WORKPLACE VIOLENCE (Lesson 22 of 33)
Security Survey and Measures:
One important tool can be a questionnaire or survey for employees to get their ideas on the occurrence and potential for violent incidents and to identify or confirm the need for improved security measures. Surveys can be repeated at regular intervals, or when operations change or an incident of workplace violence has occurred, to help identify new or previously unnoticed risk factors. Responses can help identify jobs, locations, or work situations where the risk of violence appears highest.
As well as being trained in how to respond to violent incidents, security personnel should be trained in techniques for handling threats or other confrontations without letting them escalate into violence. Security supervisors should have an up-to-date contact list for all employees, in case there is a need to advise workers of an emergency or distribute other information. There should also be a list of outside emergency contacts; police, rescue, medical, social service violence assessment and employee assistance professionals, etc. The security director should maintain regular liaison with local law enforcement agencies, familiarizing them with the company’s location and with evacuation and other emergency plans.
The floor plan and physical layout of a workplace should be reviewed and, if necessary, modified to improve employees’ safety. Aspects to include:
- Alarm signals or emergency phones
- Control of access
- Arrangement of work space so employees cannot be trapped in a small enclosure
- Adequate and clearly marked escape routes
A plan for emergency evacuation should be designed and practiced. The evacuation plan should include not only procedures for getting workers out of a building, office or plant, but some method for those evacuated to assemble or report in so that it can be determined who is safe and who may still be missing. Evacuation plans should include provisions for workers with disabilities – for example, a way to make sure warnings are received by employees who may be hearing impaired and a system for safely evacuating anyone who uses a wheelchair.