Workplace Violence

For years now, violence in the workplace has been one of the biggest threats to employees, as well as to corporate reputation. With workplace murders increasing every year, some experts say that the workplace is the most dangerous place to be in America. This week's articles were selected to provide assistance in keeping your workplace a safer place to be.

Check out these 10 warning signs of violence in the workplace. (Item #1)   Do your managers and employees know how to deal with potential incidents of violence? (Item #2)   If your organization won't take action against an employee, you should read this. (Item #3)  

Perhaps, if your workplace violence policies were improved, the risk of violence would decrease. (Item #4)   Terminations carry with them a great potential for violence; here are some tips for safer terminations. (Item #5)   What's an employer to do to prevent workplace violence? (Item #6)  

As always, we look forward to hearing your comments & insights regarding business continuity. If you have a topic you'd like us to cover, email me at

Bob Mellinger, President
Attainium Corp

1. Ten Warning Signs of Workplace Violence

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 2 million Americans are impacted by workplace violence annually. But this situation rarely comes from out of the blue: Behavior indicators exhibited in the workplace have been linked to workplace violence. In a 2004 USA Today analysis of 224 fatal incidents of workplace violence, the attacker had left behind clear warning signs.

2. Preventing Workplace Violence

Most disasters are caused by fire, water, explosions, or forces of nature, but employee conflict and stress can result in disaster if incidents escalate into violence. In the movie "Office Space," an employee is obviously not okay. He is ignored, shunted off into a corner, and eventually sets fire to the office. Warning signs need to be addressed, not ignored, but most managers and employees lack training in identifying and dealing with potentially damaging situations.

3. Preventing Violence in the Workplace - When the Company Calls 911

Many companies today have been subject to employment litigation after firing an employee and have seen how those lawsuits drain time and money from their businesses. Thus, out of fear of litigation, many companies are wary of taking action against an employee, without some "real" evidence that the employee is dangerous, or has actually done something violent. That fear may be largely misplaced.

4. Eleven Steps to Improve Workplace Violence Prevention Policies

Shootings, stabbings, bombings and similar tragedies are some of the most visible forms of workplace violence, yet they are not the most common in hospitals, schools and universities. Threatening body language, invasion of personal space, verbal or written threats, verbal abuse, psychological harassment, intimidation, retaliation and physical attacks occur with striking frequency in these settings. Eliminating the possibility of violence is unlikely, but specific organizational strategies can decrease the frequency and severity of all types of incidents.

5. Workplace Violence: 11 Steps to Ensure Safety During Terminations

Many violent and even deadly terminations could have been avoided if managers had said and done the right things - and brought in the right authorities at the appropriate times. Now more than ever, as economic news worsens and unemployment keeps climbing, the pressure, fear, and anxiety facing newly terminated workers could turn your next termination into something far, far worse.

6. The Headlines Say It All for Incidents of Workplace Violence

The past few years, we have heard of horrific incidents of violence in workplaces across the U.S. While not a new subject and with the help of the media, many employees are becoming more aware of this topic. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that roughly two million workers in the U.S. are victims of some type of workplace violence each year. Tasked with maintaining a safe work environment, how are employers to manage potentially dangerous employees or situations?

Quote of the Week:

"In our experience, companies that have sound policies and procedures in place to prevent workplace violence are better prepared to handle these situations."
-- Forbes magazine

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Gainesville, VA 20155