Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Reducing the Risk of Workplace Violence

by Kelly Klatt

Many people think of workplace violence as something extreme like a disgrunteled employee coming to work with a firearm and shooting fellow employees or former managers. Workplace violence is not always as extreme as this and can come in many forms. For example, workplace violence is really any time one employee feels threatened by the actions or presence of another employee. That is it. What’s even more important about workplace violence is the effect it has on productivity of employees. Employees who are scared or intimidated by workplace violence are less productive and make poor decisions.

We find the best thing you can do to lower the risks of workplace violence is educate your employees on what workplace violence actually means. This will mitigate 99% of your risk of workplace violence and give your employees a forum to discuss what a safe workplace means to them. This “workplace violence forum” can be done as often as you need to, but we recommend no less than once a year for smaller workplaces.

As a security consulting firm, there are a few things we can do to manage the incidence of workplace violence. We work with management staff to advise them on the most common times workplace violence is likely to occur and then come on board to help manage risk during those times. Layoffs are an unfortunate part of the business cycle, and do provide quite a bit of risk when it comes to workplace violence. Security advisors can facilitate these events to minimize the risk of workplace violence, making sure that your management staff executes the layoff decision in a manner that maximizes the safety of those that are fortunate enough to stay.

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