Workplace violence is a concern for every business

Violence in the workplace may be preventable.

Violence in the workplace may be preventable.

Occupational violence, while it may seem unlikely, can and does happen, and no office is exempt from the possibility that an incident could occur. Whether an incident of violence occurs between co-workers or involves an outside party, it is important for any business to be aware of violence in the workplace, how to protect against it, and what to do in the event that it happens.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, an estimated 572,000 nonfatal violent crimes occurred in 2009. Additionally, the number of workplace homicides that occurred between 1992 and 2012 totaled 14,770, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With this in mind, safety in the workplace is not something to be taken lightly. 

This information may sound grim, but it's worth noting the violence in the workplace is real, and HR plays a role in preventing it. But what are some steps HR can take to help maintain a safe workplace?

Inc. contributor Suzanne Lucas advises that knowing how to spot signs of trouble is an important step toward catching potential problems before they become full-blown incidents of violence. Lucas highlights some important advice from author and security expert Gavin De Becker. For example, when an employee has to be terminated or let go, this experience can have a significant effect on the individual and should not be taken lightly. However, offering support to that individual can help protect the company as well. 

If something seems suspicious, don't let it slide. Find a way to take a closer look so you can handle the situation before it escalates. HR software helps businesses keep track of the details and procedures necessary to maintain a safe workplace.