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Workplace Violence and a Facility Managers Role


The winter months are the top months for bad things happening to people at work. Is it the cold weather? For anyone charged with managing a facility, knowledge and preparation is better than the best response.

Workplace violence, and the impact of these incidents, can be mitigated through the recognition of the impending signs of potential violent behavior. Had people been properly trained and educated to detect and respond to specific individual threads of common behaviors, the majority of incidents of WPV might have been avoided or the impact significantly limited.

Definitively understanding workplace violence, is the first step. One cannot prevent or avoid what is not clearly understood. While violence cannot be entirely prevented, the likelihood of it occurring can be reduced. Prevention is the cornerstone of any workplace initiative aimed at curbing violence and aggression in the workplace. It is not enough to simply respond to violent events after-the-fact. Response is necessary but it might not be necessary at all if the incident can be averted or prevented.

Prevention of aggressive acts does not need to be complicated or expensive. Combining prevention strategies with initiatives that are intended to respond to incidents as they occur can be a powerful deterrent to workplace violence.

Primarily, problems arise from negligent hiring, and failure to protect the workplace. To avoid these problems, employers and their human resources staff must use every advantage afforded them. The most important of all is information. When it comes to potential employees, screen all applicants with every means available. If a potential problem becomes known, seriously consider whether or not to retain that individual.

Once the workforce is established, ensure that certain proper security methods are in place to provide a safe physical work environment. This is where the facility management organization weighs in via its ability to define building evacuation routes and contingency plans, fences, locks, gates, glazing, barriers, safe rooms, building controls, drawings and a wide variety of additional resources that will be described in further detail at our Access Control page.