Violence in the Workplace
is Predictable and Preventable
From a Press Release
by Kenneth Carlisle, CPP Security Professional.
Phone: (415) 392-1810
Recent violence in the workplace events seem to baffle society. However, in most cases workplace violence is predictable and preventable!
Predicting Workplace Violence
Violent assault is now the leading cause of death in the workplace. A demographic profile of victims of fatal workplace assaults indicates that the majority are male. Furthermore, even though the overall fatal workplace injury rate for women is substantially lower than it is for men, homicides represent the leading cause of death for women in the workplace as well.
A typical workplace violence event consists of an assault by an individual who has some employment-related involvement with the workplace. It may involve an individual seeking revenge for perceived unfair treatment by a co-employee, a supervisor, or a manager; or it may involve domestic or romantic disputes. Existing data indicates that these types of events more often than not are preceded by threats and other types of verbal indicators prior to the fatal injury.
Thus, the security community knows that physical assaults are the most likely and most dangerous form of violence and that such assaults can often be predicted by verbal indicators. Training in such knowledge makes it possible for a watchful staff to see the signs usually shown during a typically long slide towards actual violent behavior.
Preventing Workplace Violence
Important cornerstones of an effective workplace security plan to deter workplace violence include the following:
- Employers must educate their employees about high-risk behaviors and provide appropriate training in crime awareness, assault and rape prevention, recognizing warning signs, recognizing profiles, and defusing hostile situations.
- Employers need to establish clear management policy, apply the policy consistently and fairly to all employees including supervisors and managers, and provide appropriate supervisory and employee training in preventing violence in the workplace. Monitoring and responding to belligerent, intimidating, or threatening behavior by an employee or supervisor is a necessary part of effective prevention.
- Appropriate hiring and firing processes and training therein are especially important. Layoffs or disciplinary actions such as suspensions and terminations can be triggering events for workplace violence. Thus, when such actions are necessary they should be carried out in a manner designed to minimize the potential for violence.
Proper procedures and training are the secret to predicting and preventing violence in the workplace!
Kenneth Carlisle is the principal consultant with SecurityNet Security Consultants. He has extensive experience in developing procedures and training for reducing workplace violence and can be contacted at [email protected] or (415)392-1810 for further information on this subject.
SecurityNet, established in 1987, specializes in security assessments and the design, engineering and development of professional security programs. The firm has designed systems for major high-rise office buildings, apartment & condo communities, and mixed-use developments. Also corporate headquarters, corporate campus complexes, hospitals, transportation industries, manufacturing companies, and large recreational facilities.