Understanding Workplace Violence and Developing Effective Intervention Strategies
By George Vergolias, PsyD
In recent years, “active shooter” and “mass shooter” situations have garnered an exponential increase in media coverage and societal anxiety. In response, companies are increasingly seeking consultation and training from threat experts. Despite this increased interest and awareness, far too often these interventions focus on what to do as an event unfolds and fail to adequately address interventions before an incident occurs. The best way to get out of a violent situation is to prevent it.
For disability managers, insurers, and human resources (HR) professionals, the primary concern is to eliminate or mitigate any violent threats to the workplace. Employers should consider using several best practices to prevent or mitigate workplace violence. As a secondary benefit, this effort demonstrates to employees that their employer is committed to providing a safe workplace, which can reassure employees alarmed by the prevailing news media culture.
Develop Clear Protocols and Teams to Respond to Threats
Develop an internal threat management team (TMT) including key stakeholders such as HR, legal, management, security (if available), and other departments as warranted.1 The TMT will gather intelligence, screen data, and investigate threats. TMT members are not expected to be experts on threats to the workplace, but each has critical functions in working with outside consultants.
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