SilverBlog

Wisdom from our industry experts and our SilverLink magazine.

 
 

Author: Joe Freeman

Winter brings us many joys – holidays, fun in the snow, endless shoveling (well, maybe not the last one). But winter also brings some dangers. Obvious ones are ice-related car accidents and slips / falls. However, there is a hidden threat that is far more dangerous during cold-weather months, yet it’s often given little thought. Carbon monoxide safety should be a top priority when the temperatures start to drop.

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Does your workplace safety program include an incentive structure? Employers have been using them for years to encourage safe behaviors and reduce violations, injuries and accidents, but recent Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) memos have left employers confused about the compliance points related to these programs.

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Workplace violence has become all too common, and the need for action has never been greater. As risk managers, we take this threat seriously and have dedicated a three- part series to educate our readers on this important topic. In parts one and two, we discussed applicable regulatory standards and guidelines, as well as threat assessment and management techniques. The third and final part of this series is dedicated to response strategies – what to do when a violent event occurs and how to handle its aftermath. While we hope that our readers are never faced with the unfortunate reality of workplace violence, we know it is imperative to prepare for worst-case scenarios. Investing time and resources into this training before a violent event occurs could mean the difference between life and death.

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Threat assessment is a structured group process used to evaluate the risk posed by another person, typically as a response to an actual or perceived threat or concerning behavior. Workplace violence is an unpleasant topic that many people try to avoid. However, news of mass shootings and other violent events have saturated the media in recent years and forced the American public to pay attention. The growing media spotlight on this issue has also spurred more oversight by regulatory agencies and initiated the development of policies and protocols to help prevent threatening behavior and violence within the workplace. This article takes a closer look at threat assessment and management with a specific focus on the suggested best practices outlined in ASIS/SHRM WVPI.1-2011. This is part two of our three-part review of workplace violence.

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The unfortunate presence of violence in the workplace is not likely to subside in the near future. Approximately two million American workers are affected by some form of workplace violence each year.1 In extreme cases, it may manifest itself in an ideology-driven active shooter scenario, such as those recently experienced in Colorado Springs and San Bernardino. Other more likely cases may include impulsive or directed actions toward an identifiable target because of a real or perceived threat or grievance, or actions related to dating and domestic violence or stalking. Some cases could potentially be entirely random acts, or the result of a robbery or another criminal attempt. This is part one of our three-part review of workplace violence.

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