As recent incidents have shown in Illinois, Maryland, and California, workplace violence is an unfortunate reality that seems to be on the rise in today’s business world. In fact, according to SHRM, 1 in 7 American workers do not feel safe in the workplace. However, being aware of workplace violence and taking the necessary steps to prevent workplace violence are two different things.
What is the solution to ensure the safety of employees, customers and visitors from workplace violence? The answer is knowing when to turn to the professionals and hire additional security personnel to step in and properly handle potentially violent situations.
Be Prepared, but Be Realistic
When a visitor or employee shows signs of aggression, workers need to how to handle the situation. As stated in a previous blog about aggressive behavior prevention, knowing when the climate has become violent is essential to keeping everyone safe. At a minimum, employees, especially those in HR, need to be trained on:
- Identifying the warning signs that aggression is leading toward violence
- How to properly confront an aggressive individual
- Techniques to de-escalate the potential for violence
To accomplish these peace-keeping steps, it’s important to understand the reasons behind workplace violence (e.g. bullying, termination of employment). Through this understanding, organizations can not only prepare but realistically address a situation before it goes beyond the point of no return. In other words, be prepared, but be realistic in order to keep the peace.
When to Call for Back Up
Although prevention is the best policy when it comes to protecting people in the workplace, managers and HR professionals can only do so much. Although we want to think our staff has been properly trained and is prepared to address any/all uncomfortable situations, some workplace situations usually warrant additional assistance.
Below are some of the workplace scenarios where additional personnel may be needed to keep everyone (including the aggressor) safe:
- Terminated employee that verbalizes a threat against supervisor(s) or employee(s)
- Current employee that verbalizes a threat against supervisor(s) or employee(s)
- Any notification of a “Domestic Partner” dispute
- Any termination that has the “potential” to have an angry or aggressive response
- Any time you suspend an employee for aggressive behavior
- Complaints from multiple employees reference the potential danger of another employee
- Any form of Workplace Violence that takes place
- Repetitive aggression against same employee in the form of bullying, etc.
Another thing to note is when these scenarios involve individuals suffering from problems with substance abuse and/or mental illness. “Calling for backup” often ensures risk of injury or even death is significantly minimized because professionals with the proper experience and hands-on training are there to handle the volatile situation quickly and efficiently.
As more and more American workplaces fall victim to violence, businesses need to take a step back and assess their state of readiness and willingness to properly deal with this deadly trend. When in doubt, call in professional security personnel who have the know-how and ability to minimize violence in the workplace.
Turn to the Professionals to Keep Your Workplace Safe from Violence
SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc.’s security services provide companies with immediate security in an emergency or threatening situation of any kind, including employee termination, company breaches or break-ins, inability to secure the premises or the building, and threats made against management or other personnel. Contact us or call 330-255-1101 to speak with one of our security professionals today.