Violence at the workplace may seem like it only happens to other people, but a violent incident can occur without warning at any company, no matter the size. You and other California business owners should understand the risks, as well as what to do to reduce the chances of a violent incident endangering your workers and affecting your legal interests.
The National Safety Council explains that workplace violence falls into four categories: criminal intent, customer/client, worker-on-worker and personal relationship. The following examples can make it easier for you to understand:
- An armed robber attacking staff behind the counter
- A disgruntled customer physically attacking a cashier
- An angry former worker returning to the workplace and opening fire
- A violent ex-spouse coming to a place of business to attack his or her ex
You may address the potential for workplace violence in numerous ways: adopting a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence; providing training and strategies about workplace violence to your staff; conducting mock scenarios with law enforcement; and learning to recognize the signs that an employee or customer may be considering violence.
In 2017, there were 18,400 injuries and 458 deaths in the U.S. as a result of workplace violence. If you are prepared for the possibility of violent incidents at your company and take the steps to educate your staff and prevent workplace violence, you may protect your workers from being injured, as well as protect your legal interests. The information in this blog is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.