www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/19411-free-online-training-preventing-workplace-violence-in-retail-food-service
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Free online training: Preventing workplace violence in retail, food service

February 4, 2020

Portland, ME — The University of Southern Maine, in conjunction with the Maine Small Business Development Center, has launched a series of free online training modules intended to help employers and workers in the retail and food service industries prevent workplace violence.

Geared toward businesses with fewer than 250 employees, three separate modules are available, each with specific focus areas:

  • Employer and manager (two hours): Identifying risks and different types of violence, warning signs of violence, deescalating violent situations, creating a workplace violence prevention plan, and reporting to OSHA
  • Employee (one hour): Identifying risks and different types of violence, warning signs of violence, deescalating violent situations, employees’ role in workplace safety, and OSHA whistleblower protections
  • Trainer (one hour): Warning signs of violence, deescalating violent situations, identifying risk factors for violence and creating a workplace violence prevention plan

Each module is self-paced, allowing users to log in and resume learning when convenient. A certificate of completion is available for download once a user finishes a course.

Citing Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the center states that workplace violence is the second-leading cause of on-the-job fatalities in the United States and the leading cause of death for female workers. Additionally, cashiers and retail sales supervisors in 2016 experienced the highest homicide rates – most often during robberies – among all occupations.

According to annual data released Nov. 7 by BLS, the rate of nonfatal injuries and illnesses among retail trade workers in 2018 increased to 3.5 cases per 100 full-time workers from 3.3 in 2017. The increase was the industry’s first since 2003.