Workplace Violence: Be Prepared, Not Paranoid

Police Line Do not cross - Workplace Violence - Be prepared You’d like to think it would never happen, but you know that it can. Assaults, stabbings, even shootings can occur at your workplace. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics about 5% of all workplaces experience an incident of violence every year. The FBI says that there is an active shooter incident every three weeks, nearly half of which occur at businesses.

So, should you just pull the covers up over your head and stay safely in bed, because it’s too dangerous to go to work? Of course not. You want to be prepared, but not paranoid.

While there is no federal law establishing a specific duty to prevent workplace violence, OSHA requires every employer to provide a safe working environment, and has published guidelines for employers on workplace violence prevention. Under those guidelines, an employer is on notice of the risk of violence and may be required to implement a workplace violence prevention program if there is a violent incident or if the employer becomes aware of threats, intimidation, or other indications that show that there is the potential for violence in the workplace.

OSHA recommends five key elements of effective workplace violence prevention:

  • Management commitment and employee involvement
  • Analysis of worksite security
  • Hazard prevention and control
  • Training for employees and management
  • Recordkeeping and workplace violence prevention program evaluation.

What this means to you:

If your organization is committed to providing a safe, violence-free workplace, training for your employees is essential. Our Preventing Workplace Violence webinar is highly interactive, using videos, polls and case studies to ensure learning and practical application. Among other topics, we cover how to respond to an active shooter, based on advice from the Department of Homeland Security.

Posted 02-10-2016

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.


About the Author:

Ann Kiernan has litigated claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination before state and federal courts and administrative matters before the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, representing both employers and employees. Ms. Kiernan co-hosted The Employee Rights Forum, a weekly radio call-in show reaching up to a half-million listeners in the New York metropolitan area, and her articles on employment law have been published in many books and magazines. Both as a firm partner and as a director, Ms. Kiernan gained solid experience in management and human resources compliance. She has worked with Fair Measures since 1997.