What Companies Can Do To Stem Rising Workplace Violence

Posted by Heidi Schwartz 

Workplace Violence

(Photo: FBI.)

With an average of 700 workers killed while at work each year, and an estimated 572,000 nonfatal crimes occurring annually in the workplace, no industry is free of the possibility of severe workplace violence. This is a concern that should be addressed by companies nationwide.

In their recent report, “Workplace Violence: Employers Can Reduce Their Risk,” Lockton’s Lori SeversonLarry Poague, and Mary Davis take a look at the four types of workplace violence:

  • violence by strangers,
  • violence by customers or clients,
  • violence by coworkers, and
  • violence by personal relations.

Different industries are at a different level of risk for each area. The Lockton experts point businesses to various prevention strategies, specific to each type of violence.

“Currently, violence in the workplace is an unregulated safety hazard,” said Lori Severson, loss control consultant. “However, under the Federal OSHA General Duty Clause, employers can still be cited for the lack of a workplace violence program if violence does occur.”

Even if businesses take all the necessary precautions, they cannot prevent all workplace violence incidents. The report looks at risk financing as another layer of protection to ensure companies are properly protected if an unforeseen violent event occurs. There are approaches businesses can take to help avoid a workplace violence event.

The report encourages employers to face the reality that random acts of violence may occur, but they can reduce the potential by taking the appropriate prevention measures and carefully plan protective strategies.

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