occur at your business. With over 2 million people in the United States identifying as victims of workplace violence, it is no small issue. Companies must be prepared.

Even if you have a plan, you must revisit and revise your protocols to keep up with the changing times and technology. If you are a business that does not yet have a workplace security protocol or training program, here are four tips that can help you get started.

4 Tips for Preventing Workplace Violence

Know your threats.

When it comes to your security, knowledge is power. The first step in creating an effective workplace violence plan is to thoroughly understand your business. Every business is unique based on factors such as geographic location, industry, size and number of people coming in and out of the premises each day. It is smart to consider these factors when evaluating your business.

Even when working with a professional security company to evaluate your risks, do not forget your most valuable resources: your employees. Your employees likely have a very different viewpoint that could provide you with useful information on potential vulnerabilities and threats that you could never be aware of.

Create employee harassment and workplace violence policies.

Preparation is key, and so is clarity when it comes to the security of your business. Companies should have clear policies in place to deal with threats as they occur. Smart business owners will require employees to sign a code of conduct to ensure that they are aware of the expectations when it comes to behavior, as well as the repercussions for not abiding by the code.

Offer regular employee trainings.

In addition to having written policies for workplace violence events, training and other information should be available to all employees, so they know exactly what to do when an event occurs. All employees should also know the proper lines of communication for reporting an incident.

Your employees should feel empowered to recognize threats and voice their concerns without fear of repercussions or retaliation. If your staff feels supported, they will be more likely to report threats that may put other employees at risk. Training should also help your employees to understand the signs of potential workplace violence incidents. Some warning signs may include:

  • Behavior changes
  • Complaining or ranting about work or personal situations
  • Overreacting to feedback
  • Missing work or being late without explanation
  • The use of alcohol or other substances

Hire a professional security guard company.

Many companies opt to hire professional security guards to help identify, manage and deter workplace violence and other threats. Security guards from a reputable company come highly-trained and experienced. They know how to identify potential warning signs of workplace violence and they understand how to mitigate threats to reduce the chances of an event escalating.

In the unfortunate event that an attack does occur, a trained security guard understands how to reduce the threat most quickly and effectively. Security guards are also trained at communicating with law enforcement to ensure they have the information they need to handle any danger that your business faces.

Workplace Violence is Serious Business–Off Duty Officers Professional Security Guards

As a business owner, you have many responsibilities. One of your primary roles is to protect those who work for you. You never know when a violent threat may occur in the workplace; however, you can ensure you are prepared for whatever may come your way. By following the four tips above and working with an experienced security company, you can thoroughly assess your risk and put plans in place to mitigate threats and deter crime from happening.

For over 25 years, Off Duty Officers has been serving businesses across the country by providing the most highly-trained and most effective security guards in the industry. If your business is at risk for a workplace violence incident, contact the security specialists at Off Duty Officers today to learn more about how our security guards can be a part of your security plan.

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