Workplace violence is one of those topics that we wish we didn’t need to think about. Unfortunately, we live in an environment where this is no longer possible.
Every year in the U.S., two million American employees report being victims of workplace violence. In fact, hundreds of people are murdered at work, and homicide is the leading cause of death in the workplace for women.
As an insurance broker, you want to protect your clients, and not just with a policy that will cover damages in the event of a violent incident. We know that you are always looking for ways to help employers and workers prevent disasters before they happen. Let’s look at some suggestions for a comprehensive workplace violence prevention program.
1. Develop a written workplace violence prevention policy.
This policy should not only address workplace violence, but also harassment and other violence precursors.
2. Create awareness.
It’s important for employers and all of their employees to recognize the warning signs of workplace violence. It might help to recommend a course to your clients. Or, you could give them a presentation on workplace violence prevention using some of Zywave’s tools in Broker Briefcase.
Some red flags include:
- Crying, sulking or “adult temper tantrums”
- Frequent absenteeism
- Pushing the limits of acceptable behavior
- Disrespect for authority
- Blaming others for job performance problems
- Profane, sexually inappropriate or violent language
- Poor personal hygiene
- Holding grudges
Remember, this is not a comprehensive list. There are other warning signs that you could cover in a thorough prevention program. Nor are these behaviors always predictors of workplace violence. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to be aware of them and to address them when necessary. In addition to recognizing the red flags, training programs should teach workers how to protect themselves in violent situations, like mass shootings or bullying incidents.
3. Secure your workplace.
There are many security measures that employers can put in place to keep their employees safe. Some of them might even help lower insurance premiums. Tell your clients that they should consider installing surveillance cameras, extra exterior lighting or even security guards. Providing workers with ID badges can also help to keep unauthorized people from accessing a workplace.
4. Communicate regularly.
Some companies have workers at several locations. Others operate solely in one office or store. Either way, regular communication helps employers to stay on top of any problems that might crop up. If your clients train their employees to recognize the warning signs of workplace violence, the next step is for them to make their supervisors aware of those issues. Regular communication helps to ensure that happens.
5. Address red flags.
Take every threat seriously. Employees should report serious concerns about potential violence to their supervisors. Employers should address those concerns according to their workplace violence prevention policy.
As an insurance broker, you want to protect your clients from violence and threats. You can help employers and workers prevent disasters before they happen by encouraging them to set up a good workplace violence prevention program.