Preventing Workplace Violence in Mississippi
Workers face many potential dangers during their shifts. One that seems to be increasing is workplace violence. With shootings this year at YouTube and the Capital Gazette in Maryland hitting the news, workers have reason to be concerned about what may happen the next time they clock in.
Unfortunately, the systems used to identify and address threats may not be meeting the needs of modern workplaces.
Communication is key
One problem facing modern workers, according to EHS Today, is the lack of a plan that is both up to date and known by the employees. Part of the issue is communication. Roughly 34 percent of workers aged 45 and over reported not knowing if their employer has an emergency plan, or that their employer did not have a plan in place, and 53 percent of millennials said the same.
If these workplaces have policies in place, word of them is not getting to the employees, especially those who have entered the workforce in the last decade or two. Meanwhile, only half of workers over 45 and just 8 percent of millennials reported that they would alert their employers if they found something that seems suspicious in the workplace.
Employers need to facilitate active communication, both by alerting their employees about emergency plans and by encouraging employees to express concerns. This is an issue of workplace culture, but it can also be a technological concern. If workers do not have ready access to WiFi or phone service in parts of the workplace, they will have greater difficulty reporting signs of violence or alerting others to emergencies if they arise.
Coming up with a safety strategy
In order to communicate its emergency plan, however, the company must have one. Emergency plans should be clear, direct, and updated to respond to modern workplace threats, including active shooters. Violent acts may be committed in the workplace by disgruntled or former employees, by acquaintances of an individual employee, or even by persons with no affiliation with the company at all. Emergency plans should be adequate to respond to any potential source of violence, and access to the workplace should be controlled by a keycard or other security system.
Finally, experts state that there are only really three viable options in an active violence situation: run, hide, or fight. Workers should have a solid grasp on what each of these would look like in their environment and when each is appropriate.