Workplace hazards can often be attributed to technological inefficiencies or lack of safety procedures; however, in the majority of cases, they originate from psychological problems of people such as distress, depression, or anxiety. These problems often result in workplace violence that threatens many individuals within the organization and outside.
This issue is important for a variety of organizations; however, it can become crucial for the companies that are engaged in chemical production. The thing is that because their activities can impact the entire community and especially environment. Hence, they should reduce the risk to a minimum.
Overall, workplace violence can be understood as physical or verbal abuse that can potentially endanger a person’s life, safety, or health. This violence can manifest itself in various forms such as intimidation, punching, or the use of different weapons such as knives or guns. Sometimes it culminates in homicide or injuries.
One should take into account that this hazard can put a great number of people at risk, namely employees, customers, and sometimes the entire community. This issue is of great importance to the organizations in which production process involves the use of potentially hazardous materials or technologies. Again, one can mention oil refineries, metallurgical plants, pharmaceutical companies, or nuclear power stations. Hence it is vital to minimize the likelihood of such incidents.
Nowadays managers use different strategies to overcome the problem of workplace violence. One of the possible strategies is to adopt the policy of zero-tolerance to intimidation, abuse, or threats. This approach implies that every instance of violence has to be documented, and the person, who is guilty of such misconduct, can be first warned by the management and later even dismissed.
This policy can be efficient because it may deter some people from bulling or intimidating other employees. However, it cannot completely prevent violence because in many cases, managers cannot always detect potential conflict and violence. The thing is that many individuals suffering from stress or depression may hurt someone else, but sometimes their managers or co-workers do not notice the changes in their behavior.
Furthermore, modern organizations apply various technologies to minimize the likelihood and impact of workplace violence. For instance, they use video surveillance and alarm systems that enable to identify potential conflicts and respond to them as quickly as possible. This is an effective method because it reduces the impact of workplace violence. For instance, security personnel can prevent people from using cold weapons or firearms.
Additionally, many companies ensure that no outsider can enter without permission or authorization. This method strives to minimize risks coming from people who are not related to the company. Such a strategy is aimed against hypothetical terrorist attacks. This approach can be useful, but one should remember that acts of violence can be committed by people who have been working in the company for a long time.
Secondly, in some organizations managers insist that employees should have access to counseling services. This approach enables to resolve possible conflicts and even identify those employees who may be on the verge of nervous breakdown and who may act violently against others. Unfortunately, this approach is not frequently adopted by modern organizations since many of them cannot afford such services. Yet, counseling can safeguard organizations against the risk of homicide in the workplace.
Overall, the danger of workplace violence requires different initiatives. One of the goals is to prevent people from carrying cold weapons or firearms to the workplace.
The problem is that homicide has become particularly widespread in recent years, and this trend is rather alarming. For this reason, organizations should install metal detectors. If these devices had been present in some companies, many lives could have been saved. Certainly, not every organization can afford it, but this method will minimize the risk of homicide in the workplace.
Again, one has to remember that this threat may come from outsiders, who visit the company, and from insiders, such as employees. Overall, this initiative can be a very helpful safeguard for a variety of companies. In particular, one can mention those organizations that are visited by a large number of people, for instance, hospitals, insurance companies, or banks. Moreover, those companies that are engaged in chemical production should definitely make use of these devices.
In their case, workplace violence can adversely influence not only people, but the environment, in general. Moreover, these companies should adopt safety procedures and technologies that prevent people from disrupting production process or making it dangerous to people and environment. This issue cannot be disregarded especially if one takes into account the hypothetical possibility of a terrorist attack.
The second important issue is the training that managers should have. These people must be able to recognize potential conflicts between employees or customers. They should identify the individuals who may be likely to act violently. They have to work with dissatisfied employees or customers. Unfortunately, the complaints of these people are overlooked by managers. As a result, they become more likely to give vent to their frustration.
Sometimes, they discontent may take extreme forms such as injury or murder of a person. Certainly, one cannot justify those people, who committed homicide in the workplace. However, these tragedies could have been averted, if managers had noticed their distress, anxiety, or discontent. To a great extent, these people should act as psychologists who can notice that some people are likely to turn to violence. Their role in the prevention of potential conflicts can become critical.
Finally, organizations have to invest more in workplace counseling. This approach not only reduces the risk of violence, but also enables people to speak more freely about their discontent. Professional counselors can help employees better cope with work overload or pressure. These are the factors that contribute to violence. Moreover counselors can assist managers in creating a good workplace environment.
By providing such opportunities to workers, organizations will ensure their employees do not suffer from work-related stress and do not vent their discontent on somebody else. It should be noted that workplace violence usually affects people who are involved in any conflict. Normally they just happen to be within the reach of the distressed person. Therefore, workplace counseling can protect many innocent people.
Overall, one can argue that workplace violence has definitely become one of the major concerns for business administrators. Physical abuse and sometimes even homicide suggest that organizations have to reevaluate their attitudes toward safety. The most optimal solution will be based on the use of technologies, improved safety procedures, and increased attention toward the needs of employees or customers. This combined strategy can be the key to the elimination of workplace violence.