Slideshow Tips to help create a safe work environment

Published
  • August 27 2015, 5:12pm EDT
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Although employers should proactively strive to create and maintain a safe work environment, no amount of preparation is guaranteed to prevent conflicts. But experts from the Society of Human Resource Management have provided these tips to help benefit managers and others create a safe work environment.

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In interviews

Subject job candidates to probing interviews with multiple people when hiring, says Edward Yost, who works in employee relations and organization development at SHRM.

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Red flags

Train employees to identify and report red flags, he adds, in noting steps employers can take to mitigate workplace violence.

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Teach

It's also good to educate managers on how to diffuse potentially violent situations, he says, as well as setting up video cameras or place security guards at office doors to monitor comings and goings.

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ID badges

If you have secured employee access doors to the outside that require a badge swipe, ensure employees understand the no-tailgating policy, adds Christine Walters, a SHRM HR disciplines special expertise panelist and independent consultant for FiveLCompany. "Even if you think you know someone is an employee they must use the public entrance if they do not have their badge with them," she says.

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Use the EAP

If you have an employee assistance program, don't be shy about using it, Walters says. Refer employees to it as a voluntary resource to talk to someone about myriad personal issues that might be affecting them at work.

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Partnerships

Reach out to local law enforcement, she adds. Many have proactive training programs they will bring into your workplace to help employees identify and respond to perceived, potential and actual acts or threats of violence.

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Know the facts

If an employee obtains a restraining/peace/protective order against any individual ensure they provide a copy of the order and a photo of the person to your security staff and those in areas receiving the public, she says. Train those staff how they should respond if that person tries to enter the workplace.

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Other available guidance

Review the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's fact sheet and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidance for your industry and those like it for proactive, preventive measures.

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Advocate

If your state does not permit employers to seek a peace order on behalf of an employee who has been threatened harm at work contact your state representatives and look at some other states that have enacted this type of legislation.

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