Importance of Training to Help Prevent Workplace Violence

Importance of Training to Help Prevent Workplace Violence

Workplace violence is a serious issue that affects millions of American workers every year. Verbal threats, harassment, physical assaults, and other forms of violent behavior can have severe consequences for both employees and businesses.

April is Workplace Violence Prevention Awareness Month which aims to increase awareness to recognize, prevent, and respond to violent incidents in the workplace. Therefore, we’re highlighting the importance of investing in training to help prevent workplace violence.

What is workplace violence and who is at risk?

Workplace violence refers to any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening behavior that occurs at a work site. It can range from verbal abuse to physical assaults or homicide.

Workplace violence can impact employees, customers, and other bystanders. Different types of workplace violence might look like:

  1. Violence committed by someone with no relationship to the business (e.g., robbery or active shooter situations).
  2. Aggressive behavior directed at employees by irate customers, patients, or other individuals for whom the organization provides services.
  3. Current or former employees engaging in disruptive behavior against another employee or manager.
  4. Disputes or conflicts stemming from a personal relationship outside of work (e.g., domestic violence or stalking).

Workplace violence can occur in any industry or type of workplace. However, workers who deal with money and those in more volatile situations are at higher risk of workplace violence. This might include professions and industries such as:

Occupational safety should be a top priority. Therefore, employers must take proactive measures to protect their employees and customers from the threat of workplace violence.

How training can help prevent and reduce the impact of workplace violence

Approximately two million people in the United States are victims of non-fatal violence at the workplace each year. However, there are also around 1,000 workplace homicides, making workplace violence a leading cause of fatal injuries at work.

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, fatal occupational injuries due to violence (and other injuries by persons or animals) increased by 11.6% in 2022. Of those fatal injuries, roughly 62% were homicides, with the vast majority involving an intentional shooting or stabbing.

Now consider the fact that nearly one in seven employees feels unsafe at work, and 48% of human resource professionals report that their organization has had a workplace violence incident at some point.

This data underscores the importance of comprehensive workplace violence training programs.

AVERT – Active Violence Emergency Response Training

An effective workplace violence prevention program should empower employees and businesses to take preventive measures and to react quickly when in imminent danger.

HSI’s AVERT training provides workforces across all industries with strategies to respond to a violent situation. Authorized AVERT Instructors can help organizations:

By training employees and supervisors on violence prevention strategies, organizations can implement proactive measures to reduce the risk of violent incidents. This may include improving security protocols, enhancing communication channels, and fostering a culture of respect and non-violence.

Learn more about AVERT for your industry

Investing in workplace violence prevention training helps to prepare employees for the unknown by giving them the tools to react and respond. But it also helps to promote a positive work culture where everyone understands roles and responsibilities during an otherwise chaotic environment.

By raising awareness, providing training and support, and implementing preventive strategies, organizations can create a safer and more secure work environment for everyone.

To get AVERT training for your organization, train an in-house AVERT Instructor or request on-site training from our network of AVERT Instructors.

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