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How to Reduce the Risk of Violence in the Workplace

Talk about safety in the workplace and most people will tell you about the risk of theft, fire, slip and falls and other things that may lead to loss and injury. Yet, violence in the workplace is a common threat.

While anyone can exhibit dangerous tendencies related to violence, some are more prone. These are the individuals that risk management teams should be on the lookout for.

5 Signs that Indicate an Employee May be at Risk

  • He misses work regularly
  • She is not engaged in work or productivity
  • He disregards company rules
  • She shows signs of depression

MORE: how to fire an employee

Related studies offer more according to statistics. The average violent provoker has the following characteristics:

  • Below the age of forty
  • Ranks low in social skills
  • Remains in the backdrop
  • Is hesitant to face difficult situations
  • Avoids make eye contact
  • Is the subject of bullying and mockery
  • Dislikes criticism and does not know how to handle it
  • Places the blame on others
  • Tends to threaten others
  • Reacts emotionally
  • Is unhappy
  • Often clashes with others

Of course, doing a thorough background check would seem to be the best way to sift out the risk. Take Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the couple involved in the San Bernardino, CA Inland Regional Center’s 2015 shootings, for example.

Both in their upper twenties, Farook and Malik were radical Islamists – something that may not have been evident. The fact that they practiced at shooting ranges in Los Angeles, did not necessarily make them predisposed to violence, but it could have been something to watch out for. Nonetheless, when they posted their allegiance to ISIS, one only had to connect the dots. Farook was not loud at the workplace, yet he held resentment for those who ‘insulted’ him. How tragic that he was hired without even finishing his degree and without the proper investigation.

Although proper pre-screening is essential, it is fellow employees themselves that often hold the key to detecting and reporting suspicions to the management.

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Summary: Besides common safety risk factors, such as slip and falls, a company’s risk management team needs to proactively be vigilant about in-house employee violence. Here’s an important article, endorsed by the insurance industry.




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