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Oct 25 2012

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UK:What to Do if You Experience Violence in the Workplace

By Adelaide Irene

Unfortunately in today’s world, workplace violence is becoming more common than ever before. Whether it is due to the longer hours, faster paced work environments and added stress, no one can be certain – but what is certain is that there is something you can do about it. Workplace violence is a serious issue that needs to be brought to attention. If you find yourself to be the victim of violence in the workplace, take some time to read through this article to see some of the things you can do to help with your experience.

Tell Someone at Work and Home

If you find yourself to be experiencing any form of violence or harassment at work, don’t keep quiet about no matter what your attacker or harasser says. First and foremost, make sure to report this incident to your boss or the HR manager, especially if any type of injury is involved. Your boss will be able to write up an incident report about what has happened. Ask for a copy of this report to keep for your own. As well as telling your boss, tell your workplace health and safety advisor or union leader about the incident. The more people who know, the better. Don’t be afraid to tell your family and friends either. The people closest to you will know when something is bothering you, so be open and upfront about what has happened. This will just give you more people to support you if this incident is made public.

Call Your Company’s Hotline

As good as it is to tell your boss, friends and family about what has happened, not everyone will feel comfortable doing so out of fear of the incident happening again – especially if the attacker has made any threats about you keeping quiet. If you find yourself to be in this situation, take some time to call your company’s incident hotline. Most businesses have a hotline where you can anonymously report cases of workplace violence, harassment, fraud or other suspicious behaviour. By calling the hotline, you are bringing awareness to the issue and to the identity of the attacker without compromising your own identity since the hotline is anonymous. While they may not know who you, the victim, are they can at least watch the behaviour of the attacker and keep an eye out for other malicious behaviour, allowing them to stop it before it continues.

Keep a Journal

Whether you have experienced workplace violence once or multiple times, one thing you should always do is keep a journal of what has happened and when the attacks have happened. Record the time, date and specific location, along with what the attacker did and said to you. If you suffered any injuries or you feel like something like this is going to happen again, write these things down. Keeping a journal will help act as evidence when the issue is taken up by the police, or if this issue is ever brought to court. Having a journal of these happenings, along with incidence reports from your boss, and all of your supporters’ knowledge with you having told them about it will make your testaments even stronger. As well, recorded accounts of multiple attacks could sometimes show you a pattern of when the attacks happen should there be one. This can help others catch the attacker in the act the next time it happens.

See a Doctor

If you suffer any injuries from an attack or attacks at work, see a doctor immediately no matter how minor they are. Explain to your doctor what has happened and when, having them record this information in your file along with what your treatment for these injuries is. Have your doctor take pictures of the injuries as well as write up medical certificates for them. Again, all of this will act as proof of what has happened to you should this issue be taken up with the police or even brought into court.

Contact the Police

Many issues of workplace violence are actually a crime – everything from physical or sexual assault, threats on your life, stalking, property damage or attempts at any of these. When this happens, especially if you sustain any injuries, contact the police immediately and ask to make a statement. If you happen to know the identity and contact information of your assailant, report this information to the police. This is the best way to catch your attacker and put an end to these incidences of workplace violence.

Adelaide Irene is a freelance blogger with interests in start-up businesses and business management. She also works alongside a security company – Securaglobe that specializes in corporate security services.

Source: HRZone


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