Contact Us
Who We Are
Resource Materials
Financing for Veterans
Disability Support Center

Premises Security and Liability Manual

Each day in the American Workplace, thousands of employees are harassed, intimidated, threatened and verbally or physically attacked - this according to independent research conducted by a national insurance carrier. In some instances these incidents result in grave injuries or death. While the media often only reports the sensational cases involving a berserk co-worker or former employee, the pervasive threats and harassment in the workplace are justifiably of concern to employers. Human resource managers, directors of security, labor attorneys, and others charged with maintaining a safe work environment are painfully aware of this growing problem. It is a phenomenon that has workers uneasy about their safety. As if to reinforce this heightened concern, juries across the United States are awarding multi-million dollar judgments to many of those injured by workplace violence. The chief problem facing business and the public sector has been the lack of information and qualified professional assistance to reduce the potential for a violent incident.

In our comprehensive method of helping organizations reduce the risk of workplace violence, the Workplace Violence Research Institute approaches the challenge from two paths: Consulting and Training.

  • Evaluation of existing workplace violence prevention program and related policies:
    The prevention of workplace violence is not the domain of any single department within an organization. Effective programs involve key areas, including human resources, security, employee assistance programs, legal and, if applicable, unions. Within each of these disciplines many of the elements of an effective prevention program already exist. It is our first task to determine those policies and procedures currently in place that reduce the potential for workplace violence. In conjunction with department policies, we also assess security and safety related policies, security plans, physical security and controls, emergency and contingency planning
  • Design of a client-specific workplace violence prevention program:
    Once current programs are evaluated, the Workplace Violence Research Institute will assist in the development of those policies that are lacking and then combine all measures into a cohesive program. Only when there is a program that addresses the specific requirements of the organization, that has been formalized in accordance with the standard practices of that firm, can the second and critical step of training begin.
  • Violence potential analysis
    Of the various methods we have used, the most effective in gaining an accurate reading of potential threat levels that exist in the work environment is through employee focus group interviews. Using techniques and lines of questioning that we have designed and tested to solicit vital information, we conduct informal group interviews with employees that reflect the wide range of functions and levels. Often the results of these frank discussions are surprising to management. The information gained is used to structure the training program which will impart the vital material of the prevention program in a manner that addresses the employees’ concerns. It allows further customization of programs to reflect the issues facing employees at different ranking, other divisions, or other locations. Even among employees of one company, perceptions of issues and threat vary dramatically.
  • Executive Planning Committee Facilitator:
    We have found with many of the companies and agencies we assist, it is difficult for staff to dedicate the time necessary to formulate the policies and procedures for an effective workplace violence prevention program. Senior consultants of the Workplace Violence Research Institute act as facilitators for your program. We assist in establishing the Executive Committee, formulating and implementing the necessary policies and procedures, developing training programs for employees and promoting the program as a benefit for all employees.

  • Executive Briefing:
    This concise briefing provides an overview of occupational violence to the organization’s senior most management. In addition to exploring the effect threats, harassment, intimidation and violence have on the workforce, we educate company officials on the cost of workplace violence, legal and ethical requirements, liability, and return-on-investment. To reinforce the sound economics of prevention, the Workplace Violence Research Institute uses the projected economic cost of incidents of workplace violence from its most recent research, and details the estimated financial impact that occupational violence has on the organization. To ensure that the time invested by the senior management is used most effectively, the Institute will be thoroughly versed in current programs, any past incidents, and any programs under development within the client-organization. This allows us to tailor the presentation and to properly address questions from participants.
  • Orientation Session for Senior Managers:
    The Workplace Violence Research Institute will present a general overview to senior managers within the key areas of Human Resources, Employee Assistance Program, Risk Management, Legal Counsel, Union or Bargaining Unit Representative and others as appropriate. This overview deals with the concerns of occupational violence, the costs to the organization should an incident occur, the potential exposures and liabilities, and a discussion of the options for a prevention program that is designed specifically for the organization and administered by an inter-departmental executive committee.
  • Supervisor/Manager Seminars:
    The Workplace Violence Research Institute has designed a four-hour seminar for supervisors and managers of all levels with presentation variances for ethnic, cultural, language, and educational differences that iscustomized for each client-organization. Personnel attending one of these seminars will be given an overview of the history and causes of workplace violence and an orientation on communication, stress management, conflict resolution, and responding to aggressive behavior. They will also be briefed on the organization’s violence prevention program and policies. These supervisory and management personnel will also be trained on Symptom Recognition, a comprehensive program we have developed to help employees learn to recognize the warning signs exhibited by current and former employees contemplating violence.
  • Symptom Recognition Workshop:
    Even the most sophisticated workplace violence prevention program will fail unless all employees participate. This involvement and support is only possible if all employees possess the knowledge and understanding to correctly identify the warning signs of potentially violent behavior and then have a means to communicate these observations to management in a manner that does not contradict or violate personal or cultural standards of behavior. This training provides employees with the tools necessary to become effective components of the prevention program.
  • Train-The-Trainer:
    If desired, we can provide training for the Human Resources or Training personnel to allow the program, once it has been developed, to be presented to employees. This will provide an internal resource for both the initial and continuing training programs.
  • Threat Assessment/Incident Response Team Training
    As another integral part of the workplace violence prevention program, the Threat Assessment/Incident Response Team is called on to analyze information about threatening behavior, develop and implement the proper response to reduce the potential of an incident and minimize the risks faced by employees and management. Team members are experts in their respective areas of specialty, but become more effective as a group if they possess a knowledge of the issues that are central to workplace violence. Training also allows the skills to be developed to properly interpret the information that flows from employees concerned about co-worker behavior. This instructional session addresses the decision-making process used in dealing with a variety of threats and specific scenarios that our experience has shown is most likely to occur. The team will be provided with tools to blend their respective talents to develop a cohesive team approach to the situations that are presented.
  • Collateral Materials:
    With the exception of the Executive Briefing, all segments of the training program include a comprehensive set of materials for participants’ use and future reference. The Workplace Violence Research Institute has found that the training is more effective and retention is greater if attendees have a handout to use during the session and as a reference source. Training materials are customized to the organization’s program and contain references to established company policies where appropriate. In addition, the training sessions make extensive use of slides or overhead transparencies, depending on group size. These elements keep the training on track and increase audience satisfaction and retention.

Home | Back to Top
Contact Us | Who We Are
References | Resource Materials | Articles
© 2012 Workplace Violence Research Institute
All rights reserved. Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form.