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Why Most Workplace Violence Plans Aren't Worth the Paper They're Printed On

Jeffrey Miller
Jun 28, 2008
In Today's world, we expect that certain occupations, by their very nature, come with a certain level of risk. When we think of dangerous jobs, we immediately make mental note of those most at risk.

For most, we can understand how people who choose careers like:

- Police Officer

- Firefighter

- Corrections Officer (Prison Guard)

- Soldier, and...

- Security Professionals...

...knowingly place themselves in danger, merely by accepting the position.

And yet, statistics clearly show that these professionals may not be as at-risk as others. In fact, the list of employees and workers in so-called non-violent, even mundane professions like taxi drivers, who find themselves in danger as often, if not more so than those above, might surprise you. In fact, most people are surprised to find that...

... nurses and other medical professionals head the list!

It's true.

And, while many companies have some kind of workplace violence plan in place, most of these plans are missing crucial elements that, when an actual attack takes place, renders them as useless as a ladle with holes.

What's Missing From Most Plans?

Here's a list of some of the elements and key pieces of a "complete" workplace violence plan. These elements are easily added to your employee training program. Even if your company can't afford the expense of bringing an expert on-site, sending key employees to training events so they can bring back vital information and knowledge can be done for a fraction of the cost. Training like:

1. Escape and evasion tactics for escaping from an attacker or hostile situation

2. Use of effective cover to avoid gun fire, thrown or falling debris

3. Assault avoidance tactics (avoiding punches, kicks, and weapon attacks)

4. Attack evasion techniques (escaping from grabs, pinning attacks, and restraints)

5. General self-defense principles and tactics (i.e. "6 phases of an effective self-defense plan", 5 phases of an effective physical defense, simple and easy to learn defensive techniques for escaping from danger, etc.)

6. Non-physical tactics (including verbal and body language skills designed to distract or dissuade a would-be attacker)

7. Post-assault trauma training, and...

8. Dealing with the legal system after an incident

Please note that I am not criticizing the elements that most plans already possess. What I am pointing out, and continue to point out to every client and group that I talk to is this..

...if your plan lacks the elements listed above, then it is not designed to deal with the operative word in its title: "violence!"

Think about it.
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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