Steps Employers Can Take to Manage the Risk of Workplace Violence

Violence at work, especially involving firearms, has become a tragic feature of our national culture. Although such incidents are thankfully far less common than other potentially serious injuries on the job, when they happen, their consequences for everyone involved can be devastating. Fortunately, employers can take control of the problem by training employees to recognize the signs of potential violence and by purchasing insurance to limit risk.

Recognize and respond

A small investment in training can go a long way toward preventing workplace violence. Quite often, a violent incident, especially one involving a weapon, comes after a series of smaller events. Employees can be trained to recognize the signs of a potential problem and to take actions to prevent a bad situation from getting worse.

An anti-violence training program begins with a cultural message: violence in the workplace, and the kind of environment that can lead to it, is not tolerated. Some incidents occur after the perpetrator has suffered a series of abusive or embarrassing situations at work, whether from bullying, teasing, or unprofessional public criticism from a manager. Understanding that these types of behaviors can lead to serious consequences is a first step toward reducing the risk of violence.

Training employees to recognize the signs of potential problems is crucial. A verbal or written threat or aggressive body language should not be ignored. Instead, employees should have a mechanism for reporting incidents to a manager. It is important employees have confidence in reporting even small signs, with the option of remaining anonymous. In turn, managers need to have a process in place to address the problem professionally and confidentially.

Insurance options

Employees who are injured bear the brunt of a violent incident’s immediate effects. But a major incident can have significant financial consequences for a business as well. The cost of replacing employees, provisions for counseling and other services to survivors, and the lost revenue from an inevitable disruption in operations are all real risks.

Some businesses may wish to explore adding an insurance policy to cover them against such risks. Because workplace violence is still a relatively rare event, such insurance may be a cost-effective way to ensure that an added layer of protection is backed by a sound, anti-violence training program.

Gunnin offers clients a choice

Gunnin is working with The Safer Solution, a leading provider of on-site and remote violence prevention training, to help clients address the risks they bear from potential workplace violence. We also can help clients explore options for active shooter insurance. Give Gunnin a call today to learn more.