Workplace violence is on the rise, and the statistics are shocking:
- There were 500 workplace homicides in 2016 alone, and these incidents accounted for 10% of all fatal occupational injuries.
- Violence is the second leading cause of death for women in the workplace.
- Workplace violence costs $121 billion in annual losses.
However, there are some steps you can take:
- Watch for warning signs such as excessive alcohol/drug use; unexplained work absences; depression, withdrawal, or suicidal comments; resistance to change; paranoia; and/or emotional responses to criticism.
- Educate employees about these warning signs, and have a process for reporting concerns, threats, and incidents.
- Establish a zero-tolerance policy regarding violence.
- Include definitions of prohibited behaviors in the policy.
- Be prepared. Have policies and procedures for emergencies and conduct drills at least annually.