OSHA defines “workplace violence as violence or the threat of violence against workers.” But workplace violence doesn’t always happen at the workplace. Violence against workers by fellow-employees can also occur outside the workplace, and can range from simple threats and verbal attacks to physical assaults and even homicide. This growing problem of workplace violence now affects at least 2 million American employees a year. There ARE factors that put workers at higher risk, and appropriate safety measures, as well as employee training on workplace violence, can lower that risk significantly. While office workers aren’t typically at the top of the higher risk category, violence in the office does exist, and employees still need to be trained on OSHA Violence in the Workplace: how to take reasonable precautions to prevent violence in the office, identify suspect conduct, how to alert supervisors to dangerous situations (verbal abuse, emotional abuse, etc.), what to do if they witness or are victims of workplace violence, as well as how to protect themselves.
Supervisors must also be trained on Workplace Violence OSHA, and what to do following an incident of workplace violence.
Employers have a due diligence responsibility to take at least reasonable precautions to health and safety at work - providing a secure office through the possibilities of extra lighting, video surveillance, alternative methods of communication, and other security measures. Most of all, a zero-tolerance stance must be taken toward workplace violence, no matter how minimal the violence against workers seems.