Get Serious About Your Workplace Violence Prevention

For those business owners that do not think that workplace violence is a problem, I have some news for you.
One of the latest and most public demonstrations of workplace violence occurred on June 10th 2014 when an ex-employee of Reckless Bikes turned up and shot the owner in broad daylight as he crossed the street from a coffee shop back to his store. The suspect was chased from the scene by police officers and eventually captured some distance away. You can read the story here

Recognize the Hazards

One of the biggest problems with workplace violence is that most businesses do not recognize it as a specific hazard that they have to do anything about and few instances of workplace violence involve handguns…but you never know.

Violence starts somewhere on the scale of aggression.

  • Perhaps business owners believe it will never happen to them so why bother
  • Perhaps they are just waiting until an employee brings it up and then they’ll address it
  • Perhaps it looks like another policy that doesn’t mean anything or
  • Perhaps it looks too difficult and we all know what we do about things that look tough…we procrastinate hoping they will just go away somehow.

In British Columbia, Part 4 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations contains the legal requirements that must be met by all workplaces under the inspectional jurisdiction of the Workers Compensation Board.
The purpose of the OHS Regulations is to promote occupational health and safety and to protect workers and other persons present at workplaces from work-related risks to their health, safety, and well-being.
One of those identified risks is Violence in the Workplace and the legislation sets out some clear expectations as to what business owners are expected to do.

  • Conduct a risk assessment.  A risk assessment must be performed in any workplace in which a risk of injury to workers from violence arising out of their employment may be present.  The risk assessment must include the consideration of previous experience in that workplace, occupational experience in similar workplaces, and the location and circumstances in which work will take place.
  • Develop Procedures and policies. The employer must establish procedures, policies and work environment arrangements to eliminate the risk to workers from violence, and if elimination of the risk to workers is not possible, establish procedures, policies and work environment arrangements to minimize the risk to workers.
  • Train the employees.  An employer must inform workers who may be exposed to the risk of violence of the nature and extent of the risk.

The issue of Workplace Violence is a problem that Fiore Group Training works tirelessly to raise awareness concerning.
You can do your part by making sure that your own house is in order.