GREENVILLE, Iowa — Workplace violence can strike anywhere, even on the farm.
“We’re talking about violence or the threat of violence against workers,” said Knesha Rose-Davison, health communications director at AgriSafe Network, during a webinar.
“It’s one of the leading causes of job-related deaths. It can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide.”
Migrant farmworkers, particularly women, are at a higher risk of violence, she said.
Rose-Davison shared advice on how to empower farm employees:
What should employers do to help protect employees?
• Establish a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence against or by employees.
• Provide workplace safety and health training for employees.
• Create and post culturally competent materials for employees.
What should you do following an incident of workplace violence?
• Encourage employees to report and log all incidents and threats of workplace violence.
• Provide prompt medical evaluation and treatment.
• Report violent incidents to the local police promptly.
• Inform victims of their legal right to prosecute perpetrators.
• Discuss the circumstances of the incident with staff members. Encourage employees to share information about ways to avoid similar situations in the future.
• Offer stress de-briefing sessions and post-traumatic counseling services to help workers recover from a violence incident.
• Investigate all violent instances and threats, monitor trends in violent incidents by type or circumstance and institute corrective actions.
• Discuss changes in the program during regular employee meetings.
Resources are available at www.workplacesrespond.org.