Workplace Violence Prevention Programs

A Must for Every Business

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines workplace violence as any physical assault, threatening behavior or verbal abuse occurring in the work setting. Establishing a program to address violent crime in the workplace is an important way of helping to keep employees safe from such behaviors. Knowing a workplace has policies and procedures in place to guard against threats to employee safety also helps to create a more comfortable and productive environment.

Steps for Establishing a Violence Prevention Program

There are many different approaches for developing a workplace violence prevention program. An approach that works well for one organization may not be suitable for another. However, with extensive planning and effective program management, organizations can dramatically reduce incidents of workplace violence.

All organizations should take the following steps to develop a workplace violence prevention program:

  1. Assess the organization’s current ability to handle potentially violent situations. Specifically, examine these areas:
    • Physical security
    • Pre-employment screening programs
    • Termination practices
    • Outplacement procedures
  2. Identify the in-house resources and skill levels needed for addressing a workplace violence incident, and provide training if skill levels are deficient.
    • Each job classification should identify the positions responsible and accountable for your organization’s safety program.
  3. Develop a written workplace violence prevention policy that includes:
    • Definitions
    • Incident reporting procedures
    • Response plans
  4. Develop a crisis plan.
  5. Provide initial and annual training to employees.
  6. Establish a schedule for periodically conducting mock simulations.

To help our customers eliminate violence and crime at their businesses, we created a Workplace Violence Prevention campaign. Click here to access the site, which is full of useful information, safety tips and tools.