The Occupational Health and Safety Administration reports there are close to 2 million cases of workplace violence per year, varying in severity from physical or verbal abuse to homicide. In the United States, there are an average of 33,000 cases of workplace violence reported (OSHA). And, there are many more cases like these that simply go unreported.
Key Risk Factors
Certain risk factors make some workplaces more susceptible to violence than others, such as:
- Retail or service providers, where workers are in small groups or alone and regularly interacting with external patrons.
- Workplaces with hours late at night or early in the morning.
- Healthcare and social services, where workers are interacting with physically or mentally compromised individuals intimately.
- Workplaces where personal life and professional life intermingle, where family members are working together for example.
- Workplaces that employ workers with a prior history of violence or crime.
- Workplaces that require conflict and emotionally charged conversation.
Implications of Workplace Violence
However, no workplace or industry is immune to the risk of workplace violence. The implications of this type of violence on your business are vast.
Emotionally, employees will experience trauma at work. This will affect many important aspects of your business such as turnover, culture, quality of production, and business reputation in the community. Financially, lawsuits average $500,000 with jury awards averaging $3 million. Not to mention the many other unexpected and un-budgeted expenses that may result.
Taking Preventative Steps
Any corporate setting is a target for workplace violence, regardless of size or industry. However, there are many steps that may be taken in protecting your business and your employees from harm. Some of these safeguards include:
- having a zero-tolerance policy for violence
- having a system in place for reporting violent incidents
- training employees on safety
- implementing security measures such as cameras or on-site security
- maintaining a peaceful company culture
As you can imagine, there are many more practical safe-guards for protecting your business from workplace violence. However, every business is very different, and requires a safety policy specific to you! If you believe your business needs to increase its efforts in protecting and educating your workers, then we’re here to help.
In the Baton Rouge area? Prepare for the worst by letting us help you safeguard your workplace. Henry Insurance will be speaking at Your Company Under Attack: Exploring the Emotional and Financial Impact of Workplace Violence on February 23, 2017.
Let us help you protect your business and your employees from danger in the workplace. Prepare for the worst by letting us help you safeguard your workplace.