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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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OSHA has issued en­­force­­ment instructions regarding incidents of workplace violence. Officials will use the directive to decide whether allegations of workplace violence warrant an investigation. It also details methods employers can use to minimize the possibility of workplace violence.
According to the latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 12% of assailants in fatal workplace shootings are co-workers or former co-workers. Sadly, violence can strike any workplace. That’s why it’s so important to be able to recognize the signs of potential trouble and have protocols in place to prevent a poten­tially tragic situation. That’s often easier said than done.
Eventually, every employer will have to investigate some sort of workplace concern. Whether because of a dispute between co-workers or a need to address unethical or unlawful behavior, workplace investigations are an important and delicate exercise. The following tips will help investigations produce useful results.

Some employees think nothing of threatening their co-workers. Most employers disagree and aggressively move to stop such harassment. Courts are on the employers’ side: They’ll seldom second-guess a decision to fire the culprit.

Overtime pay. Discrimination. Family leave. Harassment ... Federal employment laws govern all of these issues – and many more – that you deal with at some point in your career.  It's important for supervisors and managers to know the basics of how to comply with those laws. Here's a list of the top 10 most important federal employment laws:

It might feel uncomfortable to try to help an employee who might be a victim of domestic violence. But you could be saving lives if you encourage supervisors and co-workers to do so. A proactive decision to provide support to domestic-violence victims not only protects them—it also protects companies’ bottom lines.

After a discrimination complaint has been found to be without merit, most reasonable employees accept their employer’s conclusions and go back to doing their jobs. But some become bitter, suspecting that HR and management are out to get them and interpreting every subsequent interaction as evidence of a hostile conspiracy. When this happens, the worst thing you can do is play into the fear.

Although we usually think of the ADA in terms of helping disabled people perform their jobs with or without accommodations, the law also has important workplace safety implications. Under the ADA, you must make sure your emergency evacuation plans take into account the needs of disabled employees. Some issues to consider:

Employers and employees have the right to a safe work environment free from violence or direct threats of harm. Punishing an employee who puts others in danger or creates widespread fear is not only appropriate, but essential. That’s true regardless of the underlying reason for the threatening behavior. You can discipline the employee, no matter why he misbehaved.

Employers are sometimes nervous about demanding that an employee undergo a medical exam. They fear doing so somehow violates the ADA. If an employee threatens suicide or some other violent act, it’s legal for an employer to order a fitness-for-duty exam.

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