BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — In a recent CarWash Safety 101 with Mike Benmosche blog post, McNeil & Co. National Carwash Program Specialist Mike Benmosche discusses how to identify and mitigate workplace violence.

In the blog post, Benmosche lists the four general categories workplace violence can fall into, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):

  • Criminal intent: The perpetrator has no legitimate relationship with the business or the employees. He or she is there generally at the location to commit some type of crime, and any subsequent violence is incidental.
  • Customer/client: Normally occurs when the aggressor does have some relationship with the business and acts out in a violent manner due to a situation brought about by a service -related incident.
  • Worker-on-worker: This act is committed by an employee, or past employee, often due to work-related disputes or stress-related behavior.
  • Personal relationship: This is the last category and is defined mostly as a person who has a direct relationship with the intended victim.

“The majority of the research for this blog agreed that the cause of most violent events in the workplace is stress,” explains Benmosche in the blog.

He continues in the post by offering some factors that may contribute to workplace confrontation as well as some suggestions to defuse a stressful situation. For example, significant changes in job description or downsizing can lead to stress and potential workplace confrontation. When giving an employee a new role, make sure he or she is qualified; and if downsizing, keep the morale high and stress levels low.

Other situations that may result in workplace violence, reports Benmosche in the blog, include: money problems, a lack of procedures to report violent incidents, being reprimanded in front of other associates and more. You can read the entire blog post for more stressful conditions as well as mitigation tips.

“In the end, most of this comes down to observation,” asserts Benmosche in the blog. “Employees are the most important resource at a carwash. To help keep them comfortable and safe, controlling and preventing potential workplace violence is vital. Pay attention to the aforementioned factors, train supervisors/managers to spot unusual behaviors, design and enforce a workplace violence policy and encourage open communication with all employees.”

Read the entire blog post on avoiding workplace confrontation here.

Check out more CarWash Safety 101 blog posts here.