Companies have a huge responsibility on their shoulders to keep employees safe. It has always been a priority because workplace violence can cause a company to lose trust among prospective employees. Moreover, when an employee becomes a victim of violence, a company has to fight lawsuits filed by the members of his family. The death of an employee lowers down the morale of the rest of the team, apart from the company losing someone valuable and experienced.
Therefore, employers have to ensure that no workplace violence happens. OSHA has prescribed that all organizations must have workplace violence prevention programs to reduce the happening of such events. Employee training is required to ensure that such incidents don’t happen.
Let the employees know about the consequences
The companies should make sure that even if there is any risk of violence, it should be eliminated. During the on-boarding or employee training program, the HR should explain to the personnel how the company has a zero-tolerance policy toward such violence and it will result in termination.
Apart from protecting employees, the company must also see that the vendors, clients, and anyone who visits the company premises does not become a victim of such violence. The risk of such violence exists when company personnel are accepting payments in return for services or goods. Working during late hours of the night also makes employees vulnerable to violence.
OSHA has recommended that companies must conduct worksite analysis to identify potential risks. This includes detecting which workplaces are hazardous in terms of workplace violence. A team can be constituted for this purpose which can include senior management officials, workers, and legal staff, etc. This kind of information can be extracted by checking records where workplace accidents have occurred in the past. It also includes screening surveys that ask employees about incidents not known by the management.
The problem with reporting workplace accidents is that they are not reported due to the fear of revenge. Hence, the management has to take into account the undocumented incidents also. For this, workers have to be handed over questionnaires through which they can report any such incidents. But the management has to assure them that their answers will be confidential. The workers can report about customers who assaulted them and whether the cops were called to protect them.
Including engineering controls for prevention
The employers after hearing the accounts of assaults on a worker could take measures like implementing engineering controls. There should be video surveillance cameras installed inside the shop. Apart from that, enough lighting should be there so that anything incident of physical aggression is visible from outside the store.
Employees working at retail stores have high chances of being robbed, hence it’s better, that cash availability is restricted during that time. The employee’s training must contain the adequate measures to be taken when such an incident happens. So, enlightening them about such measures reduces the risk to their life and protects the store property too.
The late-night retail establishments must ensure that the cash is deposited in the Drop Safe at the end of the day so that it’s safe.
There should be panic buttons and alarm systems that can be triggered in case there is an attack and the nearby police station are informed in time. There should also be door detectors so that employees are informed about the entry of someone into the store. Also, there should be height markers installed on exit doors so that under any attack, the tallness of the escaping assailants is captured.
Employee training can also ensure that they are not looted when they are going back to the parking space.
So, there should be security escorts who accompany them to their vehicle, especially necessary for female employees. Also, the parking space must be easily accessible from within the building and well lit. If any customer behaves aggressively with a worker, a trained security officer can prove to be viable for stopping such an incident. He should have been given a security protocol to be followed under such circumstances. Employee training can prevent such incidents because they can be trained through simulations on how to react.
It is also the job of managers to check that if any untoward incident happens and a worker sustains some injuries, he is immediately moved to the hospital so that no loss of life happens. The managers can ensure that the workers are duly protected, and their psychological well-being is ensured with proper counseling. Managerial training is critical because any delayed reaction can cause an irrevocable loss, like a deceased employee. Hence, the managers must ensure that nobody tampers with the evidence and the premises are secured so that a fair investigation can be done by the cops. The manager can ensure that an incident report form is filed by the company in case some facts are left out during recording the incident.
It’s the job of managers to revive the confidence in workers after an assault has happened. They have to assuage their fears regarding any future accidents, ensure that all potential hazards have been removed from the workplace. The managers also need to assure workers that they don’t need to hold themselves guilty of not being able to do much during the assault because it was not possible.
So, employee training especially of managers can prevent such incidents from happening and also reduce the aftermath.