Nearly 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. Employees are entitled to a safe workplace. The threat of workplace violence is a real and rising. Employers need to prepare for such situations as businesses can be held liable for workplace violence incidents.
The following are four types of workplace violence threats:
- Criminal Intent– The offender enters the workplace to commit robbery or another crime.
- Customer/Client– Violent person has a relationship with the business, such as a disgruntled customer who receives services from the company.
- Worker on Worker- Current or Former employees committing violence toward their present or past places of employment.
- Personal/domestic – Violence committed in the workplace by someone who doesn’t work there but has a personal relationship with an employee who does i.e. abuse spouse.
We recommend that your organization take steps to mitigate workplace violence. Employers should be proactive to minimize workplace violence exposure, including adopting a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence against or by their employees.
Consider the following safety measures:
- Secure the workplace – Video surveillance, extra lighting and alarm systems. Minimize access by outsiders by requiring ID badges, electronic keys and security guards.
- Prevent financial temptation—Drop safes to limit cash on hand.
- Protect field staff—Equip employees with cell phones and consider hand-held alarms or noise devices.
- Buddy system – To help ensure security, introduce a buddy system among employees or provide an escort service or police assistance at night.
Consult with a safety professional that can assist you with your organization’s specific safety needs.
Establishing a workplace violence prevention program or incorporating the information into an existing accident prevention program (such as an employee handbook or manual) is another way your organization can be proactive. Your attorney should review your workplace violence program, employee discipline, and termination criterial to ensure they are appropriate.
There may be additional resources provided by your insurance carrier. Review Workplace Violence coverage options with your insurance broker. Don’t assume that your current insurance program can provide coverage in the event of workplace violence.
Let us know if you have any questions or concerns regarding workplace violence coverage or if you would like us to provide you with a quote. We are here to help!
This article is intended for informational uses only and not to be construed as legal advice.