A 2019 survey reported nearly half of HR professionals said their organization had at some point experienced a workplace violence incident—up from 36 percent in the previous 2012 survey. Definition of workplace violence, per OSHA, is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and includes homicide.
Let that sink in. Your business has about a 50% chance of experiencing a workplace violence incident, and there is no way to know in what form or where it may come.
First, let’s point out the obvious. Employers are responsible for ensuring employees are provided with a safe working environment per federal regulations. This does include taking reasonable steps to ensure safety. Your small business may now have increased liability for inaction or not preparing for a workplace violence scenario. You can mitigate employer risk by establishing a Workplace Violence Policy and Prevention Plan.
According to this same Workplace Violence 2019 survey conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management, employees reported feeling safer at work with violence prevention plans in place. This is valuable intelligence that you can use to benefit your company and employees. The savvy business owner understands that you can develop and implement a Workplace Violence Policy and Prevention Plan which reduces employer liability, but at the same time positively and directly engage your workforce by providing a stronger sense of safety and knowledge on how to handle an unexpected incident. It’s a win, win.
Contact me today to learn more about Workplace Violence Policy and Prevention Plan that fits your business.