The Impact of Workplace Violence On Your Organization

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Audio: The Impact Of Workplace Violence On Your Organization

No one goes to work expecting violence. Yet, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace violence is a serious concern, affecting roughly 2 million workers in the US annually, making it the second leading cause of fatal workplace injuries in the United States.

This might seem like a scary statistic, but understanding the different types of workplace violence and how to prevent it can make a big difference for your organization.

What is Workplace Violence?

Workplace violence isn't just physical assaults. It encompasses any act or threat of violence, harassment, intimidation, or disruptive behavior that happens at work. This can include:

      • Physical violence, such as shoving, hitting, or use of weapons
      • Verbal abuse, including threats, yelling, or insults
      • Bullying, most often defined as repeated unwanted aggressive behavior that impacts an employee’s well-being
      • Domestic violence spilling over into the workplace, including threats to employees or damage to property perpetuated by someone outside the workplace

The Ripple Effect of Violence

Workplace violence has far-reaching consequences. It can lead to physical and emotional injuries for victims, causing long-term trauma. Fear and anxiety can make it difficult for employees to focus on their work, decreasing productivity and morale. Employees may leave for a safer work environment, increasing absenteeism and turnover. There’s also the financial aspect for your business, including costs associated with medical care, legal fees, and security upgrades. Additionally, negative publicity from a violent incident can damage an organization's reputation and hurt customer trust and business relationships.

Empowering Employees Through Training

By providing employees with proper anti-harassment and workplace violence training, organizations can create a safer and more positive work environment. Effective training programs should address the different types of workplace violence and equip employees with the skills they need to stay safe.

Here are some key areas that training can cover:

        • Recognizing the Signs of Potential Violence: Help employees identify early warning signs of someone who may be at risk of violence, such as sudden mood swings, increased anger, or threats of violence.
        • De-escalation Skills: How to de-escalate tense situations and avoid provoking someone who is already agitated. This may involve active listening, using calm and non-threatening language, and setting boundaries.
        • Reporting Incidents: How and where to report incidents of workplace violence without fear of retaliation.
        • Emergency Procedures: Evacuation procedures, how to contact security or emergency responders, and what to do if they encounter a violent perpetrator in the workplace.

Investing in a Safe Workplace

Workplace violence is a complex issue, but it doesn't have to be a frightening one. By taking proactive steps like training and fostering a culture of open communication, organizations can create a safer and more productive environment for everyone.

Remember, a safe workplace benefits everyone. Let's work together to keep it that way.

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