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Workplace Violence: Are You Safe?

Posted by Confessions of the Professions in Articles

Matthew Gates


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Preventing Violence in the Workplace

Preventing Workplace Violence

Life is the most precious gift anyone can receive and to be alive to experience life is something that millions of people never get the chance to do. Many people alive take life for granted, not really understanding the complexities their body has undergone in order to adapt and survive to almost any and every situation. As humans, we learn that we could die at any moment in time, but the reality of death is hardly a thought in our minds at all. Death can come from illness, disease, accidents, brought upon by ourselves, or by the violence of others. Many of these events may be completely out of our control, but sometimes, they may be preventable.

Common places where violence has begun to take rise is in schools and the workplace. When their children are at home, parents are completely responsible for their own children. Parents are also tasked with ensuring their children actually acquires some form of educational knowledge, either through a public government institution that provides education for children, private tutoring lessons, or homeschooling.

Parents who do not send their children to school may face criminal charges, as it is illegal not to send their children to school. There are also long-term negative consequences of not properly educating a child. However, when parents send their children off to school, they usually have complete confidence that the school system is solely responsible for what happens to their children, up to the point, where children are either dropped off at home, or for some, leaves the school grounds.

While bullying, a form of verbal or physical violence, is nothing new at all, and I had faced and overcame many of my own demon bully classmates while I was in school, there are more extreme measures beyond harassment taken by children nowadays, such as assaults, murders, and suicides. While the fault may lie with the bullying child, the behavior may be learned from a parent. The bullying child may continue their behavior if their parents do nothing about it.

School shootings have come from both sides, of the bullying student, and the student who has had enough, wants to end their misery, and deals with the situation on their own, as they have lost the confidence in knowing their own parents and the school system has failed to protect them.

The school system must begin to outline and take appropriate measures and actions in order to ensure bullying comes to a halt, holding children and their parents personally accountable for their actions, and possibly developing anti-bullying teams, or educating students and teachers on the proper methods of stopping bullying. The outcome may reduce violent tendencies overall. This also includes the employees of the school system or any other workplace, who may also face their own issues of bullying and workplace violence.

No form of bullying, verbal harassment, or physical harassment is acceptable. Most people want to go to work, do their jobs, return home to their families, and hopefully after a week, two weeks, or the semi-monthly pay period, actually receive some compensation for their time spent completing tasks at work. There are, however, some people who may feel it is necessary to take their frustrations out in extremely violent measures to make a statement or "fight against the workplace", especially if they were fired or something did not go their way. [WARNING: LANGUAGE]

When it comes to the workplace and co-workers, it is usually a group of people who mostly know each other by workplace association. They have become adapted to working together and usually come to learn how to work together in harmony, in order to do the job they were hired to do. Occasionally, there will be some co-workers who develop friendships or relationships, while others remain acquaintances, or complete strangers, except inside the workplace.

In some jobs, there are plenty of co-workers who are willing to stab their own co-workers in the back, in the sense that they will not hesitate to throw their co-workers under the bus in order to get a raise or simply get their co-worker in trouble or fired. There are also plenty of customers and clients who will not hesitate to get someone fired. This may seem like a double-edged sword, as one may not only have to watch out for their co-workers, but customers as well.

There are those rare events where the workplace does have bullies and co-workers who are like wolves all after one piece of steak, and animal instincts take over, things get taken personally, and violence may pursue in the workplace. This may be a reflection of the co-workers themselves, but the behavior of the employees ultimately leads back to the leadership style, tolerance, and management of the business.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other workplaces where the group of co-workers who work as a team begin to treat each other like family, care for one another, and help each other to make the workplace a more enjoyable place to be. After all, if you are going to be some place for eight hours of your life, why not feel comfortable there? This is not as rare as it seems and most people can find a good group of people to work with during their time at work.

Every company needs employees in order for it to exist, in order for it to work, and in order for it to make money. A business relationship between an employer and an employee is: You do the job we need you to do and we will pay you a portion of the money you earned from our profits to do it. A company may not have always worried about the behavior of their employees, especially among each other, but the majority of companies have now incorporated some type of rule system into their syllabus or official rules, usually given to all new hires and expected to be kept for the duration of employment.

The tolerance level of most companies on workplace violence nowadays is zero, with many companies usually willing to give a warning or two, but rarely do they ever tolerate it to the point where it becomes a problem, and the employee or employees who are causing the issues are let go, as they are no longer deemed a valuable asset to the company.

When it comes to violence in the workplace, just like schools, the employer is responsible for stopping it dead in its tracks before it has a chance to escalate into anything. The employees are responsible for being mature adults, following rules, and reporting any suspicious and unacceptable workplace behavior to the employer via the Human Resources Department.

The majority of people at work are usually safe in the workplace, but violence in schools and the workplace do not have to exist at all if the measures are put into place beforehand and upheld with a zero tolerance for any kind of behavior that is considered to be harmful to the employee and the employer.

For more information about workplace violence prevention, please check out:

United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration Workplace Violence

OSHA Workplace Violence Fact Sheet

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