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Workplace Violence Prevention

Have you thought about your company’s workplace violence prevention policy lately? If not, maybe you should ask yourself, “How safe is my office, really?”

From schools to office buildings and just about everything in between, these days no place seems safe from the risk of active shooters and other criminal activity. Whether you like it or not, this means you need to be prepared.

Here are 4 tips to help you reduce risk to your team and your building.

Conduct a security assessment

Every business has slightly different needs regarding security, so it’s best to begin with a thorough assessment of your security vulnerabilities.

Questions to ask yourself include:

  • Do strangers cut through your parking lot for convenience?

  • Is your business open to the public?

  • Do your employees handle cash? Do these workers also deal with the public?

  • Does your business rely on delivery drivers? Do they drive company vehicles? What sort of security systems exist on those vehicles?

  • Are all your windows and doors in good working order?

  • Do all employees wear badges?

  • How do employees access the building? With electronic keys or metal keys?

  • How often are security codes changed?

You should also ask your employees if they ever feel unsafe or have suggestions for improvements.

Install security cameras and make them visible

Make your security cameras especially visible in your most likely danger zones, including over doors, in parking lots, at the reception area, anywhere money is handled or stored, and in IT server rooms.

When criminals see video surveillance, they can’t necessarily tell whether cameras are on, and it might be enough to discourage them from targeting your business.

Encourage employees to report vulnerabilities

Despite your best efforts to provide a safe office environment, you can’t be everywhere or know everything. So, it’s vital you encourage employees to report their safety concerns. Your team should be comfortable telling you about:

  • Lights that need to be replaced

  • Unsecured machines or rooms containing valuable equipment

  • Domestic issues that have the potential to spill into the workplace

  • Suspicious behavior, workplace bullying or significant personality changes of other employees or customers

It’s also important that you act on any safety concerns brought to your attention. Nothing kills employee cooperation faster than feeling ignored.

Train your employees to recognize potential danger

Just as you regularly train employees to recognize phishing attacks through unsolicited emails, you should train them in workplace safety. Remind them about proper procedures for handling suspicious packages, upset customers and unauthorized personnel in secure work areas.

As part of manager training, you should also train your business’s leaders to recognize and stop behaviors that can trigger violence, such as bullying, intimidation and excessive job-related stress. And that goes for their own behavior, as well as that of employees.

Your managers should also learn about common issues that may lead to violence, such as poor performance reviews, firings, unwelcome changes in role and personal stress outside the workplace.

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