The threat of a workplace violence incident is increasing across America at an accelerated rate. Workplace violence incidents accounted for approximately two out of every six unfortunate work incidents in 2015. Statistics have shown that a workplace violence incident often turns into a tragic event. Sometimes for entirely unrelated reasons and other times for a highly connected agenda. Therefore, bringing adopting workplace violence prevention and preparedness plans into facilities throughout the United States have never been more urgent.
A workplace violence incident is not always about work-related issues. Most people assume that disgruntled workers are usually the culprit. However, that is not necessarily the case. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that in more than two-thirds of workplace attacks, the assailant has no known personal relationship with the victims. Furthermore, most assailants who are employees commit workplace violence due to something else going on in their lives. Some of the more typical reasons for a workplace violence incident are mental illness, drug abuse, divorce, or perceived personal failure.
How do you Recognize Behavior that may Lead to A Workplace Violence Incident?
Fewer than 50% of violent crimes are reported to police each year. The FBI estimated that law enforcement agencies across the country made 10.8 million violent crime arrest in 2015 nationwide. One-fourth of those arrests were due to a workplace violence incident. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported an average of 2 million reported cases of workplace violence incidents each year.
Business owners and CEO’s are prompted to take action to train managers and staff on how to identify behaviors that may signify possible workplace violence. Being able to pick up on changes in coworkers behavior can help provide early intervention.
Always take particular note if:
- There is a change in their behavior patterns.
- The frequency and intensity of the behaviors are disruptive.
- The person is exhibiting many of these behaviors, rather than just a few.
Warning signs include:
- Argumentative or uncooperative.
- Excessive absenteeism or lateness.
- Pushing the limits of acceptable conduct.
- Disrespect for authority.
- Increased mistakes or errors, or poor work quality.
- Refusal to acknowledge job performance issues.
- Faulty decision making.
- Swearing or emotional language.
- Cannot take constructive criticism.
- Extreme or bizarre behavior.
- Forgetfulness, confusion, and/or distraction.
- Inability to focus on tasks or conversations.
- Blaming others for their mistakes.
- Convinced that he or she is entitled to something.
- Believes he or she is entitled to something.
- Displays unwarranted anger.
- Social isolation.
- Low self-esteem.
- Bad personal hygiene.
- Sudden and/or unpredictable change in energy level.
- Holds grudges
- Escalating threats that appear genuine.
- States intention to hurt someone (can be verbal or written).
Other physical signs that a person may be becoming violent
More often than not, it is not what a person says, but their body language. Use caution if you see someone who exhibits one or more of the following “non-verbal” signs or body language.
- Flushed or pale face.
- Unusual Excessive Sweating.
- Pacing, restless, or repetitive movements.
- Signs of extreme fatigue (e.g., dark circles under the eyes).
- Trembling or shaking.
- Clenched jaws or fists.
- Exaggerated and/or violent gestures.
- Change in tone of voice.
- Loud talking or shouting.
- Unnatural breathing patterns. i.e. rapid short breathing
- Glaring or avoiding eye contact.
- Violating your personal space (they get too close).
It is imperative for companies to assess their risk of workplace violence, develop a plan, and provide ongoing training for all staff members. Also, offering counseling resources for employees on site will significantly help reduce stress within the workplace. Paying attention to the warning signs can help prevent issues. Furthermore, this also allows management to address the problem before it becomes dangerous. Situations may happen that are out of your control. Preparing employees and staff on how to react in an emergency situation is the best option.
How to Avoid A Workplace Violence Incident
Proper planning and training can dramatically reduce the injuries and victimization caused by a workplace violence incident. Furthermore, security, whether it is staff or just general safety procedures, should be taken 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.
What are Some Great Business Safety Solutions for A Workplace Violence Incident?
Business safety solutions consist of having a workplace violence incident response plan in place along with several other security products. For instance, a technology-driven panic button program paired with a surveillance system and perhaps a security staff would be a great collection for a businesses security initiative. All of these options together give any company a robust security plan. These products paired together help to increase the level of protection for both staff and employees. The moment a workplace assault happens, the panic button can alert multiple responders of the crisis while the surveillance cameras can record footage of the crime. Furthermore, the incident response plan gives employees the knowledge to utilize the correct plan of action while the security staff assists with moving everyone to safety. The rapid notification of the panic button alert also gives responders the chance to assuage the situation more efficiently.
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