Basic threat Assessment checklist
This basic, most basic, checklist for workplace violence potential is not in my book for several reasons that I won’t go into at this point (if I do a 2nd edition then it will). But keep in mind this is only a basic checklist. You have to know your employees and their potential, in addition to this checklist. And a good checklist can be, depending on several things dozens of pages of questions to answer and quantify.
As for the low to high end potential of these different areas, you have to assess that along with the employee and the environment that you work in and around. I can’t give you all the answers for this issue, only give you some guidelines for you to form your own opinion and protect you, your employees, and business;
- Of the 21 warning signs how many are actually visible in an employee? With this, you have to be brutally honest, and write down everything in their profile. And with some of the signs you may have to really dig.
- How many signs are you writing down? AS many as 4 or 5 warning signs are signs of an issue; however, it may not mean they’re ready to commit violence. The more signs you write down the more likely you’ll have an incident of some kind.
- When was your last security survey/risk assessment? If it’s been more than 18 months, it’s been too long. Hire a consultant/security company to complete one immediately, and they must give non self-serving answers and recommendations.
- Do you have a Threat Assessment Team in place? If not, it may be time to organize one, even if it only meets infrequently, but it needs to be operating before and incident even is hinted at.
- Likewise, do you have a Disaster Recovery Plan in place and ready to go? When was the last time it was tested with either a drill or a full blown exercise? If it’s been more than 12 months, it’s time to dust off the moth balls and conduct one.
- How many incidents have there been in your community, industry – locally, regionally, and nationally? This is a question for your threat assessment, but you have to know these numbers before you can accurately assess your risk.
- Are your human resources and security policies up-to-date? Again, if they are more than 18 months old they need to be looked at. And not only that, it may be necessary to write new policies for items such as domestic violence and other such items. And how much has your location changed in 18 months – remodeling, actual change in location, etc.
- What is the type of crime in your area of business? Is it mainly vandalism or robberies? Yes this does have an impact on your business. You have to plan differently for each kind of crime.
- Are your employees knowledgeable of your HR and security policies?
- Do they trust either HR or security to confront and solve a problem, effectively and not blame or discipline the wrong person?
- Can any of your policies be considered disparate? Be brutally honest with this like with the warning signs. Remember, perception is reality when it comes to WPV – for both the company and the employee who may perpetrate an incident.
- Do you have security officers or ‘guards’ on property, at all times or at all? What kind of security do you have?
- Have the employees been trained on your DRP and WPV?
- Have you screened your employees to prevent a potential problem?
As I stated above, this is only a small list. There are easily a couple of hundred questions you should, and need, to ask yourself and staff to help you to avoid an incident. If you read my book, or other books on the subject that cover it, you’ll see that the warning signs can be complex and require you to know your employees.
You should score the above areas in a simple format; say assigning a number of 1 – 10. The higher the number the higher the risk of the employee becoming volatile and potentially violent. And as I stated above, you need to be brutally honest with this assessment and NOT cut back the number just because they are a friend or someone who is trusted. Even supervisors, managers, and business owners commit these crimes.
There is never an easy answer to WPV. Nor does an employee ever ‘just snap’ and no one could see it coming. Nor is there any reason for a company to be caught ‘flat-footed’ and not know what to do if an incident does occur and results in a death, serious injury, or maiming.
With this short checklist I’m hoping that you can help yourself avoid an incident.
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him through his Facebook page at One is too Many. Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.