Workplace violence can result not only in bodily harm, it can also divide a company, reduce morale, and slow down operations. Companies who participate in a workplace violence prevention training program can help stop hostile feelings before they escalate.
What Is Workplace Violence?
Workplace violence occurs when a worker attacks another worker physically, verbally, or emotionally. Its effects often extend beyond the parties involved and can impact co-workers, managers, customers, and members of the public. Preventing violence in the workplace begins with education and training.
Why Does Workplace Violence Exist?
Workplace violence can occur for various reasons. It can stem from ill feelings toward an overbearing manager, being unappreciated, or from external issues in the employee’s life.
What Are the Four Types of Workplace Violence?
Workplace violence falls under four categories:
- Type-1: A worker and a criminal attacker
- Type-2: A worker and a client
- Type-3: A worker and one or more co-workers
- Type-4: A worker and a spouse, significant other, or close friend
What Is Worker to Worker Violence?
Workplace violence statistics show that violence from a past employee most often fall under Type-3. These types of incidents may occur when a worker feels unjustly discharged or wronged during their employment. It may also occur in the spur of the moment or escalate slowly through intimidation, prejudice, and/or verbal abuse.
How Does Worker to Worker Violence Affect the Workplace?
A violent incident can create an atmosphere of fear and hostility. Workers may feel unsafe and have trouble performing their tasks. Legal issues may also follow suit. If made public, worker to worker violence can drive away potential customers and damage the company’s credibility.
What Can Companies and Workers Do to Prevent Worker to Worker Violence?
Employers should establish a workplace violence prevention program and walk employees through it. The most effective policies start from the top. Managers and team leaders should set a good example and participate in training sessions alongside other members of the organization. Because worker on worker violence involves different perspectives, it’s important to reconcile them all before implementing disciplinary action. Both perpetrators and victims of workplace violence should have access to counseling, psychiatric services, and educational tools and programs.
Employees should practice sound conflict-resolution strategies. For example:
- Understand and abide by the organization’s prevention program.
- View the issue from the other party’s perspective.
- Examine one’s own behavior and how it relates to the issue.
- Ask questions and offer help rather than blame or accuse.
- Report the issue to a manager or human resources.
- Consult a psychologist, social service agency, mediator, or law enforcement before taking hasty action.
- Help foster an organization-wide culture of respect, trust, and understanding.
What Could Companies and People Do In Case of Worker to Worker Violence?
In the case of an active shooter, bystanders should seek safety, evacuate the building if possible, and contact law enforcement. In the event of verbal violence, companies should seek advice from a professional counselor or mediator.
Safety Issues in the Workplace
A workplace should provide ample walking space and clear exit paths. Workers should practice regular evacuation drills. On-site security can help diffuse conflicts before law enforcement arrives.
Workplace violence training programs have helped educate many organizations and workers on how to identify warning signs of violent behavior, develop proactive prevention strategies, and respond to incidents.