Part 4

Workplace Violence Policies and Solutions

Four Violent Scenarios

Preventing workplace violence has to involve every area and department in a workplace. The employees, vendors, customers, visitors and anyone on site should be given education and resources to protect themselves from workplace abuse and the threat of violence. Now let's explore some possible solutions to the four types of violence scenarios from preventing workplace violence pages Part 1 and Part 2.

The following scenarios offer solutions to the four types of workplace violence.

This first scenario deals with the customer/client violence type.
The Hostile child support payer
This situation is two-fold. Since the employer in this case is local government, law enforcement may be alerted immediately. Partly due to the sweeping security changes after the tragic events on September 11, 2001. The threat assessment personnel could be elements of law enforcement and there may be laws in place prohibiting making threats to court personnel and judges.

Determining the potential for violence of the child support payer probably includes an in depth background check to see if there is a history of violence. This would need to be done with consideration to individuals privacy rights.

This delicate balance of protecting someone's privacy versus stopping workplace violence can be a challenge. The local government attorneys' office would guide in coordination with law enforcement and the threat assessment person or department in this area.

Our next scenario is the personal relationship workplace violence type.
The Exploding intimate friend or spouse
Since the estranged wife in this example has a history of violence against the husband employee the employer may want to immediately inform local law enforcement to coordinate with threat assessment team about surveillance and access restrictions. Also, the employer may use HR to give both the husband employee and the girlfriend a period of time of from work.

Law enforcement may want to interview the estranged wife and inform her of the consequences of attempting to carry out her threat. Careful consideration on how co-workers and others are informed of the threat situation to prevent alarm, gossip and panic is also critical. Thoughtful coordination by the company's HR, threat assessment person or department, law enforcement and other community groups will provide the best possible solutions to preventing workplace violence.

preventing workplace violence solutions
four scenarios

Workplace Violence Research

In this scenario we have the acts of crime work place violence type.
The Desperate bank robber
This employee violence situation will obviously involve law enforcement. Since robbery is a crime, especially bank robbery. However, what are some of the violence prevention measures can this employer take to reduce the risk. The banks threat assessment team will work with local, state and federal law enforcement to develop better surveillance systems. These could include more cameras at different angles both inside and outside.

It could increase the security presence with uniform and plain clothed officers. Create improved employee training programs for responding to robberies and in identifying suspicious behavior. Also, the bank may conduct more extensive pre employment screening of applicants who may be prone to violence or criminal activity.

Our final scenario is the employee-on-employee job violence type.
The Furious fired worker
This threat of violence has to be taken seriously by management because the ex-employee yelled his intentions in front of several employees and vendors. These in turn retold the story to other employees. The vendors also told the story to their employers and employees. Therefore this situation has spread like wildfire. One of the first things the company can do is issue an interoffice memo about the incident with plans to protect the workplace health and safety of everyone involved.

The company through its purchasing or marketing personnel could communicate with it's vendors that appropriate steps are being taken to provide safety and security for all doing business with it. Human resources, threat assessment and the legal department can coordinate a plan of investigating the ex-employees background and present state of mind.

If he has used any company provided employee assistance programs, that info could be useful in deciding how to proceed. Even though EAP programs are confidential, there is an exception when violence,threats of violence or criminal behavior is concerned. This where the legal department and HR could take the lead.

Company security personnel armed with a detailed description of the individual could be a part of the violence prevention plan. The legal team along with the threat assessment person or department can work with local law enforcement in providing information on the ex-employee with respect to any privacy rights he may be entitled to.

preventing workplace violence solutions
four scenarios

Workplace Violence Aftermath

Whether it's in a building, taxi, package delivery vehicle, convenience store, meter reader or police car, all are considered workplaces. If it involves employees, it's a place of employment. When the threat of violence hangs over a workplace, it creates an atmosphere of distrust, fear, anxiety and emotional instability. Preventing workplace violence programs must also work to regain a sense of security and safety for employees after a violent incident has occurred.

The entire workplace violence prevention team of HR, security, threat assessment, legal, outside crisis management, counseling and especially any (EAP) employee assistance programs working together will be effective in the healing process. Workplace violence is a extremely serious problem that's getting worse. It has to be identified, assessed controlled and prevented.

As an employee, I am going to be proactive in getting as much information from and working with my employer on preventing workplace violence. Remember, employers have under (OSHA) Occupational Safety and Health Act guidelines a "general duty" to provide a workplace for us that is safe and secure.

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