Workplace violence has been on the rise year after year, and American workers are just now taking notice. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 34 fatal workplace injuries were reported in the state of Idaho in 2014. Of this number, three were caused by workplace violence. This is just below 9%. Although the numbers are small, this statistic is concerning, especially some parts of workplace violence can potentially be avoided.
Among other things, workplace violence in Idaho adds to the violent crime average. Workplace violence does not always involve disgruntled employees. As declared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the assailant has no known relationship to the victims in two-thirds of workplace homicides. Additionally, many people who commit workplace violence have something else going on in their lives such as mental illness, drug abuse, divorce or what they may believe is a failure.
What are Some of the Indicators and Risk Factors for Violence in the Workplace for Idaho Residents?
There are several signs and risk factors for workplace violence. If employers and employees pay close attention to the warning signs and risk factors, workplace violence could potentially be prevented from happening in the first place.
Little known fact: workplace violence is not always committed by a disgruntled employee. The following risk factors reflect risks for workplace violence perpetrated by an outside assailant who is not an employee:
Risk Factors for Violence in the Workplace from an Outside Assailant
- Working alone or in an isolated area
- Where alcohol is served
- Working late at night
- Working in high crime rate areas
- An environment where money is exchanged with the public
As a whole, there are also risk factors for workplace violence committed by disgruntled employees and outside assailants:
Indicators for Workplace Violence as a Whole
- Verbal threats to other employees
- Displaying paranoia
- A fascination with violence
- Bizarre behaviors
- Being unreasonable
- Irresponsible actions
- A vindictive nature
- Chronic depression
- Substance / Alcohol Abuse
- Changes in performance
Five Surprising Acts of Workplace Violence in Idaho
The threat of violence in the workplace is real. Moreover, these statistics validate the reality that violence in the workplace is often a deadly incident that can happen to any business.
- October 3, 2017 – An unnamed assailant shot a hole in the side of the Coeur d’Alene Montessori Preschool and Daycare. Based on eyewitness accounts, this happened during a time the school was unoccupied.
- September 18, 2017 – Dakota Morris, 18, of Boise, was shot by officers after displaying a firearm outside of a Jack in the Box restaurant. Reports state the assailant had outstanding warrants for his arrest at the time of the incident.
- July 26, 2014 – An unnamed assailant robbed the ISU Credit Union in Chubbuck at gunpoint. Reports state that the gunman tied up the two employees working at the credit union at that time. No one was physically harmed.
- September 28, 2014 – An unnamed assailant robbed a Pizza Hut in Blackfoot at gunpoint. Reports state he followed an employee to the back of the restaurant and demanded money from the safe.
- December 12, 2016 – An unnamed assailant shoplifted a shopping cart full of merchandise from a Meridian Walmart. Reports state the assailant pointed a gun at a Walmart employee who confronted him at his car as he was unloading merchandise.
How to Avoid Workplace Violence
Proper planning and training can significantly reduce the injuries and victimization caused by workplace violence. Security, whether it is staff or just general procedures, should be taken extremely seriously. Several safety measures that can help reduce victimization include an incident response plan, panic button system, and surveillance cameras.
The first minute of a workplace violence incident is the most critical moment of a company’s emergency response. Simple steps, such as knowing where building exits are located, can help boost survival in the case of workplace violence.
There is no one failsafe way to prevent instances of workplace violence. However, technologies offered by CRS Notify can lessen the chances of victimization. CRS Notify panic buttons can notify authorities in an instant with E911 integration. Additionally, those who are set to receive alerts can know what is happening and plan accordingly.
In conclusion, it is important for staff to become familiar with violence prevention and incident response plans within the facility. Without these kinds of policies in place, staff may not know how to act in the face of an emergency. When certain policies are enacted, employees can be more confident in their reactions. It is always smart to trust intuition when something just doesn’t seem right. Suspicious behavior should always be reported. Remember: informed employees can help keep workplace violence and the repercussions of workplace violence down to a minimum.
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