According to law enforcement officials, there are a number of steps that businesses can take to avoid situations that lead to workplace violence and deal with potentially dangerous situations.
Even small companies can establish a sign-in policy for visitors, install panic buttons and safe rooms, hire security guards, install good lighting, and develop a safety training program for all employees.
Avoiding Potential DangerHere are other steps a company can take to avoid potential dangers:
- When hiring new employees check references, backgrounds, history, criminal records and education thoroughly.
- Define termination procedures clearly and develop a policy that includes advance notice, severance pay, and placement services.
- Learn to recognize potentially violent employees. Signs of stress that could turn into violence include depression, talking in a louder than normal voice, being startled easily, frequent absences, increased irritability and impatience, and concentration and memory problems.
- Encourage all employees to report unusual or worrisome behavior. Make sure they know who to report problems to and take those reports seriously.
- Establish a pre-determined code word for employees to use when they need immediate assistance.
- Develop a clear, written policy that spells out procedures in cases of violence and sanctions for any violators.