Unfortunately, workplace violence is a recurring theme in American business. Despite the focus by the news media on certain types of workplace violence, violence is NOT limited to larger businesses. Anywhere there are people working together, there is a potential for conflict that can lead, in extreme cases, to violence. Obviously, as an employer, you do your best to hire people who you think will work out well. And, if you exercise some care in observing your employees and dealing with conflicts before they escalate, you further reduce your risk of a problem. Everyone has a life outside of work, and the pressures there can be brought back into the workplace.
Nevertheless, an explicit policy regarding workplace violence can be another big part of your plans to ensure workplace safety. First, the mere fact that you have a policy at all sends a strong signal to employees. Second, the severity of the penalty for violent behavior (and it should be severe!) should further reinforce the message. Third, you let employees know exactly what conduct is prohibited.
The attached file contains a sample workplace violence policy that you can tailor to fit the needs of your specific business. Like a natural disaster or freak accident, a violent episode is an unexpected event. By taking the time and effort to consider the issues you might face, in advance, you better prepare yourself to deal with a problem if one arises.
The file is in rich text format (RTF) that is suitable for use with most word processing programs used in the Windows environment.
Workplace violence prevention policy
Violence in the Workplace