The unreported costs of WPV

by todaystrainingblog

The media field reporter stands in front of a building. Talking into his microphone he tells the story of a workplace violence (WPV) incident that happened at the business. Days later, after the blood has been cleaned, equipment replaced, productivity is back up again, and everyone is calming down, where are the news cameras?
This is an issue that has plagued families and loved ones of WPV victims since it came into the mainstream in the mid 80’s. No one pays attention to what happens after the investigation is over. But there are many costs that the cameras, reporters, and their words won’t cover.
And most of the public, media, or uninformed on WPV, won’t notice it either, even if they wanted too. The unreported costs of WPV are far more expensive than the cost to the business of clean-up, reputation restoration, replacement of equipment, and etc. It can run for a lifetime with nightmares and anxiety.
Those of us in the security field and specifically WPV will instinctively know these items. But most everyone else who doesn’t perceive much, except the latest fiction of TV, won’t. Even most security professionals won’t know these issues either because they just aren’t associated with them on a daily basis, like cyber security experts &other security professionals are on their specialty.
So, what are some of these unreported costs to businesses and one of the reasons that businesses will ignore the potential issues associated with WPV, by sticking their heads in the sand and having the CHH attitude?
1. Economic loss for the families (especially if it was a single parent as in a Domestic Violence (DV) incident
How do you tell a child that you have to move because you can’t afford to live near their school anymore? It’s not easy.
2. Emotional toll on the families
Again, do you want to be the one telling a young child that their mother or father is never coming home again? As heart-breaking as it is for the kids it may be harder on the bearer of bad news.
3. Economic & emotional loss for employees
For some employees who may be close to the co-worker it will be hard to not look over and see their face across or next to them anymore. For some it could cause traumatic episodes, leading to psychological issues.
4. Communities
The whole community will feel the loss of an employee. Even more so if this individual was a volunteer for certain programs or groups and did a lot of charity work for non-profits, kids, hospice, or whatever.
5. Sense of safety that every worker has a right to feel while on the job.
As a kid you experienced the safety & security when your parents told you that there were no monsters under your bed and they checked for you. Then they let you sleep in their bed on stormy nights. Now imagine the monsters standing in front of them every day.
6. Work disruption/loss of productivity
A deadly WPV incident will disrupt your work flow no matter what. Even if it’s not fatal your work and productivity will be interrupted. According to some surveys it will take 6-8 weeks to get back to full productivity.
7. Medical and workers compensation claims
Depending on the injuries and wounds, this could very well cost you into the millions. And then of course there are the employees. Even with a Cadillac health insurance plan it could cost them upwards of several hundred thousand dollars.
8. Litigation
An average lawsuit that is settled over a fatal incident is nearly $6 million. Inadequate security could cost you $1.2 million. And if you look at the findings against U.S. Security Associates in March over an incident at the Kraft facility in Philadelphia, in 2010, it was over $45 million for 2 families.

You see that most of those items will never reach the full audience of people who may have watched the incident unfold in rapt fascination. None of the final toll gets reported, except in limited circumstances. But these costs that are directly related to an incident of WPV are real and can last for a lifetime for the families who now have to live without a loved one. Or the victim themselves who may have to live with the horror of being wounded and possibly disabled, both physically & psychologically, by 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 field for 32 years, and 24 studying workplace violence issues. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV and other security issues, as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.