Nowadays, workplace violence is an unfortunate reality that businesses must address to keep their employees, customers, and assets safe. As a leading provider of risk management services in Maine, Dirigo Risk Management Solutions understands the importance of implementing strategies and best practices for workplace violence prevention. In this blog, we will discuss the different types of workplace violence, explore the reasons behind them, and provide comprehensive solutions to create a safe and secure working environment for your business. 

What Is Workplace Violence?

According to the US Department Of Labor, workplace violence is “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site.” Workplace violence ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide. It can affect and involve employees, clients, customers, and visitors.  

Types of Workplace Violence

There are many types of workplace violence, each creating unique risks to individuals and organizations. Workplace violence can take many forms, including:

Physical Violence

Physical violence includes acts of assault, battery, and homicide. It involves using physical force resulting in harm or injury to employees, customers, or visitors. Physical violence can range from aggressive acts during personal disputes to targeted attacks.

Verbal Violence

Verbal violence in the workplace involves threats, intimidation, and harassment. It encompasses any form of spoken or written words that cause fear, distress, or emotional harm. Verbal violence may include explicit threats, verbal abuse, or the use of derogatory language to belittle or intimidate individuals.

Psychological Violence

Psychological violence occurs through actions such as bullying, stalking, or discrimination. It aims to undermine an individual’s mental well-being, create a hostile work environment, and cause emotional distress. Psychological violence can have long-lasting effects on victims, leading to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and mental health issues.

Reasons For Workplace Violence

Workplace violence can arise from various factors, often stemming from a combination of personal, organizational, and societal elements. Recognizing these reasons can help identify potential risks and implement preventive measures. Several factors can contribute to workplace violence, such as:

Substance Abuse

The misuse of drugs or alcohol can significantly impact an individual’s behavior and decision-making abilities. Substance abuse can lead to heightened aggression, impulsivity, and an increased likelihood of engaging in violent acts.

Workplace Stressors

High levels of job-related stress, including excessive workloads, conflicts, or job insecurity, can contribute to violence in the workplace. Stressors can lead to heightened emotions, frustration, and strained relationships, potentially escalating into violent incidents.

Personal Disputes

Personal conflicts between employees, such as ongoing disagreements or relationship issues, can escalate into violent incidents within the workplace. These disputes may involve unresolved conflicts or power struggles that spill over into professional environments.

Robbery Or Other Violent Crimes

Criminal activities targeted at the workplace, like robbery attempts, thefts, or other crimes, pose risks to employees, customers, and the overall safety of the workplace.

Prevention Strategies And Best Practices

To minimize the risk of workplace violence, employers should consider the following strategies and best practices:

  • Conduct a risk assessment: Identify potential hazards in the workplace and implement necessary measures to address them.
  • Implement security measures: Employ security guards, install cameras, and establish access controls to enhance workplace security.
  • Provide employee training: Teach employees how to recognize warning signs of violence, respond to violent situations, and report incidents.
  • Create a culture of respect and inclusion: Promote a positive work environment to reduce stress and conflict.
  • Respond quickly and appropriately to incidents of violence: Address incidents promptly to ensure the safety of all employees.

Conduct A Thorough Security Assessment With Dirigo Risk Management Solutions

We are proud to partner with RJ Goan & Associates in Gorham, Maine, to provide On-Site Security Risk Assessments. These assessments are led by our experienced professionals with decades of public safety expertise to ensure the protection and service of your organization and community.

During the assessment, our team will meet with key personnel from each department to address specific threats and vulnerabilities. We conduct thorough internal and external security evaluations, considering factors that may impact your mission, staff safety, asset protection, and overall campus security.

The security assessment covers various areas, including emergency plans and policies, lockdown, and evacuation procedures, first responder relationships, threat identification, building and grounds security, staff readiness and training, active threat response, media relations, and incident command roles. We also provide de-escalation techniques and crisis exercises to help businesses and organizations prepare and respond effectively to potential emergencies.

R.J. Goan and Associates will provide your business with the tools and resources necessary to create a safe working environment for your management team, employees, and customers. Our consultants focus on security and liability, risk management, and creating security-related solutions to address your business’s needs. We combine training, education, and task-specific policy and procedural guidelines to develop a solid foundation for constructing a comprehensive security plan.

By implementing the strategies and best practices outlined in this blog, employers can create a safer and more secure environment for their employees, customers, and assets. At Dirigo Risk Management Solutions, we understand the unique challenges businesses face in preventing workplace violence, and we can help you develop a comprehensive safety plan tailored to your organization’s specific needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support you in protecting your workplace.