Violence Remains Common Cause of North Carolina Work Injuriesnt problem

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Workplace homicides are a troubling source of workplace fatalities.


Our Asheville worker’s compensation lawyers are devoted to raising awareness about workplace violence.
In 2012, Robbers or other assailants accounted for 33 percent of workplace homicides in which a firearm was involved. While, workers accounted for 13 percent of workplace homicides involving a shooting.

Workplace violence has received increased levels of attention from mental health experts, the public, and law enforcement professionals. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation many acts can fall under the umbrella of workplace violence.

These acts include threats of violence, damage to property and any conduct that can induce fear. Harassment, bullying, intimidation, stalking, threats, physical or sexual assaults, intimate partner violence, and homicides all fall within the workplace violence category.

The first step for an organization is to concentrate on preventing instances of workplace violence. Many organizations through the United States have workplace violence prevention programs.

The first step to a successful prevention program is to understand that workplace violence does not occur at random. Instead, Perpetrators of workplace violence often display behaviors that should raise concerns.

The key is to know what behaviors are indicators of the potential for workplace violence.
After identifying an employee who is exhibiting these behaviors management can de-escalate the situation before it becomes violent.

Specific behaviors that fellow coworkers and managers should be concerned about include: offensive commentary or jokes referring to violence, inability to handle criticism, references to weaponry, hypersensitivity to perceived slights, sadness, threats, depression, aggressive outbursts, and menacing or erratic behavior.

All actions and behaviors must be judged in their proper context and the totality of the circumstances must be considered when deciding the potential for violence.

Relationship problems may often spill over into the work environment. Signs of a serious relationship problems include: disruptive phone calls and emails, poor concentration, anxiety, unexplained bruises, frequent absences and tardiness, as well as frequent visits from former or current partners.

Again, it is important to understand that all behaviors must be viewed through a wide lens that includes a total approach. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy.

Aside from prevention an organization must be prepared to implement intervention strategies. When an employee notices a troubled co-worker they can begin intervention by allowing the co-worker to vent about the problems they are having – this often releases tension.

However, employees should be careful when utilizing this form of intervention. If a fellow employee seems dangerous then a supervisor should be notified immediately Employees should also be on the lookout for flashpoints. A flashpoint is the moment in time when workplace violence actually occurs. This is when it is too late for preventative measures. Flashpoints can be avoided by practicing effective prevention techniques early on.

By having a prevention plan and being aware of behaviors that could indicate the potential for violence an organization is able to protect all employees.

Contact our Carolina worker’s compensation attorneys today by calling 800-887-1965.

More Blogs:
Marine in Georgetown South Carolina Cited for OSHA Violations, North Carolina Worker’s Compensation Blog, October 10, 2013

Misclassification: North Carolina Proposes New Penalties for Employers, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation, June 16, 2013

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