October 1, 2015
One of the leading causes of work-related casualties is violence. Workplace violence is a threat against workers which occurs inside the working area or even outside the workplace. Violence can involve physical or verbal assaults from co-workers, or from civilians who attack employees that render services outside office premises.
Workers who are mostly threatened by this kind of violence are those working in money exchange business, couriers, postal delivery men, drivers, night-shift attendants, social service, health care, gas station personnel, and maintenance crews of public utilities.
According to statistics, almost 2 million workers become victims of workplace violence every year. This is definitely alarming. An immediate solution is needed to protect the workforce.
It is mandated by law that workers must be protected at all times while doing their jobs whether indoors or outdoors. The Occupational Health and Safety Act states that “employers must do everything they can to protect their workers”.
Hence, employers conduct safety presentations to remind everyone about the need to prevent job-related threats, as well as teach ways of stopping violence. Through these kinds of presentations, everyone will be aware that one single incident can affect the image of the company or change the lives of workers. Primarily, the purpose of safety presentations on workplace violence is to assess the risks involved in the tasks of the workers. The results of the evaluation can help the management find long-term solutions to reduce, if not eliminate, risks. These can help the organization create an effective and active prevention program for handling workplace violence.
Getting professional speakers to conduct safety presentations to discuss workplace violence is important because they can discuss the topic effectively. They can also assist in developing more practical strategies to create a safe environment for everyone.
Through safety presentations, the organization reviews the existing workplace violence prevention program and discusses important measures that protect workers against internal or external violence. It is vital that the management makes sure that employees know the standard operating procedures of the company on matters of violence. Updated manuals can be given to attendees to inform them of their rights and duties.
Safety presentations educate employees on how to protect themselves against threats of workplace violence. These also teach them proper conduct and ethics, as well as what to do during violence acts. They also become opportunities for employers to be reminded of the following:
•Secure the workplace at all times. Alarm systems must be activated, video surveillance cameras should be working properly, lightings has to be adequate, and outsiders’ access needs to stay limited. Electronic keys, gate passes, and identification badges must be given to personnel only.
•For businesses that mainly accept cash transactions, the need to deposit money to banks or drop safes is important. It reduces the risk of being robbed. Make sure that cash-in registers contain just a minimal amount of cash during night transactions. Security guards must be present at all times.
•For personnel who work outside, make sure that they have vehicles, hand-held radios, cellular phones, and alarm devices that can help them secure help immediately. It is also necessary for them to follow their daily routine and keep constant contact with someone in the office (mainly to provide location updates).
•Practice a “buddy system” for better protection. If the location is highly-dangerous, provide security or police assistance to eliminate dangers or possible violence acts.
•For health or medical services, there is a need to develop clear policies and procedures on home visit. Workers must be protected at all costs, especially at night or when rendering services in dangerous environments or in critical situations. Workers should have the right to refuse if conditions are not safe for them.
Overall, workplace violence can be handled and prevented in many ways, but conducting these presentations is obviously among the best approaches.