12 steps to handling violence in the workplace

Authored by Edwin G Foulker, Jr. at Fisher Phillips
January 30th, 2018


This blog is an excerpt from our book Workplace Safety and Health Compliance Manual by Edwin G Foulke, Jr. at Fisher Phillips. For more information, go to the Products tab above and subscribe.

  1. Adopt and publicize a zero-tolerance policy regarding threats, harassment, and violence in the workplace.

  2. Update/review employment application as well as pre-employment background checks and interviewing procedures to identify signs of potential problem applicants. Conduct thorough background investigation on all job applicants.

  3. Prepare and utilize release forms for personnel records from previous employers, course transcripts from educational institutions, certification records from training and professional organizations, credit reports from consumer credit reporting agencies and criminal conviction records from law enforcement agencies, subject to applicable federal, state and local laws.

  4. Update personnel policies and employee handbook to include safety policies dealing with violence in the workplace. Include rules to limit access to work areas, especially during evening and weekend shifts.

  5. Review with your temporary employee provider the procedures they utilize to screen their temporary employees for potential workplace violence problems.

  6. Conduct a security audit of each facility. Provide adequate security in parking areas, common areas, stairwells, cafeterias and lounges

  7. Prepare a crisis management plan for each facility.

  8. Select and train management officials in conflict resolution and nonviolent techniques for handling hostage/crisis incidents and counseling situations.

  9. As part of the company’s overall management safety and health training, instruct all managers and supervisors in how to identify and deal with safety problems associated with workplace violence.

  10. Identify and publicize employee support services and health care resources available to employees and their families.

  11. Institute policies to investigate all threats and complaints of harassment and violence immediately.

  12. Review and publicize procedures for handling employees’ problems, complaints and concerns.

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