Every year, more and more people report violence in the workplace.
In fact, 17% of workplace deaths were the result of violence in 2016.
Sadly, it’s estimated that 25 percent of all workplace violence goes unreported.
While stress and anxiety are clear front-runners to the causes of workplace violence, it’s still unclear as to what exactly causes this phenomenon.
So, when does a workplace become dangerous? Here are five warning signs you should watch for at your place of business.
One in four full-time workers has been harassed, threatened or attacked. In fact, co-workers accounted for most of the harassment, followed by customers.
An employee may express outrage and blame against others through direct or indirect threats. They use direct intimidation, verbal and written threats to create fear, stress and anxiety in their targets, for example:
If you have a gut feeling about a person who may become violent, don’t ignore it. You should contact your supervisor immediately to report your suspicions.
Individuals who do not have anger management or conflict resolution skills can be a danger in the workplace. This type of person may be emotional and impulsive, leading them to act out towards others or themselves. These individuals may act in the following manner:
Paranoia causes people to feel as if others are conspiring against them.
Similarly, people who are delusional may believe outlandish conspiracy theories, make wild statements and view the accidents and mistakes of others as intentional and directed toward them.
A paranoid or delusional individual and an inability to cope with stress could become violent at work. This is especially true if the person feels unappreciated or feels as if they have no control over their workplace life.
Verbal or physical abuse in the workplace can cause workplace danger. Bullying, threats or disrespect can cause people to become fed up.
Unfortunately, this type of workplace can be very toxic to employees and can occur between co-workers, the management or even with customers.
Effective managers understand that crisis preparedness is a leadership responsibility. These managers give crisis management just as much attention as any other management function. However, all too often employers are not prepared to effectively respond to a critical incident in the workplace.
Here are some signs a workplace is not prepared for a crisis:
Centerstone can provide help to local, state and national businesses and organizations plan for and respond to workplace crises. Learn more on our business and industry page.
If you are in crisis, please call our crisis line, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
If you're still having trouble and would like to reach out to someone about counseling or other Centerstone services, contact us.
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