In light of the recent violent incident at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis, many organizations are likely reviewing their workplace violence protocols. Although the incidence of workplace violence is greater in industries like health care and retail, no industry or organization is immune. Almost 20% of all violent incidents occur at work and these incidents can be life-changing for both those directly and indirectly affected.
Workplace violence has a broad definition that includes any act in which a person is abused, threatened, intimidated, or assaulted during the course of his or her employment. This includes incidents that occur at the workplace, immediately outside the workplace, or offsite during a workplace event. The act can be physical or non-physical and includes behaviours like hitting, kicking, spitting, throwing objects, oral or written threats, sexual harassment, bullying, vandalism, rumours, and verbal abuse.
The four recognized types of workplace violence are:
One of the best things you can do to ensure the safety of your workers is to train them on how to recognize and handle violent incidents. All employees should know to watch for potential precursors of violent incidents, including:
All employees should also be trained on general safety precautions and how to avoid workplace violence, including:
Employee training should also include tactics on how to avoid or de-escalate a violent situation, including:
Lastly, it’s essential for employees to understand the seriousness of workplace violence and that it should be reported immediately. There should be clear policies and procedures for employees to follow so that they are comfortable reporting incidents without fear of retaliation.
Using the Sincron HR platform managers and employees can note and raise safety concerns within the employee portal while HR can periodically post updates and articles to raise employee/manager awareness. In addition:
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