From a workplace safety perspective, “workplace violence” includes a wide range of threatening, disruptive behavior that occurs at work. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults to active shooter incidents. Given a general reluctance to file a complaint against a coworker, not to mention fear of retaliation, it is understandable that many abusive actions at work are never reported.
However, it’s crucial that all workers learn to recognize and report all intimidating or violent behavior, including potential warning signs, so the workplace can assess the situation and offer appropriate intervention. Left unchecked, a workplace bully can create costly disruption and turnover. Sometimes (although certainly not always) verbal harassment or bullying behavior can be an early warning sign for potential physical workplace violence, especially if the behavior seems to be escalating over time.
Why training can help
While workplace training can’t prevent all violent attacks, training does play a crucial role in workplace safety. With effective training, all workers can learn how to recognize inappropriate behaviors, then take action to help prevent escalation, or help keep others out of harm’s way if an incident does occur.
To be effective, your workplace violence training should include:
- How to recognize workplace violence, including bullying and intimidation
- Workplace violence warning signs and escalating behaviors
- Workplace violence prevention strategies, including early reporting
- Actions to take if confronted with aggressive behavior at work
Additionally, managers should be trained in how to handle any reported action or working sign. They also need to know how to manage the consequences following a workplace violence incident.
Not sure how to train your team effectively to prevent workplace violence?
In the eLearning Brothers Safety Training Library, we have a Workplace Violence: Warning Signs & Prevention course that will help you prepare your managers and employees for possible workplace altercations and disturbances. Our safety training courses are ready for immediate delivery, or you can customize them with your organization's branding and workplace-specific info. Click the button below to learn more.