Reducing Your Risk of Workplace Violence

Safety & OSHA
Workplace Violence

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It is a frequent headline today: An incident of workplace violence has taken place. Lives may have been lost. Families are affected. Most are surprised—they never thought it could happen here. Many employers have policies about weapons and “no violence.” What is the impact of these policies on workplace violence? Are they enough to keep violence at bay? What can employers do to further reduce the risk?

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines workplace violence as “violent acts, including physical assault and threats of assault directed towards persons at work or on duty.” What makes workplace violence different is the potential for impact—more people may be directly affected by the violence. For example, an individual may return to his workplace intending to perform an act of violence against the supervisor who recently gave him a disciplinary warning. Due to the close proximity of people in the workplace, others are affected—whether they are convenient targets or traumatized witnesses.

How Can Employers Reduce the Risk?

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