The National Safety Council reports that each year more than two million people are victims of workplace violence. In fact, violence is the third leading cause of death for those in the professions of healthcare, education, law, and media.
Workplace violence can happen in any profession, though it can be prevented in many cases. The first step in doing so is to adopt a zero-tolerance policy. Through employee training, communication, and an emergency response plan, companies can begin to take action against workplace violence.
Training workers to recognize the signs that an employee may be a danger to others is an important step to help employers deter workplace violence. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has authored several extensive training manuals, specific to various occupations, that can be used to train employees to recognize symptoms that may lead an employee to an episode of violence. Some common warning signs are:
- Substance abuse
- Unexplained absenteeism
- Depression or withdrawal
- Resistance to change
- Complaints of unfair treatment
- Violation of company policies
- Concealment of a weapon
Another key component to deter workplace violence is to encourage employees to share their observations or suspicions with clear policies on how to do so. However, when a violent episode is underway, employees should also have knowledge of protocol on how to contact and communicate details to emergency responders.
Additionally, employers should be certain to make sure workers have constant cell phone access and Wi-Fi. Emergency applications such as first aid techniques and CPR instructions can also be downloaded on smartphones.
Emergency Response Plan
Companies should have a solid emergency response plan in place to deter acts of violence. For example, once an employee has been identified as a risk to others, procedures should already be in place to quickly remove or terminate that employee. Additionally, facilities can install security cameras and issue security badges to ensure that only approved workers are able to access the facility.
However, should an act of workplace violence occur, the key elements of a successful plan must outline how workers should react in a violent situation. The plans should include effective procedures for:
- Evacuation: Identifying all possible exists in a facility before an emergency occurs.
- Hiding Out: When evacuation is not possible, secure protected areas should be utilized.
- Taking Action: When life is in imminent danger, throwing objects and yelling are two techniques used to deter an aggressor.
Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Victims of Workplace Violence
If you are victim of workplace violence or have been injured in a workplace accident, contact the dedicated Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers of Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Our experienced team can help you navigate the Workers’ Compensation claim process to obtain the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation in one of our six South Carolina offices, contact us online or call 803-929-3600 or toll free at 866-881-8623.
We serve clients in the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.