It is a sad fact that violence in the workplace has become a serious issue for all kinds of businesses. Although homicide incidents are highly publicized, they represent a very small number of these cases. Most incidents are assault, stalking, threats, harassment, and physical or emotional abuse that do not make headlines. You can help prevent situations that can escalate to violence by recognizing the circumstances and people most likely to pose danger, and by being alert to personal safety precautions.
Can you spot the signs that could indicate a potentially violent situation?
• A coworker, customer or someone else who is verbally threatening to “get even.”
• Someone who holds grudges, blames others for problems or continually casts themselves as the victim.
• Someone who talks excessively about weapons or about violence in the news, in the movies or on TV.
Can you spot the signs that indicate an immediate threat of violence?
Watch for someone who is making a verbal threat or threatening move, yelling angrily or aggressively intimidating others, or using abusive language.
Do you know how to report potentially dangerous, threatening or violent situations?
• Do not try to communicate with a violent person yourself unless you are specifically trained to do so.
• If you find a situation uncomfortable – for example, a coworker repeatedly talking about “getting even” with a supervisor – report the situation to management.
• If you notice suspicious activity or individuals in the workplace – for example, if a fire exit that is normally kept locked is being blocked open during the day – report the situation to security or a supervisor.
• If you know of a situation that could compromise security – for example, if a former employee kept his or her credentials, a building key, or another item that would enable access to the workplace, or if you know that a coworker’s violent ex-partner is stalking him or her – report it to security or your supervisor.
• If you notice something that is not right – for example, there are people present in your workplace who do not belong there and they are unescorted – call security, or report it to your supervisor.
• If an individual in the workplace is behaving in a way that frightens you – for example, a coworker becoming increasingly angry, yelling and threatening – call security.
• If an individual is behaving in a way that you believe is immediately threatening – for example, an angry customer mentioning having a gun in his or her car – call security and call 911.
Do not dismiss or disregard situations that make you fearful or uncomfortable. Make sure you know how and when to activate on-site security and report signs of violence
DISCLAIMER: Any information and recommendations contained in this communication have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, Lon Brown Insurance, Fearrin Insurance, Key Henson Jackson Insurance and Auto-Owners Insurance Group accepts no legal responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, or completeness of such information. Additional safety and health procedures may be required to comply with local, state, or federal law. Content in this document is not legal advice, nor does it amend the terms, conditions, or coverages of any insurance policy issued by herein above listed insurance agencies and/or companies. Materials provided by Auto Owners Insurance to Brown Insurance Group for use as an educational tool.