The dangers of the workplace extend beyond typical hazards such as poor ergonomic setups or potentially dangerous equipment. Sometimes, the hazards are the employees themselves.
Workplace violence can have serious ramifications and should be taken seriously. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), close to two million Americans report incidents of workplace violence every year. There are several factors that contribute to the likelihood of violence in the workplace.
The OSHA website defines workplace violence as “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site.” This can include abuse that ranges from verbal to physical. In fact, OSHA reports that homicide is the fourth leading cause of fatal injuries in the workplace.
HR departments can take action to reduce the risk of violence in the workplace. One way to combat this problem is to conduct a background check to make the screening process more thorough. HR software solutions can help manage the details of hiring so departments are able to make the most informed decisions.
Another step that HR departments can take to combat workplace violence is to provide training about company policies regarding cyberbullying. The workplace is not immune to bullying and harassment, but training can help curtail this issue.
Ultimately, the company culture will play a major role in creating an environment that does not tolerate or encourage violence or harassment.
Whether an employee is disgruntled or there’s a random act of violence in the workplace, more informed hiring decisions and training policies can help HR departments reduce the potential for acts of violence to occur.