SilverBlog

Wisdom from our industry experts and our SilverLink magazine.

 
 

Author: Jenny Jacobsen

How do you typically start your work day? For most, checking e-mail is an early-morning ritual (sometimes before they even get out of bed). We are fortunate to work in a world of rapid, electronic communication. It helps us get the job done faster. While e-mail may provide us with a quick and easy way to communicate, it also provides cybercriminals with a quick and easy way to target unsuspecting victims.

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Remember that story about the three little pigs and the big bad wolf? It had an important message, but as children we were probably just relieved to learn that one of the pigs outsmarted the big bad wolf. As you may recall, the old fable was about three little pigs who were each building a house. The first little pig quickly built a house of straw, while the second little pig built a house of sticks. The third little pig worked hard all day to build a house of bricks. One day, the big bad wolf paid them all a visit. He huffed and puffed and quickly blew the straw and stick houses down. The big bad wolf then found the third little pig’s house. He huffed and he puffed, but he couldn’t blow down the strong house made of brick. Determined to get in, the big bad wolf climbed on the roof and slid down the chimney, but the third little pig had a cauldron of boiling water waiting on the fire and the wolf met his demise. The lesson was simple, but significant. A little hard work and preparation can pay off.

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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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