It’s Not Complicated

by todaystrainingblog

I’ve heard throughout the last few years with the increase of workplace violence (WPV) incidents that attempting to combat the issue is far too costly and complicated to even worry about. So if it is, then why worry about a literally 1 in 100,000 chance of it happening?

                There is no simple answer to those managers or c-suite executives who believe that. I can say definitively, however with certainty that it is not complicated!

                Despite what every consultant or professional will tell you it’s not complicated to formulate a WPV program or plan of action.

                It’s not complicated. It is however, time consuming, detail oriented, and needs people from a multitude of business disciplines to implement such a plan, make it flow smoothly, and ensure that people can be saved.

                There is a distinctive difference between being time consuming and detail oriented and complicated. And far too many people get them confused. Let me ask you something for arguments sake.

                Can you create a game plan for an NFL football game? I’d be willing to say that 99% of us will say no. For us it’s complicated. Why? Because it’s not what we do! NFL coaches deal with this for years on end and are used to making game plans, despite the time and detail. But to them it’s not complicated.

                So what is necessary for a comprehensive multi-disciplinary approach to preventing, or lessening the likelihood, of an incident?

  • You have to identify and acknowledge the many facets of the problem
  •  You have to address the warning signs (all 21 of them) with supervisors/hourly employees
  •  You have to ensure that all of your policies & procedures are up-to-date and fair
  •  Security policies & procedures need to be up-to-date
  •  Training everyone in the idea of security AND customer service
  •   Crisis communication is known
  •  Form a Threat Assessment Team
  •  Document practically everything, even if it’s innocuous at the time
  •  Formulate an active shooter plan
  • Design and implement a disaster recovery plan
  • * Train, train, train, train

These are the major areas to be concerned with. There are numerous other areas within these and they will be filled with minutiae and consume a lot of time and possibly financial resources. But before you can just ‘blow it off’ and say it’ll never happen you have to consider these numbers;

  • 10% of employees a year are assaulted, either verbally or physically
  • The #3 cause of death in the workplace is murder
  • WPV costs $120 billion to American business yearly
  • 2% of total non-fatal lost work time injuries are by assault.
  • $4.2 billion in costs to American businesses per year in missed days of work and legal costs
  • $5.6 million settlement for each employee killed
  • $1.2 million, average, inadequate security lawsuits
  • $30,000 for psychological therapy for each employee affected
  • $50,000 to clean up and replace office supplies and furniture
  • 6 – 8 weeks for productivity to get back to 100%

Startling statistics to be sure. And while the potential of a deadly incident in your business is low, WPV affects 100% of all companies in this country – because of the multi-faceted avenues of the problem.

                But again, is it complicated? No. Just time consuming and detail oriented to those who are both in and not in the field.


                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 as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.