Chubb’s Claims department includes a team of dedicated registered nurse professionals with extensive experience helping businesses address health and safety issues. Our nursing team also supports employees as they recover from injury and illness—and return to work. In the spirit of promoting safe and healthy workplaces, our medical specialists developed this edition of Chubb HealthBeat to help your business and employees prevent and respond to workplace violence.
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), every year approximately 2 million employees are victims of workplace violence. Violence is one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities in the United States. In 2020, there were 651 fatal injuries caused by workplace violence in the U.S.
Workplace violence is not limited to physical injury. Threats of violence, harassment, intimidation, verbal abuse, and other harmful disruptive behavior also impact employees and operations. Beyond employees, workplace violence can impact — and may be instigated by — customers, contractors, and visitors. Even violence your employees experience outside the workplace can have repercussions for your organization.
While some sectors such as social services, healthcare, and transportation have higher incidences of workplace violence, every organization is at risk. Violence, threats, and bullying can severely impair an organization, eroding reputation, productivity, employee morale and retention – and ultimately your bottom line.
Depending on the size of your organization, consider working with a crisis management consultant who specializes in workplace violence. Important considerations as you select this resource include 24/7 availability; a proven record of agile response; and their willingness and ability to provide you with solid references. You can minimize risk by taking the following steps to prevent workplace violence and limit its impact if it does occur.
Preparing your organization for workplace violence can help limit the impact of an incident and accelerate recovery. Training should not only educate employees at all levels about their roles in preventing workplace violence, but also how to respond.
Generally, employees should not confront individuals who pose a threat, but all employees should know what to do when a threat emerges and who to contact when violence erupts. Depending on the situation and the resources of your organization, local law enforcement and internal security should be alerted so they can defuse the situation and stop violence in progress.
Your organization will be better able to recover from an incident of workplace violence when you provide timely, compassionate support for employees who are victims or have witnessed violence. This support could include medical care, counseling services, financial assistance, and extra time off. A strong response can help your organization get back on its feet, restore morale, and protect your reputation.
Work with crisis management specialists
Recovering from an incident of workplace violence is a challenge for any business and can be especially difficult for small to medium-size businesses with fewer in-house resources. Organizations can benefit by drawing on the expertise of crisis management consultants who have deep experience preventing and responding to workplace violence. Your insurer may be able to provide guidance and connect you with a proven crisis management organization.
OSHA – Workplace Violence Portal
CDC|NIOSH – Occupational Violence
Reach out to your broker or agent to learn what resources are available from your insurance company for preventing workplace violence. In addition, learn how the Chubb Workers Compensation Claims Services team supports the health and well-being of employees.