Workplace Violence Prevention Tips & Employers Liability
According to a Statistics Canada study, there is an average of 14 Canadian workplace homicides each year. While shocking and tragic, it is unlikely that workplace violence will end in homicide. Instead, it serves as a reminder of the possible consequences of unchecked violent behaviour in the workplace. Anytime tempers flare or aggressive behaviour is not addressed, the risk of workplace violence increases as does the potential liability for employers who have a duty to employees to provide a safe work environment.
It should be an employers top priority to keep the workplace safe. However, workplace violence remains a serious health and safety issue. It can occur inside or outside the workplace, and can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence. Thousands of people are exposed to workplace violence each year.
Whether they originate from a current or former employee, an unknown assailant, or as a result of domestic violence or personal problems, many incidents can be foreseen and averted.
Identifying Your Risk Of Workplace Violence
Workplace violence can include actions or words that endanger or harm employees, and cause employees to believe that they may be in danger, including:
- Verbal or physical harassment
- Verbal or physical threats
- Assaults or other violence
- Any other behaviour that causes one to feel unsafe (bullying or sexual harassment)
Managing Workplace Violence Risk
Reduce employees’ odds of experiencing violence in the workplace by sharing with them the following safety strategies:
- Become aware of and report violent or threatening behaviour by co-workers or other warning signs.
- Take all threats seriously.
- Follow procedures established by our Workplace Violence Prevention Program, including those for reporting incidents.
- Learn how to recognize, avoid or diffuse potentially violent situations by attending personal safety training programs.
- Alert supervisors to any concerns about safety or security, and report all incidents immediately in writing.
- Use the buddy system when travelling to unfamiliar locations or when you find yourself in unusual situations.
Stay Alert To Identify, Prevent & Report Workplace Violence
Employees should always stay alert and aware of their surroundings. They should make sure that they are trained in conflict resolution and methods of handling potentially dangerous situations and adhere to all policies to reduce their risk of being involved in dangerous situations that could result in workplace violence.