Don't let the added stress from events like those in 2020 increase the risk of violence at your workplace. Start each year with careful consideration, planning, and training to decrease the risk of workplace violence.

The unique challenges of 2020 cannot be overstated. While we hope for 2021 to bring back some sense of normalcy, the reality is that the carryover of fatigue and frustrations related to COVID-19, economic issues/business closings, political divisions, and social injustice only add to the potential for a workplace violence event, whether from an internal or external source.

Even before the added stresses of 2020, workplace violence had risen to a major cause of death in the workplace with a comprehensive annual cost of $130 billion due to loss of productivity, medical costs, and associated lawsuits.1 While schools, healthcare, and service providers are commonly associated with the issue, no industry is immune. This is compounded with the potential for collateral violence from civil unrest.

While 2020 is not a year most would want to repeat, it did underscore the value of contingency planning for a worst-case scenario. Use the start of 2021 as an opportunity to get a clear perspective of your current workplace violence controls and security measures. With careful consideration, planning, and training you can significantly decrease the threat to not only your employees, but the community your organization supports.

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