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Corporate Workplace Violence Plan - Will Yours Fail When You Need it Most?

Jeffrey Miller
Jun 25, 2008
You have your company's workplace violence plan all finished. It's loaded with all of the preventative and reporting procedures you think you need. You're all prepared, but...

...what are your people to do if something actually happens and they find themselves face-to-face with an attacker?

The problem that I've found with most workplace violence plans is something that is often invisible to most managers responsible for the development of these policies. In fact, the missing piece is rarely, if ever, covered by even the most expensive of consultants. And yet, this missing piece could actually leave you and your company holding the proverbial bag, liability-wise, should the unthinkable happen to, or by, one of your employees.

As I tell all of my clients, prevention is great and necessary. So, don't get rid of your "zero-tolerance" statements, banned weapons lists, or employee interaction policies. Likewise, you'll want to make sure that all of your hard work that went into developing those reporting procedures doesn't go to waste either. But, let's not forget why we bothered to create a workplace violence prevention policy in the first place. And that reason was...

...liability control, and loss management.

Right?

Well, that should be the reason. So, unless you're in the habit of creating policies for your company just because you read an article about it somewhere, and the writer said you should have one, your workplace violence policy should be seen as a life-saving part of the overall liability-management systems you already have.

I say "life-saving" in the sense of your company's financial life, of course, because a major incident happening in your organization can literally wipe you out. But, when I say "life-saving," I'm also referring to the lives of everyone who is covered by your workplace violence plan. Because, an attacker intent on doing harm, regardless of whether he or she is one of your own employees or an outsider, as is almost always the case in incidents involving nurses and the medical care industry, doesn't care one iota about your zero-tolerance, concern for what you consider to be a weapon, or what you're going to do to them afterwards.

However, I can assure you that the new breed of lawyers who are standing by, waiting to represent any of your employees injured in a workplace violence incident, care about the same missing elements to your plan that I am. And these missing elements include:

- Escape and evasion tactics during an attack

- Attack evasion tactics

- Assault prevention techniques, and...

- Self-Defense skills

These are the elements that could make or break your company's survival and future existence. The only elements that are designed specifically to save the lives of...

...your employees and managers - literally

...your company's financial standing, and perhaps even more importantly...

...your legal grounds in the face of post incident action by injured employees making you liable for not providing the proper training in the first place.

I know your policy looks great. But whether or not you're the one who put it together, you owe it to yourself, your comapny, and the people who depend on you for proper decisions, to make sure that it's more than just a "feel-good" policy that put a feather in somebody's cap.

Make sure it won't fail you when the worst happens - when you need it the most!
About the Author
Jeffrey M. Miller is the founder and CEO of Warrior Concepts International. He is a consultant and trainer in the area of workplace violence defensive tactics training and liability-conscious, conflict resolution. He can be reached through his website at www.wcinternational.com. Media and corporate inquiries should call (in the US and Canada) (570) 988-2228.
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