FILE - Illinois State Capitol

The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois.

What would your office do if there was a fight? If someone started punching, or worse? 

The Illinois Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration want to get bosses to think about workplace violence. 

Illinois Labor Director Ben Noven said workplace violence can run the gamut.

"Illinois OHSA defines workplace violence as any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the worksite," Noven said. "This can be verbal, physical, it can even be as escalated as homicide."

Noven said the best thing bosses can do is to have a plan, a zero-tolerance policy and to offer protection or prevention. 

"The easiest thing to do is establish a zero-tolerance policy," Noven said. "The next thing to do is offer protection. That could include safety education, having a written comprehensive site-specific workplace violence prevention program in place, and having assurances that all employees have been trained on it."

OSHA said about 2 million people across the country are victims of workplace violence each year. Taxi drivers and security guards are the most common victims. 

Reporter

An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square.