By Debbie Bolla
Do you feel safe at work? Itâs a question that is getting harder and harderÂ to answer. Consider these statistics:
- According to SHRMâs 2019 Workplace Violence study, nearly 50 percentÂ of HR professionals said their company had at some point experienced aÂ workplace violence incidentâup from 36 percent in 2012.
- The Workplace Bullying Institute reports that 20 percent of adultÂ American workers said they have been bullied at work and another 20Â percent have witnessed that behavior.
And the February shooting at the Henry Pratt manufacturing company thatÂ killed five people and wounded six others still feels very fresh for manyÂ HR leaders and workers. That includes Jill Geimer, managing director andÂ head of HR for Ecentria Group, an online retailer with a large inventoryÂ warehouse in the region.
âWe all tuned into the news coverage and they werenât saying the name ofÂ the warehouse or the company,â she recalls in our cover story Under Fire byÂ Associate Editor Marta Chmielowicz. âIt was a heart-stopping moment andÂ we reached out as quickly as we could to our employees.â
But it was one of those moments that led to action. Geimer shares howÂ through Ecentria Groupâs formal workplace violence policy, âViolence inÂ the Workplace and Emergency Prevention Plan,â the organization createsÂ a safe environment for all employees. The story also features best practicesÂ for designing a blueprint for workplace safety and prevention.
Our special section also provides guidance (but not legal advice) onÂ preventing bullying and creating a healthy workplace culture (seeÂ Zero Tolerance); implementing effective active shooter andÂ workplace violence preparedness policies (see The Duty of Care); and building anti-harassment policies that promote an inclusiveÂ workplace (see Mitigating Harassment).
Because no one should feel unsafe at work.