Workplace Violence

Posted by Kahla Livelsberger in #YHSafetyTips, Oct 04, 2017

Workplace violence should be taken very seriously. It can be a threat, harassment, intimidation, or anything else threatening that happens in the workplace. It doesn’t have to be between just coworkers. It could affect clients, customers, and the visitors as well. According to OSHA, 2 million American employees have been victims of violence in the workplace every year. Most of the time, the incidents go unreported.

Who is at risk of workplace violence?
-People who exchange money with others
-Working with unstable people
-Working alone
-Working in an isolated area
-Working where alcohol is provided
-Working late nights
-Working in areas with high crime rates
-Delivery drivers
-Healthcare providers
-Law enforcement

How can workplace violence hazards be reduced?
Employers should have a zero-tolerance policy geared towards everyone. Including coworkers, customers, clients, and visitors. Employers also need to watch the workplace carefully for any situations that could become violent – that way they are aware and know how to handle the situation before it could become a huge problem. You should have a violence prevention program written out for your employees, so everyone is aware of what to do if they are ever in this situation. Make sure all your employees are aware of the violence program and know the rules and policies. You could also have your employees take a workplace violence training course so they are aware of how these situations come about and learn how to avoid them.

Another step you could take to make the workplace safe is to install security cameras, extra lighting, alarms. You could have all employees carry badges to enter the buildings and have security guards as well. When it comes to cash, you could have a limit on how much is allowed in the building at a time to prevent burglary. Employers can have their staff carry cell phones always and hand-held alarms. When exiting the building at night, have your employees use the “buddy system” and walk out with someone else to be sure they get to their car safely.

To file a complaint by phone, report an emergency, or get OSHA advice, assistance, or products, contact your nearest OSHA office under the “U.S. Department of Labor” listing in your phone book, or call us toll-free at (800) 321-OSHA (6742). The teletypewriter (TTY) number is (877) 889-5627.

If you haven’t read last weeks’ post on power tool safety check it out here.

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