There is a definite need for vigilance to be taken across the United States regarding the risk of workplace violence and active shooters. When we turn on the news or go online we are confronted with the increased frequency of these devastating events. Neglecting to properly educate and train your entire staff on preventive strategies and what to do in the event that a violent act takes place puts your business, and more importantly, lives at risk.
No organization is immune to the threat of Workplace Violence.
Workplace violence can be the result of a disagreement, bullying, domestic dispute or even an unknown. The source of the violence can be both internal and external. And as recent events have shown, an active shooter event can occur anywhere, at anytime, and often without reason.
Many people have the mentality that this will never happen to me or my organization, but this is a mindset that must be discontinued. In reality, no one and no organization is immune to this threat. And with each day that passes it becomes more evident that a proactive stance must be taken to prevent violence from occurring.
Organizations such as manufacturing facilities, schools, government offices and all other types of businesses including but not limited to churches, social or sporting venues, and conference centers require an effective Workplace Violence Prevention Program (WVPP) in place to prevent, prepare for, and respond to workplace violence events.
What is a Workplace Violence Prevention Program?
A WVPP consists of three main elements:
A written risk management plan
Training on awareness, preparedness and response
Vulnerability assessments of internal and external threats affecting the organization
Workplace Violence Prevention Program Benefits
Employers can significantly reduce the risk of a violent incident by taking appropriate preventive measures such as a having a Workplace Violence Prevention Program (WVPP) in place. When making the business case, the following arguments are used in support of implementing a Workplace Violence Prevention Program (WVPP):
The Right Thing To Do
There is the human factor to consider. We all want to feel safe and have the right to be able to leave work in the same way that we arrived. Organizations need to support this through establishing good leadership, a proactive culture, and effective plans and procedures to contribute toward a safer work environment.
A Valuable Investment
The full implementation of a Workplace Violence Prevention Program not only protects the employees but also the organization. The cost associated with a workplace violence or active shooter event is much greater than what it would cost to put effective measures in place to keep employees safe. There is no dollar amount you can put on a person’s life.
The consequence to failing to maintain a safe place of employment can also be devastating to a company’s reputation. This, in turn, can negatively affect business.
Safety goes hand in hand with the elements that make up a Workplace Violence Prevention Program and it will only help improve and strengthen the current Safety Management System and culture.
Workplace violence and/or active shooters are actual risks, like fires and tornados, that need to be managed.
OSHA General Duty Clause Compliance
Employers are required to provide their employees with a place of employment that “is free from recognizable hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to employees.” Establishing awareness and preparedness, performing routine gap assessments, and following through with corrective measures will help an organization comply with this requirement.
Organizations can be deemed liable if determined that the necessary action was not taken to provide a safe and secure workplace. This can result in regulatory fines as well as possible incarceration.
In this unpredictable world we live in, with all the variables involved, it is important that everyone becomes adequately trained, has a “base” plan in place, and is ready to respond to any scenario that may present itself. KERAMIDA's emergency management specialists are ready to help you design and implement a Workplace Violence Prevention Program. To learn more, please contact us or call us today at (800) 508-8034.