Signs of Workplace Violence

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Violence such as bullying can be a significant workplace hazard. It may cause physical and psychological harm and may result in permanent disability and even death to the person. Not only that, workplace violence could translate to direct and indirect costs for the organization.

Financial costs may also be incurred due to absenteeism, lost productivity, more insurance premiums, medical expenses and mending damage to property. A more serious cost comes in the form of emotional trauma experienced by the victims and their families.

The reaction of individuals depends to a large extent on the nature of the incident, the workers, own experiences, skills and personality, and the extent to which they are directly or indirectly involved. Some common reactions associated with workplace violence are:

* Body changes brought about by distress, such as palpitation, increased breathing rate, muscle tension and nausea
* Rage, dissent and frustration
* Feelings of not in control
* Anxiety and shock
* Guilt and embarrassment
* Irritability and inability to concentrate
* Sleeplessness and nightmares after the event
* Fear of going back to the workplace

Workplace violence could lead to possible negative consequences such as high turnover rate among employees.  This in turn could mean spending more money for hiring purposes. Another effect would be loss of revenues due to absenteeism of personnel, low productivity and other direct results which could gravely affect the company financially.  

It is vital to know these signs/reactions immediately after the violent event took place to prevent the situation from becoming worse.  People concerned especially the management should take necessary actions in order to prevent the problem from escalating.

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