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Preventing Workplace Violence

Preventing workplace violence … Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Use these violence prevention strategies to identify 8 warning signs of violent employee behavior, access 2 examples of a sound workplace violence policy and learn how YOUR management style can stop workplace violence before it erupts…

Make workplace safety a core part of your management strategy and policy planning. Use our workplace violence prevention strategies, sample policies and screening advice to keep your most valuable capital – your workers – safe and violence free.

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Dennis Davis, author of Threats Pending, Fuses Burning: Managing Workplace Violence and director of client training for Ogletree Deakins, urges employers to be on the lookout for workers who display any of these eight warning signs of violent behavior.
Do you have a zero-tolerance policy for workplace violence? That doesn’t mean you have to fire everyone who violates the letter of the rule. You can use some discretion, as long as you document why.

Workplace violence is a serious problem that all employers must be prepared to address. Issues include analyzing what incidents are likely to trigger violence in the workplace; whether workplace violence policies can apply to verbal threats; what to do in cases of actual fighting or physical violence; and even outside events like domestic violence situations.

Nearly 2 million U.S. workers are victims of workplace violence each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last year, 506 employees were slain at work.Don’t let your organization add to those sobering statistics. To reduce the chance of workplace violence—or your liability if it does happen—follow these 11 guidelines:

Employers that punish some em­­ployees more leniently than others for breaking the same rule are asking for trouble. That’s especially true when a lesser offense seems to have warranted especially harsh punishment.

Some employees are simply difficult to manage. They start argu­­ments and may see harassment or discrimination everywhere. But sometimes they cross a line, implying they could get violent. How you handle their complaints can spell the difference between winning and losing a lawsuit.

Q. We do not have a workplace violence policy and would like to prepare one. What should we include in the policy?

Poor communications with employees isn’t just bad for business. It also creates a work environment that’s ripe for legal trouble. Stay out of the courtroom by taking time to explain your actions and make the workplace seem rational to employees. Here's how.

OSHA has issued its first written en­­force­­ment instructions regarding incidents of workplace violence. Officials will use the directive to decide whether allegations of workplace violence warrant an investigation.
The economy is a shambles, and employers are doing everything they can to stay in business. That includes terminations, salary and wage cuts and temporary furloughs. Nearly every one of those moves carries litigation risk.  With little to lose, more and more employees are willing to stake bias claims, hoping to score a big settlement. Their allies are attorneys who will look for any reason to sue. What should employers do?
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