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Workplace Violence: Plan, Prepare, Protect

April is Workplace Violence Awareness Month and a good reminder to review your policies and the procedures you have in place should you be faced with a work situation that has the potential of turning violent or if there is an Active Shooter situation. If you do not have a workplace violence program, this is a good time to get started!

Every employer wants to provide their employees with a safe work environment. While there are no guarantees that an employer can prevent all acts of violence, it is important to do all you can to address the potential threats by creating a policy, establishing procedures and training employees on what to do when faced with the threat of violence whether potential or real.

The FBI reports that in 80% of workplace homicides there is no relationship to the workplace so the threat came from outside. In addition, the FBI notes that 27% of all violent crimes in the workplace are tied to domestic violence. Our work lives and private lives are intertwined and it is often difficult to leave personal problems at home. In this situation, there are often warning signs that can be observed and brought to the attention of supervisors.

Active Shooter situations are a completely different scenario. The FBI study states that from 2000 to 2013, there were 160 such incidents with 496 people killed and 557 wounded. 70% of these incidents occurred in a commerce/business or educational environment. In 60% of the incidents, the shooting ended before law enforcement arrived. These statistics illustrate the importance of having a basic Workplace Violence/Active Shooter Program in place. You need to know what to do to until law enforcement arrives. The threat is there, so reviewing the “what ifs” with employees at least once a year continues to be an important part of every program.

CIC’s trained investigators can help you implement your Workplace Violence Program and train your employees on how to recognize potential threat, give you suggestions on how to prevent the threat from escalating and outline the steps to take if a situation should become violent. When a Workplace Violence situation involves a gun or guns, it is essential that your employees follow a few simple guidelines. Active Shooter Training should be part of every Workplace Violence Program.

Carolyn Klemett is the coordinator of our Pre-employment Screening Services at Corporate Intelligence Consultants. For more information about this article, Workplace Violence prevention training, or general Security Management Services, please contact our offices at 1.800.573.2201 / 419.874.2201.