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News March 26, 2024

The importance of having a violence-prevention strategy

Traliant, a provider of workplace compliance training solutions, recently conducted a survey of more than 1,000 workers to learn about factors that affect employee well-being. Although common contributors such as personal struggles, burnout and toxic cultures were factors that increased stress, violence and harassment also were factors, according to Fast Company.

Workplace violence—which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says includes physical violence and harassment, intimidation and threats—affects nearly 2 million U.S. workers every year. Traliant’s report found nearly one in four employees witnessed workplace violence during the past five years, and 12% of respondents were the target of violence themselves.

Research shows a correlation between workplace violence and mental health, with safety concerns affecting mental well-being if not addressed. Traliant’s survey found one-third of employees would report harassment or other misconduct only if they could do so anonymously.

It appears organizations still need to take steps to address workplace violence. Forty percent of survey respondents believe their employers are not prepared to effectively respond to workplace violence. If employees do not feel safe, it affects their mental well-being.

Fast Company shares the following preventive strategies companies should consider.

  • Establish policies. Show your employees you take workplace violence and harassment prevention seriously by having a written policy. One example is California’s new workplace violence prevention law, which takes effect July 1. An effective policy should make clear that acts of violence—including threats—will not be tolerated; provide employees with guidance regarding what to do in an emergency and how to report concerns; and clarify the company will not retaliate against employees who raise concerns.
  • Provide regular training. Train employees regarding what the policies say. Educate employees about how to recognize harassment and identify early warning signs of violence.
  • Recognize workplace safety and mental health are intertwined. This enhances employers’ ability to protect employees and positions employers as forward-thinking and aware of stressors affecting employees.

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