The workplace should be a safe and fair environment for everybody, but too often, this is not the case. In addition to the prevalence of injuries and discrimination, sometimes workers encounter outright violence. Understanding the various forms this problem can take is the first step to combatting it and keeping your workplace as safe as possible.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, close to 2 million workers in America report incidents of workplace violence every day. If you are one of these, you should consider hiring a legal representative as well as seeking treatment for any physical or mental trauma you have suffered.
Worker against worker
One of the most common causes of workplace violence is worker-on-worker assault. Tensions can be high in any work environment, but when this escalates to violence, it is a serious issue that neither you nor the company should take lightly. Employers can prevent this, though, by encouraging employees to take issues to management and have structured discussions when a conflict arises.
Between customer and staff
You may have seen viral videos of vicious customers attacking fast-food employees. Attacks like these do not only occur in restaurants, though—they can happen in any work environment. A customer may become irate at any minute and unleash aggression. To prevent this, a policy should be in place for dealing with and de-escalating potentially dangerous clientele. Implementing de-escalation training can equip all staff in preventing these scenarios, too.
Outside personal relationship
Sometimes, violence in the workplace becomes an extension of domestic violence. It is not uncommon for abusive individuals to enter the workplace of their targets and become violent. If this happens, it is imperative to document the situation. There should also be a protocol for handling potential incidents such as this and preventing a known aggressive individual from gaining access to the workplace.