|Updated: 4/13/2007 5:36 pm
||Published: 4/13/2007 5:36 pm
Workplace violence, a substantial contributing factor in occupational injury and death, has become one of the most important safety concerns for employers. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that homicide is the second leading cause of fatal occupational injury in America and over 1.5 (one point five) million workers are assaulted each year. Workplace violence has occurred in shopping malls, law offices, government buildings, banks, airline terminals, restaurants, schools, and even libraries. Not only does it result in lost workdays for employers, but it can cost workers millions of dollars in lost wages. Keep in mind that workplace violence can be any act of physical violence, threats of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening, disruptive behavior. Though there's no definitive strategy to prevent workplace violence from occurring, companies can take appropriate action to reduce the risks by enforcing a strong written policy that emphasizes that workplace violence, in any form, won't be tolerated. Employees should also be educated on violence awareness, early warning signs, and emergency procedures. Employers can also minimize the risk of workplace violence by providing good lighting, security devices, video surveillance equipment, and escort services.