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Preventing jobsite violence during the COVID-19 pandemic

Preventing jobsite violence during the COVID-19 pandemic

With the strain that the coronavirus pandemic has put on every corner of society, it does not surprise mental health professionals that it has taken a toll on the stability of some people. For construction managers, raising awareness of the potential for violence in the workplace as a result can be important to helping them mitigate that threat before it happens, an article in Construction Business Owner says.

“Supervisors should watch for concerning behaviors, but bear in mind that out of character behavior may not necessarily indicate trouble looming,” the article says. “It may suggest an employee is navigating through the change. Supervisors and coworkers may see a coworker who acts differently than normal. The key is to talk with the employee to understand their situation and offer encouragement or assistance.”

The piece goes on to provide several tips designed to stem possible situations, including encouraging workers to express their concerns and anxieties, communicate openly, make sure they are aware of resources, and understanding that everyone’s situation and response to it are different.

There are also a few risk factors that mental health professionals believe point to more turbulent times, making it more important than ever for company owners to be aware. An increase in calls to suicide hotlines, a rise in domestic violence, growing job losses and financial hardships, and even a spike in the purchase of alcohol and recreational drugs suggest that society is struggling, the article explains, and workplace managers should complete a risk assessment to determine how prevalent the potential for danger may be on their job site.

A threat assessment team should examine stressors, behaviors, and mitigating factors affecting the worksite. Being watchful for concerning behaviors that could escalate is key, the author writes. Also, doing things like reviewing the code of conduct for workers and providing workplace violence training for supervisors may help ward off impending threats.

For more strategies on coping with the potential for workplace violence, read the article HERE.