By Staff Reports
(DGIwire) – The key to successfully handling workplace violence, as with any other aspect of modern life, is education and planning. Being able to recognize the risk of violence in the workplace before it occurs—and knowing how to prepare and deal with it if and when it does—are valuable skills for any organization. Here are three important things to know about this phenomenon.
- What is workplace violence? Workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation or other threatening disruptive behavior at the worksite, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It can range from verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide. Homicide is currently the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the US, reports OSHA.
- Who is at risk of workplace violence? Research has identified factors that may increase the risk of violence for some workers at certain worksites. According to OSHA, these factors include exchanging money with the public and working with volatile, unstable people; working alone or in isolated areas; working where alcohol is served; and working late at night or in areas with high crime rates.
- How can workplace violence hazards be reduced? In most workplaces where risk factors can be identified, violence can be prevented or minimized if employers take appropriate precautions. Kiernan Group Holdings, Inc. (KGH), a global consulting firm, has innovated a concept called Preparedness Without Paranoia™ that allows workplace management to assess and deal with threats.
“Preparedness Without Paranoia™ is predicated on the fact that understanding the modern threat environment does not have to be an intimidating or overwhelming task,” says Dr. Kathleen L. Kiernan, CEO and Founder of KGH. “From small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, the resiliency of any organization in a threatening situation depends on the extent to which its employees are prepared, confident and capable of reacting appropriately and effectively.”
In this way, Preparedness Without Paranoia™ seeks to foster and develop an educated and engaged citizenry through teaching heightened situational awareness and increasing each individual’s security efficacy. More specifically, Preparedness Without Paranoia™ emphasizes the importance of understanding today’s threat environment, recognizing telltale signs of an evolving threat, and empowering people to take effective action.
In addition to conducting training courses on workplace violence prevention, KGH works with organizations to review and upgrade their workplace violence emergency response plans and to ensure that emergency response plans, training, and procedures and systems are in compliance with government regulations and guidance on maintaining a safe work environment.
“Preparedness is the best defense against any kind of workplace violence for an organization—and working with experienced personnel who have a successful track record in this area is a valuable step toward safety,” Dr. Kiernan adds.