Strategies to Prevent Workplace Violence
Safety first. You hear it all the time when it comes to staying safe in the workplace. But staying safe isn’t just about slips, trips and falls. Staying safe also means employees taking control of their own personal security and employers and facility managers maintaining a culture of safety within their buildings.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. And the news these days is filled with while mass shootings, assaults, and other horrific tragedies, OHSHA defines “workplace violence” as any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site.
Employees who are proactive about their personal safety will reduce their personal exposures to dangerous and/or uncomfortable workplace situations.
Here are a few ways to take control and mitigate personal risk:
- Be attentive and alert to surroundings, especially when working alone or after hours.
- Park in well-lit areas and keep cash and valuables hidden
- Make sure your car has enough gas in case of a breakdown
- Identify a work buddy who knows your schedule
- Trust your instincts
- Control your emotions in a confrontation
- Know what to do if you are in or witness a violent or crisis situation
- Talk to your supervisor about safety concerns
A study of managers in various industries conducted by Environmental Health and Safety Today found that “managers who put the greatest emphasis on safety also tended to have the most success in every other area of business, including profit and productivity.” And managers focused on safety also contributed to a culture of accountability improving everything from sales to customer service.
Having a workplace safety plan and implementing procedures that reduce safety risks for your employees is key to maintaining a culture of security.
Here are a just a few things managers can do:
- Implement and document a Zero-tolerance policy on violence
- Train employees and managers what to do when they are confronted with or witness a violent situation
- Make sure your building and parking lots and walkways are well lit.
- Install security cameras and make them visible.
- Keep windows clean and clear.
- Encourage employees and building occupants to report safety concerns to management as soon as possible.
When it comes to personal safety at work, it is wise to heed the Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared.” For both employees and managers, that means identifying potential risks, having a plan in place to respond to dangerous situations and making sure all incidents are promptly reported.
At 4M, we pride ourselves on doing everything we can to keep our Team Members safe at work. We perform monthly safety self-inspections and annual corporate safety audits, which involve job site security and use of the “buddy system” when working at night. That’s just another reason why we deliver the best, innovative, safe and sustainable cleaning service solutions for your business. To learn more, give us a call or CLICK HERE to contact us.