Employee-customer workplace violence

Background Check

Did you know that claims have been reported through the garage program involving employee altercations with customers? This type of workplace violence not only results in costly litigation, but it can have a damaging impact on your business’ reputation.

The Insurance Risk Management Institute (IRMI) has identified the following red flags for identifying employees with the potential to commit an act of workplace violence.

  • Excessive tardiness or absences. Monitor employees who repeatedly leave early, depart without authorization, or offer excuses for abbreviating workdays.
  • “High-maintenance” employees. When a tenured employee displays an increased need for supervision, this may be a cry for help. Consider offering professional assistance.
  • Reduced work output. If a productive employee exhibits sudden or sustained drops in performance, meet with the employee to identify the problem and decide on a corrective course of action.
  • Variable performance. Associates exhibiting inconsistent work habits may need intervention, as employees are usually consistent in their work habits.

IRMI also recommends a well-balanced risk management program targeted at workplace violence. Storeowners and managers can utilize the following steps to help reduce the likelihood of violent incidents:

  • Formulate a company policy expressing zero tolerance toward workplace violence.
  • Pre-screen new employees for criminal records, episodes of past violence, and other indicators.
  • Impose an absolute ban on any weapons at work, including weapons in parked cars and parking areas.
  • Require that employees report any instance of being stalked or restraining orders, so that security measures can be developed.
  • Create a threat assessment committee to meet regularly and monitor execution of the risk management policy.
  • Formulate an emergency response plan for how your business will react in the event of violence.
  • Provide periodic training to supervisors and management on how to spot warning signs of brewing problems.
  • Terminate employees who violate the safe workplace or weapons policy.
Background Check
This document is intended for general information purposes only, and should not be construed as advice or opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. The content of this document is made available on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. This document can’t be assumed to contain every acceptable safety and compliance procedures or that additional procedures might not be appropriate under the circumstances. Markel does not guarantee that this information is or can be relied on for compliance with any law or regulation, assurance against preventable losses, or freedom from legal liability. This publication is not intended to be legal, underwriting, or any other type of professional advice. Persons requiring advice should consult an independent adviser. Markel does not guarantee any particular outcome and makes no commitment to update any information herein, or remove any items that are no longer accurate or complete. Furthermore, Markel does not assume any liability to any person or organization for loss of damage caused by or resulting from any reliance placed on that content.

*Markel Specialty is a business division of Markel Service, Incorporated, the underwriting manager for the Markel affiliated insurance companies.
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