Workplace Violence Preventative Measures
Enter Employment Background Checks
Violence in the workplace has increasingly become a critical situation and an area of consternation for Human Resource Departments across the country. While it is incumbent on an employer to create an environment within the workplace that has a reasonable expectation of security, it can be a challenging undertaking.
Workplace violence can affect and/or involve direct employees, customers, clients and visitors to a facility. Further, as indicated in an OSHA article, “Homicide is currently the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States.” Based on a Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) report, “of the 4,547 fatal workplace injuries that occurred in the United States in 2010, 506 were workplace homicides.” And, perhaps the most alarming statistic presented states: “Homicide is the leading cause of death for women in the workplace.” (http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/)
To greater illustrate and bring awareness to the issue of workplace violence; the FBI compiled an extensive report regarding the subject. (http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/workplace-violence) From their introduction some startling highlights are presented:
In Southern California alone, one summary showed, over an eight-year span from mid-1989 to mid-1997, there were 15 workplace homicide incidents, six with multiple victims that killed 29 people.
The FBI report does indicate that multiple homicides are extremely rare, as well as extreme violent acts. Their conclusion states:
The majority of incidents that employees/managers have to deal with on a daily basis are lesser cases of assaults, domestic violence, stalking, threats, harassment (to include sexual harassment), and physical and/or emotional abuse that make no headlines. Many of these incidents, in fact, are not even reported to company officials, let alone to police. Data on the exact extent of workplace violence “are scattered and sketchy,” specialists acknowledged in a February 2001 report issued by the University of Iowa’s Injury Prevention Research Center. Drawing on responses to the National Crime Victimization Survey, a Justice Department report estimated that an average of 1.7 million “violent victimizations,” 95 percent of them simple or aggravated assaults, occurred in the workplace each year from 1993 through 1999.*
Needless to say workplace violence comes in varying forms and can have a significant impingement on a business or organization. Beyond the personal impact violence has, the overall impact on productivity and income is staggering. According to the United States Department of Justice over 1.5 million work days are lost annually to workplace violence resulting in $50mm plus lost wages.
Human Resource professionals are tasked with creating a safe and sane work environment. Many experts recommend a well-written Workplace Violence protocol and suggestions for the first-step can be found at: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/recognition.html. The second step is one most HR professionals are aware of: Pre-Employment Background Checks.
Reviewing a candidate’s background provides insight to an individuals’ future behavior, but it is critical that HR run background checks through an FCRA compliant provider, one that adheres to all regulations, utilizes a variety of data sources and remains current with pertinent legislation. Additionally, companies must provide full disclosure to candidates to the information they are going to request and review as well as the candidate’s ability to acquire the background data used, especially if the candidate is not successful in the hiring process. Every state has unique regulations as to what is and is not legal in terms of criminal history checks. Utilizing a third-party background screener fully versed and trained in the correct and legal procedures in accessing and qualifying criminal data is critical. Contact CriminalBackgroundRecords.com today for more information on Pre-Employment Background Screening.
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