The U.S. Department of Labor found that approximately 2 million people are impacted by workplace violence annually in the U.S.. That figure is considered to be a conservative sum as many incidents of workplace violence go unreported. Preparing for a violent incident is essential if you want to protect yourself and your colleagues in the event that a violent event does take place.
Preparing for a violent incident
OSHA recently published a workplace violence preparation guide for businesses. Some of OSHA’s recommendations include:
- Train employees: It isn’t enough to simply talk about the possibility of workplace violence. Take the time to train your workers, simulate emergency events and ensure people know what they are expected to do in different incident types.
- Hazard analysis: Evaluate the workplace for any existing hazards, conditions that may present risk, areas that aren’t covered by surveillance, loopholes in security checks or similar problems that can leave workers exposed to threats.
- Get manager buy-in: Emergency preparation can fall to the wayside if your leaders aren’t championing the importance of getting ready. Getting your managers on board with workplace violence prevention can improve the chances that employees take preparation seriously.
There’s plenty more that must be taken into account when responding to workplace violence, but other key factors to keep in mind include:
- Implementing a survival plan – This may involve the Run, Hide, Fight protocol where escape is ideal (run), but seeking shelter or cover can help (hide).
- You may need to be prepared to counterattack if circumstances make getting away or hiding impossible (fight).
- Playing dead can also be an effective option when facing targeted violence.
For more details on what you can do to prepare for a worst-case scenario, preview RedVector’s active shooter response and workplace violence training courses here.