Workplace violence is a devastating but widespread problem. Criminal report checks can help prevent incidents.
When people go to work, they and their families should not have to be concerned about their safety and whether they will make it home at the end of the day. Unfortunately, violence in the workplace is a relatively commonplace occurrence that many Americans will face in their lifetimes. A variety of circumstances can trigger workplace violence, but instituting criminal report checks during the hiring process can help reduce the risk of violent crimes.
Workplace Violence: Far from Uncommon
A nationwide survey among private businesses, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), found that almost one out of every twenty non-governmental businesses experienced workplace violence at least once in the previous year. In the government sector, state government agencies had the highest rates of violence, with 32 percent reporting violence within the past year. These events can not only harm employees and any clients who are on site, but also harm employee morale, reduce productivity, and increase absenteeism and health insurance premiums.
Most Violent Industries
Some of the industries with relatively high rates are the healthcare, service, utilities, and delivery industries. These are some of the characteristics that are risk factors for workplace violence.
- Direct contact with customers.
- Exchanging money.
- Location in high crime areas.
- Working in community settings.
- Working in a mobile setting.
Criminal Report Checks as a Strategy for Preventing Workplace Violence
Strategies for preventing workplace violence can take multiple forms.
- Electronic surveillance
- Security staff
- Physical security
Fewer than 10 percent of those businesses that had workplace violence in the past year reported changing their workplace violence prevention policies in response, but adding criminal report checks to the hiring process is a strategy that can pay off. The human resources department of a larger business, or the person responsible for hiring in smaller companies, can hire a respected company to conduct criminal report checks. This process can reduce the chances of having potentially violent people within the workplace every day.
Workplace violence is unfortunately more common than people tend to believe, but it is preventable in many cases. A national criminal background check program can help keep workers and clients safer.