Psychological Damage of WPV

by todaystrainingblog

Psychological Damage of WPV

(Another post on my forthcoming book)

                We talk, and sometimes talk ad nauseum, about the dangers of deadly workplace violence (WPV). We discuss the financial costs of the issue. But seldom are the witnesses of WPV ever mentioned or thought about.

                Being a consultant and writer in the deadly field of WPV prevention, I’m not trying to dismiss the seriousness of deaths in the workplace. Nor am I trying to down-play the cost of such an event that can strain any budget to the breaking point, and sometimes push it over the edge into bankruptcy.

                But we all seem to miss the issues that confront those who actually witness the WPV event, deadly or not. This is an aspect that needs to be looked at and discussed as well.

                A friend of mine has a daughter who was living in Las Vegas a few years ago. This young woman was trying to get her career started and living the good life of a beautiful young woman. That all changed in a heartbeat one morning.

                While on her way to work, she only lived a few blocks and walked nearly every day, she was startled to hear screaming and then a huge thud hitting the sidewalk in front of her and splattering her with bodily fluids and other things. She was on the end result of a man committing suicide.

                He had jumped from a 40 story building in Vegas and splattered himself all over the sidewalk, cars, people, & the building. Why did he do this? I don’t know and neither does Leisel. But it has remained with her for the past 10 years.

                In the interim, she has endured nightmares, drug and alcohol abuse, and several other issues including psychological issues because of witnessing such a traumatic event. And while this was a suicide and not WPV, when it comes to psychological damage to the human psyche, does it really matter?

                The issues and the incident can, and more than likely will, be relived over and over again for years to the person who was involved in it. Much like a soldier returning from Iraq or Afghanistan with PTSD, these individuals can be traumatize just as well by this kind of incident.

                And even witnessing the aftermath of a deadly incident can trigger nightmares i.e. walking past the blood, brain matter, and other bodily fluids that will be scattered about. And even if they don’t see or feel this, the idea that an incident can be accomplished so close to them can cause issues as well.

                The initial cost is over $30,000 per person. The long term effect on the wallet and psyche is incalculable. Think about this. A person has to undergo so many years of therapy because of such an event that it can’t help but be a detriment to their lives, both personal and professional. Keep in mind that not even medical professionals ever get used to seeing or being around death – only the mortician does.


            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.