Reports of workplace violence have been on the rise in recent years. There have been mass shootings in retail establishments and other public spaces. There are also countless incidents in which one worker may commit a crime against their coworkers.
Obviously, individuals who turn violent are ultimately responsible for their own actions. However, interpersonal relationships sometimes provoke violence. That is a known risk. Employers need to address safety issues that could endanger their staff to provide a safe and appropriate work environment.
Especially when it comes to violence committed by one employee against another, businesses should do their best to minimize such incidents. How can an employer protect workers from violence committed by a co-worker?
1. Proper background screening
Criminal background checks and checking someone’s references are both key to screening out vile tile and difficult employees. The more cautious an employer is when adding team members, the less likely they are to make a choice that results in interpersonal violence eventually.
2. Proactive responses to conflicts at work
Any organization with a large number of people working there will eventually have some interpersonal conflicts.
People may attempt to have clandestine romantic relationships, only for infidelity to result in a blow-up fight in the middle of an office. People on a sales team could eventually become very aggressive toward one another over perceived misconduct that might affect people’s pay, like trying to take over someone’s most lucrative accounts.
When tensions rise in the workplace, management and Human Resources should be ready to respond proactively by separating workers when necessary or making other changes to prevent the conflict from reaching a boiling point.
3. Investment in proper security measures
Any business, from a retail establishment to a manufacturing facility, can benefit from proper security measures. The presence of security professionals at the business or the placement of security cameras could potentially help to deter fights and other acts of violence in the workplace.
Security professionals can play a key role in stopping an incident when something happens and removing someone from the premises. Security cameras can assist with the prosecution of individuals who commit acts of violence and can help document what occurs so that an employer is justified in taking action.
Unfortunately, not all employers take adequate steps to protect their workers from injuries on the job. Those who get assaulted or otherwise hurt in an act of workplace violence may have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. Learning more about workers’ compensation benefits and workplace safety rights can help those recovering from a criminal incident get the support they require.