Violence and crimes take many forms inside the workplace. Sexual harassment, coercion, profanity, raised voices, intimidation, threat, robbery, homicide and other forms of physical harm can happen at any given time. Commonly, it is something minor like theft, but in some cases, lives are taken because of a disgruntled employee.
Protect your workers from any act of violence or crime by carefully planning a safety system. Start with assessing the vulnerability of the workplace by asking yourself the questions below.
Does the workplace have an appropriate security system in place?
Do you have phone systems, office access controls? Safe rooms, security detail, panic and emergency buttons, sign-in policies, good lighting and safety training?
These should be enough to protect all your employees from violence coming from inside the organization and outside the workplace premises.
What is the policy adopted by your company when it comes to hiring and firing?
Your company should prevent anyone with criminal violence from entering your organization. It should look into employment gaps, educational records, and history references before it absorbs someone into the company.
What are your company?s termination procedures? Do these clearly define policies on advance notice, placement services, and severance pay? The company should minimized the chances of these causing dissatisfaction among terminated employees.
Is there anyone in your organization who can potentially become a source of violence or crime?
Does anyone in your organization exhibit any of the following?
– Chronic absenteeism
– Frequent raising of voice
– Beyond normal impatience
– Increased irritability
– Memory and concentration problems
– Other worrisome and unusual behaviors
If so, what does your company do to prevent workplace problems related to any of the abovementioned conditions from erupting? Does your company have policies on handling workplace violence? There should be a system in place that encourages employees to report unusual behaviors among their colleagues. The management should also provide a program that helps in assisting employees in distress.
How about the structural integrity of your workplace?
Are the doors, windows and other entry and exit points secured? These should be safe from mechanical override. Your company should also adopt effective policies on reporting, maintaining and fixing broken doors, windows and locks. Also, additional security measures should be placed to guarantee the personal security of every member of the organization within and outside workplace premises.
Does your company provide equipment that help secure valuable objects, belongings and information?
Are the employees secured in common trouble spots such as reception areas, garages, elevators, restrooms, etc.? Are there areas in the workplace that have dim lighting? These and other problem areas such as blind spots should be properly addressed.
Is sensitive and confidential information safe in your workplace or can outside people breach your office security that can lead to information leaks?
Does your company adopt a formal document destruction policy?
After assessing your office’s vulnerability to crime and violence, take steps to reduce this. Adopt a comprehensive violence prevention program which covers not only the most common scenarios involving violence, but also the worst-case scenarios that could happen within the workplace premises. It should also encompass issues such as physical security, practices relating to hiring and firing employees, and employee vulnerability. Lastly, this program should be implemented and supported by all levels of employees, from upper management down.