There are many types of businesses and they conduct business differently, but they all have one thing in common: every business is a workplace. What can you as an employer do to prevent workplace violence?
Risk assessment is the process of identifying your hazards/vulnerabilities, evaluating the risk associated with them, and determining appropriate ways to eliminate or control the risk. Threat assessment is similar to risk assessment, but can also be used to assess the risk posed by a specific person.
A business can conduct a workplace wide threat assessment and use that as a guide to develop a Workplace Violence Prevention Policy (WVPP) specific to their business. The goals are to prevent/reduce the risks by having procedures in place to recognize, report, and respond to potential violent incidents, including domestic violence that carries over into the workplace. All employees should then be trained on the organization's workplace violence prevention policies/procedures.
The assessments and policies cannot be created in a vacuum. A Threat Assessment Team (TAT) should be organized. This team will also be utilized when assessing individuals. Listed are possible areas to draw from:
- Human Resources
- Legal Counsel
- Law Enforcement
- Mental Health Professionals
- Ad hoc members (subject's supervisor, union reps, medical personnel, private consultants)