Workplace violence

Preventing workplace violence: NSC releases report and playbook

Reprints
wp-violence.jpg

Itasca — New guidance from the National Safety Council is aimed at providing organizations with information and solutions to effectively mitigate and address workplace violence.

Nearly half of U.S. employers report they’re unprepared to prevent and respond to incidents on the job – even as workplace violence becomes more frequent, according to NSC. Recognizing this critical gap in safety preparedness, the nonprofit organization – through its Work to Zero initiative – recently released a report and playbook: Workplace Violence: Using Technology to Reduce Risk.

“Research shows that overt acts of workplace violence rarely occur out of the blue, but too often the catalyst for implementing effective means of prevention comes in the wake of tragedy,” said Paul Vincent, executive vice president of workplace practice at NSC. “This report provides business leaders and safety managers alike with a foundation for understanding the top workplace violence trends and industry-specific risk factors, while offering a playbook to prevent on-the-job assaults and fatalities before they occur.”

In addition to calling for more legislative action to address this national issue, the report details key steps employers can take to reduce workplace violence risk, including:
Creating a workplace violence prevention task force. In addition to bringing a multidisciplinary understanding of risk assessment, this group is likely to have a rapport with employees, making it ideally equipped to perform trainings on sensitive safety topics.
Conducting regular tabletop exercises or simulations to engage key stakeholders, identify gaps in existing prevention plans, and clarify worker responsibilities in emergency situations.
Using technology to help prevent workplace hazards. Notably, the report outlines the benefits and applications of 10 key technologies, such as digital floor plan mapping, virtual reality training and weapon detection systems.
Fostering a workplace culture in which psychological safety is prioritized, and where all workers feel empowered to voice concerns and initiate broader safety conversations.

“Employees serve as the eyes and ears of their organization, and their role in preventing workplace violence cannot be overstated,” said Emily Whitcomb, director of the Work to Zero initiative. “This report not only details how employers can implement the latest safety technology into their workplace, but identifies specific steps leaders can take to enhance employee engagement enterprisewide. Together, these safety solutions can make the difference between a high- and low-risk workplace.”