Contrary to popular belief, workplace violence does not always involve one employee attacking another. Another popular misconception is that a workplace violence incident must occur within your company's walls for it to be considered such.
But, the reality is that, the opposite is often true in many cases!
Put these two misconceptions together and you will see that there is a group of workers who often go without the necessary training to be protected against violence on the job. And these employees are - utility workers!
In fact, utility workers, especially those performing disconnection duties, are among those most-often attacked on the job! If you can see how these service personnel are seen by non-paying customers in the same light as "repo men" who are taking away something they need - you will see why it is vitally important to implement training that will protect the utility worker from the threat of workplace violence attacks!
I have spoken to workers and consultants in the utility field and they all agree that the number of attacks on utility workers is on a level that most people couldn't even imagine.
Some of the types of attacks on utility workers include:
Tackling or being wrestled to the ground
Being punched, kicked, and even bitten
Confrontations with customers armed with guns, knives, clubs......and even dropping scalding hot water and other objects on them from a window above where they're working!
In today's world, especially in these trying times, workplace violence isn't just something that happens "every now and then." Violence in the workplace is an everyday occurrence.
With 17 to 20 employees being murdered every week on the job, and another 18,000 people a year being beaten, raped, robbed, or otherwise assaulted, the likelihood of one of your employees being attacked is not a possibility - it's a given!
Regardless of the "workplace," whether it be a hospital, factory, convenience store, office, or even a customer's home...
...employees - including utility workers - should be trained in at least basic self defense strategies that would allow them to defuse, de-escalate, escape from or defend themselves against a violent attack!
Does your company have a solid and complete workplace violence training program? Do you and your workers know what to do should the unthinkable happen and you come face-to-face with violence in the workplace? Or are you betting the lives and safety of everyone involved that there isn't someone right now, inside or outside your company, planning an attack? Get the facts and stop making safety decisions based on denial, apathy, or ignorance.