Dealing With Dangers At Work

Susan Solovic on ways to prepare for workplace violence.
3:00 | 10/04/12

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Transcript for Dealing With Dangers At Work
The recent shootings at a movie theater in Colorado and six temple and Wisconsin -- grim reminder no one is immune to violence outside the home. And while we can't prepare for every scenario business owners need to put plans in place. For dealing with workplace violence New York Times best selling author and ABC news small business contributor Susan -- -- joins us with some ideas hi Susan great to see -- hi Tonya. So one thing we've seen recently as these incidences of violence are so unpredictable. Can a business owner really prepare for such a thing. Well certainly it would be an exercise in futility to try to plan for at every contingent situation. But the FBI reports that most work workplace violence exist of rats assault even the domestic violence that spills over into the work place. Those kinds of scenarios that you can think about you can envision and it is possible to put some plans in place and it just makes good business sense. Some of the steps business owners can take you -- listed first -- Is to establish a company policy right right absolutely just like anything else you need -- workplace violence planned for your office. And want that -- consist is number one a zero tolerance policy that means that no violent acts not even the threats of violence will be tolerated by the management of your company. Also -- should understand that they have a duty to report -- -- or acts of violence to management and to the proper authorities if need be. The other thing Tonya is as part of that plan as a -- you need to be doing background checks on your employees if you aren't already. If -- -- employee has a history of violence. And you put them in the workplace and something happens concerning an employee. You could be liable for putting your other employees at work or your customers so you need to know what's going on your employees' backgrounds. Absolutely now you also say he need to review whatever security measures are in place and inform your employees of these security measures and even rehearse. -- -- -- -- -- at three -- rehearse obviously having a plan is a great thing but it nobody understands the -- not gonna do you any good. So you need to plan regular reviews with your -- maybe a couple of times a year so everybody knows what the plan is. And it really doesn't hurt to rehearse some of the scenarios let them know exactly how this is going to play out. What's -- like it happened and what their expectations are and also what they can do to protect themselves aren't leisure you can also have some code words. Some ways of communicating the situation -- Right I really like the idea a -- word because sometimes if there's a heated situation an employee may not be able to express that this is that this is something serious sign. There's a violent person here and -- -- Cold War can tip off other employees and they'll be able to take action to protect themselves. Also communication is important. If there is a lot of chaos and there's a violent situation going on -- boys are gonna dispersed and often this information can really add fuel to the fire. So figuring out perhaps an office line or -- sorry. Another phone number that employees could call into to report -- -- say I ran across the street I'm here and there so people know their whereabouts that's helpful our natural disasters as well and yes absolutely it is now what special emergency exits or maybe even safe rooms -- necessary write your employees need to review. Where are the -- we all have our habits -- we coming -- the same way but what other exits are in your building in your facility that would be available to them. And some employers are actually going as far as to create safer and areas for employees ago. That's probably a little bit too much for a smaller business but it's not beyond the -- possibility right certainly. And do you think it's necessary or advisable to have a workplace violence expert comments speak she apparently. Yes I am I did that in my own company Tonya had someone to come in and talk about self defense and workplace violence what might happen we played through some scenarios we talked about. How to protect yourself that's the most important thing is protecting yourself and I would imagine staying calm as well anything -- -- -- and protect yourself we don't need any heroes and lecture anybody and say absolutely all right thank you so much seasons element ABC news small business contributor.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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