Workplace Crime Prevention

Violence in the workplace can range from raised voices, profanity or sexual harassment, to robbery and homicide.  Statics show 75 percent of work-related homicides are committed by unknown assailants while committing a robbery or other crime.  Despite the hype of media, the attacker usually is not a disgruntled co-worker.  To assess your vulnerability to violence, ask yourself these questions:

Is your office secure? 

Do you have an easy-to-use phone system with emergency buttons, sign-in policies for visitors, panic buttons, safe rooms, security guards (if necessary), office access controls, good lighting, and safety training?

Would you recognize potentially violent employees? 

Signs include: depression, frequent absences, talking in a louder-than-normal voice, being startled easily, increased irritability, impatience, and concentration and memory problems.

Are you encouraged to report unusual or worrisome behavior? 

There should be a clear written policy which spells out procedures in case of violence and sanctions for violators.  Be familiar with your company's policy and know to whom a report of unusual behavior should be directed.