Low-probability, high-impact events are something that most individuals and organizations would rather ignore. After all, chances are it won’t happen to you. Serious workplace violence events, active shooter incidents, and other unsavory threats are on the rise but it’s easier to assume it will happen to someone else. We don’t want to think about our own mortality or that of our organizations. Instead, we hope it won’t happen to us, to our employees, to our customers, or to our communities.
But then there are these facts:
- 18% of all crimes committed occur in the workplace
- Jury awards in workplace violence cases typically run in the millions of dollars
- 70% of active shooter incidents occur in business or educational environments
- Workplace violence is the number one cause of workplace fatalities for women
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The effects of workplace violence are wide and long lasting. Each year millions are affected, from employees to executives, impacting business from productivity to profitability.
Many acts of violence are preventable, with the main responsibility resting in employers’ hands through proactive prevention. When violent acts do occur, having a plan in place can mitigate and prevent escalation.
OSHA requires employers to “provide employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.”
Our latest infographic outlines the dimension of this epidemic problem, how far the impact extends, and what to do to predict, prevent, and recover from incidents. Learn how to recognize the stages of workplace violence and the components of an effective prevention program. … Continue reading
Workplace violence presents a growing problem for today’s organizations and society at large. With more than 2 million people directly affected and nearly 1000 fatalities each year, violence in the workplace has reached epidemic proportions.
Employers have a stated obligation under OSHA “to provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” But can we really expect an employer to be held liable for the unthinkable?
We can. And frequently, we do.
Employers are held liable for negligent hiring, negligent retention, and negligent supervision–often, even if the alleged conduct of an employee falls outside the scope of the employment relationship. Furthermore, when an employer fails to prevent workplace violence in the face of known or suspected dangers, it may be regarded as “intentional” conduct, which can also result in charges of negligence. (source) … Continue reading
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reports that every year, a staggering two million people in the United States are victimized by some form of non-fatal workplace violence. DOL statistics further estimate that 1,000 homicides annually are attributed to violence in the confines of the work environment.
These numbers are inclusive of not just current disgruntled employees lashing out against co-workers, but consider workplace violence in other forms, including external crime threats, such as robbery, frustrated or dissatisfied customers or clients, former employees, or domestic incidents that follow an employee to work.
Employers have a duty to provide a safe workplace and this means having a strong workplace violence prevention program.
When developing a program to prevent workplace violence, consider the wealth of information and guidelines available from government and private sector sources, such as the DOL’s Workplace Violence Program. Also, consider that the most successful workplace violence programs incorporate a true assessment of the workplace environment, security, education, and a dedicated monitoring and awareness of employee behavior on the individual level. … Continue reading