Integrated Security Services, Inc., New York

The Many Faces of Workplace Violence

30 Jul

workplace violence presenter Province of British Columbia/flickr

Violence in the workplace is as prevalent as ever, but with the right education and the help of Integrated Security Services, employers can ensure their workplaces are safe and productive.

According to the National Law Review (NLR), nearly two million American workers are victims of workplace violence every year. As a preventative tool, the NLR has compiled a guide to keep your company’s workplace policies current and effective. Using this informative pamphlet, let’s take a look at the four most common types of violence in the workplace, and how they can be best avoided.

1. Criminal Intent

Of all forms, so-called criminal intent workplace violence is by far the most prevalent in the U.S. It refers to a situation where an offender lacks a previous relationship to a business, and usually takes the form of crimes like robbery, shoplifting, and trespassing.

The most effective solution is to commit to a strong security presence. Check that alarms work properly and that all areas of the property are well lit.

Most importantly, identify the most vulnerable employees (i.e. the bank teller or gas station clerk) and train them on how to properly respond should suspicious or violent visitors make an appearance. These safeguards ensure that the business is protected and that employees are able to operate without worry.

2. Customer or Client Violence

This more personal category refers to violence that is perpetrated by individuals who have a legitimate reason to visit a workplace. Offenders are typically a customer or client of the business, which is most commonly a health care center or a protective service operation.

Because these offenders have a relationship with the business (making it hard to bar their entry), companies should ensure that the workplace is well-monitored and has a comprehensive evacuation plan. Moreover, companies should train employees to report potentially violent situations before they escalate.

3. Employee on Employee Violence

While employee on employee violence accounts for only 7% of workplace violence, it’s a serious issue that poses a significant threat to workplace harmony. As the name indicates, this is a situation where an employee, past or present, attacks or threatens a fellow worker.

Oftentimes, this type of violence results in poor morale, absenteeism, and bad publicity, making it especially important to root out.

Many companies are taking action against employee on employee violence by implementing new and up-to-date anti-bullying laws, such as California’s Assembly Bill 2053, according to Human Resource Executive. This legislation requires employees to take part in mandatory training programs to help prevent abusive conduct by spotting its telltale signs.

4. Individual Relationship Violence

As its name suggests, this type of workplace violence arises out of conflicts with romantic partners, friends, or family. All too often, it takes the form of domestic or gang-related violence. Astoundingly, the National Law Review quotes a Bureau of Labor Statistics figure that 21% of all full-time employees are victims of domestic violence.

In these instances, the business needs to serve as a personal and legal resource to its employees – whether this means obtaining a restraining order or prosecuting offenders, the employer is ultimately responsible for the continued safety of its workers.

Prevention with Integrated Security Services

As always, the best safety measures are preventative, and many companies look to outside firms for assistance, such as Integrated Security Services, a full-service private investigation and executive security firm.

Whether our solution takes the form of a physical security presence, a detailed risk evaluation, or even pre-employment screenings, our professional and timely services will ensure the safety of every employee. Throughout our over twenty years in business, companies have looked to Integrated to mitigate risk and ensure that the workplace continues to operate smoothly.

Though workplace violence continues to pose an unfortunate threat to business, by taking the right steps, you can ensure your workplace and employees are as safe and secure as possible.