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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With workplace violence continuing to make news, employers naturally want to lessen the chance that an angry employee will try to do harm. When they’re about to fire an employee, some employers search the worker’s car to make sure it doesn’t contain any weapons. Handle that search as unobtrusively as possible.

Employers may suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune from time to time. But when knives fly at work, supervisors better know the relevant company policies. Consider the case of an employee at the North Carolina Department of Transportation who was apparently the workplace prankster.

Recent workplace shootings in Orlando, Fla., and Fort Hood serve as powerful reminders that employers must heed signs that an employee could act out and harm co-workers or supervisors. There were 768 violence-related deaths in the workplace in 2008. Despite those disturbing numbers, many employers stick their heads in the sand. They put their assets and employees at risk by gambling that “it couldn’t happen here.”

In an industry that suffers from 100% annual turnover, Universal Protection Service in Santa Ana, Calif., boasts a much lower rate: 65%. “Anyone in HR will be aghast at that rate because it sounds horrendous,” admits HR VP Paula Malone, “but compared with the industry average, it’s actually good.” The reasons for the relatively low turnover: continuous training and on-the-spot recognition.

As we enter a new decade, HR must pay more attention than ever to employment law issues. Reason: new laws taking effect, increased agency enforcement, more lawsuits spurred by a poor economy and an activist Congress. Here are 10 key trends and how to respond:

OSHA has levied $321,000 in fines against UCL Inc., a Cincinnati-based bridge and tower painting company. The fines stem from nine willful and two serious workplace safety violations related to lead exposure.

University of Alabama Professor accused of fatally shooting three colleagues and wounding three others. Last week's headlines of the newest workplace shooting serve as a stark reminder to employers of their legal obligations to ensure their staff is safe and free from violence — but how?

Notice anything missing from your bulletin board? As of Feb. 1, most employers should have posted an official annual summary of their OSHA logs. If you haven’t done so, get cracking. With a nationwide OSHA audit looming, it’s more important than ever.

When violence occurs at work, employees may say their violent co-worker "just snapped." But, the truth is, people usually don't snap. They display warning signs long before they actually act out. Too many supervisors let things like threats and argumentative behavior slide until it's too late ...

The cost cutting and staff reductions may not be completely over, but as the economy begins its recovery, HR will be dealing with new challenges in 2010. Here are 10 trends to expect in the coming year, plus tips and tools to help you respond to each.

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