Workplace Violence – Top 6 actions to take – #5 Reporting

Reporting workplace violence can take many forms. According to OSHA, a zero tolerance policy that is clearly communicated to employees is best. Minor workplace incidents need to be observed and reported. A single workplace incident of verbal abuse or bullying (goading and embarrassing a fellow employee) may occur regularly before it escalates or boils over to a major act of physical violence. This is why all incidents should be reported to a manager or team member as soon as they occur. A zero tolerance policy also means that someone will be escorted out by security if they harass or bully anyone in the workplace, which in itself should help as a deterrent to avoid major escalation. If a major incident occurs such as assault, including sexual or physical harassment, then it should be immediately reported to the authorities following the policies and procedures of the workplace, so that the individual may be removed from the workplace and charged by authorities.  The policies and procedures in the workplace must include protocols if a major act of violence takes place. Sometimes, these policies should require a lockdown in combination with 911 calls to police, if a shooting or stabbing is occurring. Sometimes, these policies require panic alarms (from those on employee mobiles or desktops or from wall-mounted ones) that alert security teams in the building to the location of the employees under threat, and these teams will determine when to call 911. Very often in the workplace, employees do not want to report harassing incidents or assaults as they are embarrassed or concerned about retaliation. It is essential to ensure employees feel safe in reporting such incidents to someone on their team or to their managers. It is also very important that the managers or team members take these reported incidents seriously, and report them up the chain so that they may be addressed and tracked, to ensure that smaller incidents do not result in a major violent act.  ….Sue Abu-Hakima, CEO Amika Mobile

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