This month, Bill Whitmore, Chairman and CEO of AlliedBarton, will release his book, Potential, Workplace Violence Prevention and Your Organization’s Success. “As business leaders, the safety and security of our employees is critical to our operations,” Whitmore says. “As individuals, the well-being of those to whom we have promised a safe workplace is a great responsibility. And in today’s society, implementing safety initiatives and security programs is only the beginning.
A recent OSHA inspection of a Maine psychiatric hospital found more than 90 instances from 2008 through 2010 in which workers were assaulted on the job by patients. The hospital was cited for not providing its workers with adequate safeguards against workplace violence and a fine of more than $6,000 was proposed. OSHA has also recently cited facilities in New York and Massachusetts where employees have been killed as a result of assaults.
In most corporate sectors those responsible for providing leadership, guidance, perspective and program management are torn between the corporate realities and the unthinkable damage one catastrophic incident of homicidal violence will have on their personal reputation and the corporate image. I am reminded of The 10 Myths of Workplace Violenceoriginally introduced by Dr. John Baron, PhD, arguing the need to implement basic workplace prevention strategies. Of which the most memorable myths that come to mind are “It won’t happen here” and “Workplace violence is not preventable.” Integrating and Collaborating Resources allows for the sharing of the Workplace Violence Prevention Mission through “strategic intervention.” Why? Because it allows for flexibility in managing the program in organizations, eliminates the stovepipe approach and spreads the program management and commitment throughout the organization.
The deadliest active shooter incident by a single suspect was the recent murders in Norway, where one gunman shot dozens of students, trapped on an island with him, after setting off a bomb in the capital.
Growth. Most organizations strive for it, but when it happens too quickly, unforeseen issues can arise that translate into a higher level of security related risk than the organization might be comfortable with. While most organizations constantly strive for growth and expansion, they need to recognize that with growth come growing pains and a litany of security related issues that may or may not have been factored into the plans of the organization as it continues to deal with day to day business as well as any new problems that a new acquisition might bring.
Workplace violence has grown into perhaps the most significant risk issue facing corporate security departments today. Security professionals have a unique contribution to make in helping the organization to meet its duty of care to anticipate, prevent, respond to and recover from workplace violence incidents. At the outset, corporate security needs to have a place at the strategic planning table.
In July 2010 I wrote about workplace violence within the healthcare industry in this column. The main focus was a document that was published by The Joint Commission titled, “Preventing violence in the health care setting.” I also discussed OSHA document 3148, “Guide for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare Workers and Social Service Workers.” Both documents serve as a guide in the implementation of a workplace violence reduction program. In the column I stressed the need to install physical barriers in order to control access within specific areas of the facility. In addition, I emphasized the need to control visitors into the facility through the use of a visitor management system.
The National Institute for Prevention of Workplace Violence, Inc. has released its 2011 Workplace Violence Fact Sheet.The fact sheet is a repository of information, statistics and charts on workplace violence presented to give Human Resources, Security, Risk Management and Operational Managers the most current information on workplace violence. The National Institute for Prevention of Workplace Violence, Inc. has been at the forefront of reporting information about workplace violence prevention for more than ten years and businesses rely on it to provide thorough, timely and accurate information on workplace violence. This is its second fact sheet on workplace violence.
Violence in the workplace continues to make news headlines and is a growing concern to security, human resources, and management across all industries. Threats, verbal abuse, physical assault, and homicide in the workplace affect two million American workers annually.
This month, Security magazine brings you the Security 500 Report, Rankings and Thought Leader Profiles. How does your enterprise compare to others? Which security programs are leading the way? Also this month, we highlight artificial intelligence, ransomware attacks, vaping and cybersecurity regulations.