Workplace Violence: Plans. Policies and Procedures
Joe Rosner is the Director of Best Defense USA and nationally recognized expert on workplace violence and personal safety for health care, real estate, and other industries. He has been a speaker at numerous state and local conferences including; The National Emergency Management Summit, the National Association of Realtors, the American Healthcare Association and Heartland Healthcare Conference. He is the author of Street Smarts & Self Defense for Children as well as books on workplace violence prevention and personal safety for real estate and healthcare occupations all of which can be found on Amazon. His credentials include multiple black belts, law enforcement, military and bodyguard experience and growing up on the south side of Chicago...
Workplace Violence is more than just headlines… it hurts your people and your bottom line, with lost time, turnover, lawsuits and enforcement actions. Supervisors and Managers the Number One cause of death and serious injury are Workplace Violence. An average related lawsuit award is $3MM. The average settlement is $600K. Can you afford not to know the risks and remedies?
- The scope and impact of workplace violence in business settings. How common is it? What is the financial cost? How does it impair the ability of a business organization to provide conduct commerce and attract as well as retain employees?
- The four types of workplace violence and their associated risk factors.
- Workplace violence prevention program elements including-
- Management Commitment and Employee Involvement: Without active participation from “C” level on down the effectiveness of workplace violence policies will be greatly reduced.
- Worksite Analysis: Surveying the physical plant to identify hazards and deficiencies and recommend action to reduce the opportunity for and the likelihood of violence is often the best first step. A process for maintaining, reviewing and analyzing records of workplace violence incidents to determine how future occurrences could be prevented should be implemented.
- Training and Education: Employees need to be trained on how to respond if confronted by violence or potential violence. The organization’s policies, and the safety of patients, visitors and the employee must be covered. This should include the concept of “Universal Precautions for Violence”, i.e., that violence should be expected, but can be avoided or mitigated through preparation. Employees should receive regular training on:
- Early recognition of escalating behavior or warning signs
- Ways to prevent volatile situations and de-escalate individuals
- Protecting oneself and others in violent situations
Local and state government, Large and mid-sized businesses, human resource groups, employee wellness groups. Industries include retail, healthcare including hospital, clinics, home care, hospice, medical/dental offices, multi-family housing and other businesses.
Who Should Attend
“C” Level Executives, Manager, Supervisors, Security, Risk Management, Human Resources, and Employee Wellness Professionals.
Taking proactive steps to address workplace violence directly benefits employers by providing
- Reduced exposure to liability and enforcement action in the event of an incident. Related lawsuits result in average settlements of $600,000 and average jury awards of $3 Million
- Comply with government and industry standards
- Maintaining job satisfaction and reducing employee turnover
- Establishing a brand as an employer of choice
- Providing some protection from increased Worker’s Comp and other insurance premiums
Why Should Attend
Workplace violence continues to emerge as an important issue in business and HR is often asked to take the lead in prevention and mitigation efforts. Violence in the workplace can originate from many sources, opportunistic criminals, customers, vendors, current and former employees and domestic violence spilling over into the workplace. It is true, OSHA does not have a specific requirement mandating employers to protect their employees from on the job violence. It is also true that after a violent incident OSHA will levy fines and enforcement actions using the “General Obligation Clause” that states workers must be protected against “foreseeable hazards”. OSHA and state regulators have begun to push for "universal precautions for violence". That is, that violence should be expected but can be avoided or mitigated through personal safety training. Frequent training also can reduce the likelihood of being assaulted.
Many organizations should, and generally, do employ a variety of safeguards and work diligently to maintain a safe place for employees, customers, and visitors. Yet despite this effort workplace violence can never be completely prevented and businesses remain at risk for violence. Incidents involving gunfire (So-called “Active Shooter” events.) are the most spectacular and therefore draw most media attention. However, as this type of event is extremely rare in almost all communities, businesses generally and management, in particular, may become complacent and adopt the belief that “Since it hasn’t happened here, it can’t happen here”. This represents flawed logic, which is known as. “The Rule of Self-Exclusion.” In many cases, this rule remains to enforce until or unless a fortunate close call or an unfortunate tragedy demonstrates the need for plans, policies, and procedure to be implemented to prevent workplace violence and mitigate harm it when it occurs.