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Stopping Workplace Violence Before it Starts

Workplace rage accounts for the term, “Going postal”. This term is a reference to the 1980’s slayings of postal workers by current or former employees who acted in moments of intense rage. During a ten-year period 40 individuals were murdered in workplace violence. Stop Workplace Violence with Safety Training

In terms of present conditions there remains the threat of violence in the workplace. This may not result in murder, but it can cause intimidation and other forms of workplace abuse.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have never established violence standards for the workplace. That does not, however, preclude the establishment of safety precautions that provide an atmosphere free of exposure to circumstances that may result in physical harm or even death. OSHA recognizes violence as a ‘recognized hazard’ and employers can be cited for failing to provide their staff with a safe environment – even from each other.

Workplace Safety Training

One viable way to stem the tide of violence in your workplace is to initiate training within your company. The idea is to recognize and curtail potential violence before it takes place. That being the case, training needs to occur in areas such as interview techniques that may alert your human resources department to potential issues with a prospective employee. Training can also assist managers in identifying trouble spots that may result in workplace violence. Thirdly, training needs to take place among employees to help them understand a better way to manage their frustration within the workplace.

Did you know Warriors 4 Safety Offers an OSHA Approved Safety Training Course on the Topic of Workplace Violence? Workplace Violence Sign Up Today!

Areas of Concern

When interviewing a potential employee some of the red flags you may be looking for include previous jobs that may have been left off the resume, how they handled previous stress-filled situations within a work environment, how they deal with difficult co-workers, what situations make them angry, have they ever been angry with a supervisor and how they feel when they are intimidated.

These are just a few of the things you should attempt to uncover in the interview process. They can help you identify a potential violent tendency and may help in identifying areas of additional training for your staff.

Your management team needs to be equipped to identify workplace ‘red flags’ and then instructed to deal with small problems quickly. Often workplace violence is a result of ‘compound interest’. The individual who ultimately expresses violence will have an issue of origin that was never resolved. That issue resulted in additional real or perceived problems that often results in the belief that violence is a viable tool that can be used to manage the internal conflict or turmoil they experience. When it gets to this point it may be too late to meaningfully engage the employee. They may even feel that any intervention from you would simply be condescending.

The Origin of Workplace Violence

You should also understand that some workplace violence begins with circumstances outside the workplace. An employee could crack under the pressures of personal finance or situations that may be happening at home. The workplace can become the object of their frustration and wrath.

Supervisors can learn to spot those who may be considering violence as a remedy to their personal or workplace problems through a radical change in personal behavior, becoming visibly upset with routine supervisor feedback, angrily engaging fellow employees who may actually be conciliatory, being compulsive about their work and a strong interest in weaponry.

Safety is Your Ultimate Responsibility

The role of safety training cannot be minimized. It is strongly inferred that OSHA considers it a citable offense to fail to intervene in circumstances of potential workplace violence. Your team deserves a safe workplace and you have the duty to provide that environment. Sign up today for an on-line OSHA approved safety training course: Stopping Workplace Violence 




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