Signs of Workplace Violence
Workplace violence is a serious problem in the United States, and it can affect all of society. Organizations spend millions of dollars every year to try to provide safety and education because employers are legally and ethically responsible for providing a safe work environment. There are many signs that we all should be aware that tell us when workplace violence is possible.
Threats or Threatening Behavior
One sign of workplace violence is if there have been vague or unveiled threats toward other workers or supervisors. One worker may act intimidating to others and threaten bodily harm to other workers. Most of these threats will turn out benign. However, management and other employees must always take these threats seriously. Some threats may simply consist of threatening behavior such as negative or violent motions with the hands or even disturbing looks. Remember; report any of these types of behaviors to management immediately.
Anger and Argument
Anger and argumentative behavior can be a sign of workplace violence. Some employees may show immense hate towards other coworkers, supervisors, family, or friends and may become violent at work. Some employees that have issues with anger also have very odd behaviors and other employees often observe this. Impulsive behavior may be another sign that violence is imminent. A person may get into frequent fights either verbal or physical. In addition, a person who is at risk of becoming violent at work may act aggressively and seem to have a short fuse when he does not get his way. Always report any issues with anger or aggression to the management no matter how insignificant they may seem.
Many problem behaviors can be signs of potential workplace violence. Using drugs or alcohol can actually amplify these behaviors and make the employee become unpredictable. The use of drugs and alcohol is a sign that violence can occur. If co-workers observe alcohol or drug use, they should report this behavior to management. In addition, you should also be aware of any history of violence in your workers because this too can indicate a possible tendency to become violent. Also, being reckless or even having antisocial behavior can all be signs of violence in workers. Doing background checks on employees should be standard in any company and for the safest environment, do these on a yearly basis. In addition, you should educate all employees about the possibility of workplace violence. Employees should also be educated about the things that they can do in times of crisis.
Knowledge of the possible threats that exist in our workplace is important for both employees and management. There are dozens of signs to look for in our workplace. Having some basic knowledge about violence, and what to do when you encounter a violent situation at work is critical to the life of every employee.