National Safety Council: Workplace Violence Incidents Are Increasing – waste360

September 21, 2022
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| Sep 16, 2022
Incidents of workplace violence are on the rise, with more than 20,000 workers each year experiencing trauma each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The National Safety Council (NSC), a nonprofit advocacy organization, stated that “nearly half” of U.S. employers have said they are not prepared to prevent or respond to these types of incidents. As a result, the group released a report through its Workplace Violence: Using Technology to Reduce Risk initiative.
“Research shows that overt acts of workplace violence rarely occur out of the blue, but too often the catalyst for implementing effective means of prevention comes in the wake of tragedy,” said Paul Vincent, NSC executive vice president of workplace practice, to the media. “This report provides business leaders and safety managers alike with a foundation for understanding the top workplace violence trends and industry-specific risk factors, while offering a playbook to prevent on-the-job assaults and fatalities before they occur.”
Aside from advocating for additional legislation, the report provides a step-by-step guide the organizations can use for their workplace violence prevention plans. Ten technologies are highlighted as well as five key steps to an effective prevention plan.
Emily Whitcomb, director, Work to Zero, NSC, commented: “Employees serve as the eyes and ears of their organization, and their role in preventing workplace violence cannot be overstated. This report not only details how employers can implement the latest safety technology into their workplace but identifies specific steps leaders can take to enhance employee engagement enterprise wide. Together, these safety solutions can make the difference between a high and low risk workplace.”
The report suggested employers should build a workplace prevention task force, which would be designed as a mode of risk assessment. Group members would “have an existing rapport with employees, making them ideally equipped to perform trainings on sensitive safety topics.”
Training exercises also are explained in the playbook. Simulations and interactive exercises can work to identify gaps in existing prevention plans and clarify worker responsibilities in emergency situations. Digital floorplan mapping, virtual reality training and weapon detection systems are just some of the technologies spotlighted in the report that could assist employers as well. Finally, the NSC recommended curating a workplace culture with a focus on psychological safety “where all workers feel empowered to voice concerns and initiate broader safety conversations.” 
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