The prevention of illness, injury or death in the workplace is an HR issue. A comprehensive knowledge of OSHA rules and regulations decreases workers' compensation claims, reduces litigation procedures and avoids federal fines. HR affiliates teach employees general OSHA standards, perform building inspections, establish and post evacuation plans, respond to employee concerns about building or parking lot security, and create health-and-wellness programs.
Sexual harassment, verbal abuse, discrimination and bullying contribute to the inability of employees to focus on productivity. Some HR managers interview the accuser, the accused and employee witnesses regarding complaints of theft, harassment or other workplace violations. A thorough and fair investigation is performed by HR and must be recorded accurately and objectively in case things escalate into court proceedings.
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Workplace violence is an increasingly important issue for HR representatives, says the Society for Human Resource Management. It reports in 2010 that homicide is the No. 1 cause of death to women and the No. 3 cause of death to men in the workplace. HR actions include developing team-building programs, forming a crisis management team, posting and enforcing a zero-tolerance policy on violence, handling firings or layoffs respectfully, and establishing a way to report suspicious behavior.