Are your employees returning to work?
Are they prepared to face potential workplace violence?
Did you know that the stress of returning to in-person work could increase workplace violence?
After working from home for over a year, many workers are returning to the office. While this may help productivity and morale for some, the pandemic and current political climate has created increased stress. This stress has led to a rise in workplace violence.
What is workplace violence?
Workplace violence is violence or the threat of violence against workers consisting of verbal threats and abuse, physical threats or attacks, and homicide resulting in injury, property damage, fear, or work impediment.
OSHA estimates 2 million people experience workplace violence each year. In 2017, 18,000 people were injured and 800 died in workplace violence events in the US.
According to a study completed in 2019 by Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), half of all HR professionals experienced a workplace violence event in 2012. However, this number may actually be even higher considering that a quarter of workplace violence events are not reported. Employees not knowing who to talk to, dismissing the severity of the event, or fearing retaliation from their assailant may contribute to low reporting rates.
1 in 7 employees feel unsafe at work, and 30% of employees and 19% of managers say they don’t feel prepared for workplace violence events, according to SHRM’s study. Checking for a history of violent behavior before hiring a candidate, which 90% of HR professionals do, can help lower, but doesn’t fully prevent violence. Your current employees may react to stress or experience a trigger event that causes them to become violent.
You have an obligation to provide a safe workplace for your employees. So, what more can you do?
- Create a workplace violence prevention program and response plan — Having a prevention program or employee response training can increase an employee’s preparedness by 33%.
- Provide workplace violence training — Training will teach your employees what workplace violence looks like, how to manage it, and if necessary, how to survive it.
- Communicate — Make sure your employees know the actions you’re taking to keep them safe and any additional resources for them, such as verbal de-escalation training or mental health services.
- Stagger the move back to the office — Returning workers to the workplace in phases can help keep people calmer and allow them to adjust better.
- Watch for violent behavioral indicators — Most people don’t just snap. They exhibit signs of violence leading up to a violent event. Watch for behaviors like these.
Satisfy Your Safety Obligation with TPOP’s Workplace Violence E-Learning
TPOP’s “Think and Survive” workplace violence E-learning course can teach your employees about situational awareness, violent behavioral indicators, verbal de-escalation, the Run, Hide, Fight methodology, and more in less than one hour. The training can be accessed from any internet-enabled device and can be customized for your industry. Content is delivered in 1-2 minute videos with a 1 question quiz at the end of each section to ensure comprehension.
To prepare your employees for workplace violence, call TPOP today to discuss your company’s unique training needs. 833-723-3893