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Pandemic and Workplace Violence… Are You Prepared?

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Pandemic and Workplace Violence... Are You Prepared?Concerned about workplace violence and whether your business is employing best practices to protect the safety and security of your employees and facilities? Join safety expert Lauris V. Freidenfelds for a free webinar to learn more about what you can do about workplace violence. 

Security expert Lauris V. Freidenfelds will host a free webinar on April 28, 2021, 01:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada) to discuss workplace violence prevention best practices. We invite you to join him to determine if you need to evaluate or create a safety plan.

Perhaps the most basic way for all businesses to protect the safety and security of their employees is to guarantee freedom from violence in the workplace. Not only is it the “right” thing to do from a business perspective, it is actually required by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under the General Duty Clause from the OSHA Act of 1970. Beyond requiring compliance with hazard-specific standards, this clause requires all employers to provide a work environment “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” Workplace violence is recognized as that type of hazard.

While this may not seem like a particularly pressing need, the reality is that workplace violence is more common than you would think, particularly during these unprecedented times. In fact, the pandemic has triggered an alarming rise in mental health conditions and the potential for pandemic-induced workplace violence. But even with this knowledge, under-reporting of workplace injuries and workplace violence provides an incomplete picture of the level of threat of these workplace incidents. In healthcare, for example, a 2014 report in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine found 90% of surveyed organizations were not complying with reporting regulations. Those findings prompted a call for action for OSHA to issue a final rule to revise its Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation, which includes fines and citation capabilities.

Sadly, studies by behavioral experts have found that workplace injuries and stress related to workplace violence are common reasons employees leave certain industries. Beyond the hardships this creates for those workers, the financial cost of replacing those workers is problematic for businesses as well—with estimates ranging anywhere between $20,000 and $100,000.

Register Now for the Pandemic and Workplace Violence WebinarFortunately, security and behavioral experts agree that workplace violence can be prevented. Prevention starts with management’s commitment to establishing and maintaining an effective prevention program and ensuring that employee participation will be guaranteed. This should include assigning responsibility for the various aspects of the workplace violence prevention program to ensure that all managers, supervisors, and employees understand their obligations.

An effective prevention program understands there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some workers are more susceptible to workplace violence, for example. Working alone or in isolated areas may also contribute to the potential for violence. Providing services and care and working where alcohol is served may also impact the likelihood of violence. Among those with higher risk are workers who are delivery drivers, healthcare professionals, public service workers, customer service agents, law enforcement personnel, and those who work alone or in small groups. It’s also worth noting that domestic issues can also spill over to the workplace.

The best way to launch an effective prevention program is to begin with an assessment of the current workplace conditions that may make workplace violence and injuries more likely to occur. OSHA recommends the implementation of workplace violence prevention programs and asserts they should begin with a comprehensive assessment of workplace conditions.

OSHA’s webpage on workplace violence observes, “By assessing their worksites, employers can identify methods for reducing the likelihood of incidents occurring. OSHA believes that a well-written and implemented workplace violence prevention program, combined with engineering controls, administrative controls and training can reduce the incidence of workplace violence in both the private sector and federal workplaces.”

There are a number of factors to consider in this assessment: What are the risks for violence from internal and external threats? Does the organization have a plan, policies, processes, and program in place to address those risks? Is there a Threat Management Team? How do employees report incidents and concerns? Is there a person or group assigned the responsibility for maintaining the safety plan? Is the security technology effective in screening and preventing unauthorized access? Is there an access control system? How does the workplace handle visitor screening? Is there an effective emergency communications program in place?

Though this may seem like a daunting task, the good news is that the security experts at Telgian Engineering & Consulting, LLC (TEC) are here to help. These professionals can evaluate the workplace and develop a customized plan. TEC is familiar with OSHA, ASIS guidelines, and state statutes that regulate this area of workplace safety. With TEC’s operations’ experience, including assessing and developing workplace violence programs, you can rest assured that you have the invaluable expertise you need to ensure both compliance and preparedness. Contact us for immediate support.

About the Presenter: Lauris V. Freidenfelds

Lauris FreidenfeldsAs Senior Project Manager for Telgian Engineering & Consulting, LLC, Lauris V. Freidenfelds is responsible for the project management of complex projects, focusing on security and emergency management. His 40+ years of experience include operational security, technology, and emergency management programs.
 
His extensive knowledge of emergency management personnel and operations encompasses planning, organizing, and directing security programs and activities; additionally, the development and coordination of disaster preparedness plans and the mitigation of, preparation for, and recovery from hazards and disasters.
 

About Telgian Engineering & Consulting, LLC (TEC)

Leading the industry since 1985, TEC is trusted by businesses around the globe as a single-source solution for fire protection, security and life safety services.

This full-service global engineering and risk mitigation consulting firm specializes in complex, multi-discipline public and private sector projects. TEC provides professional services related to the protection of people, property, information, and organizational mission against preventable losses. These include strategic/enterprise risk management, fire protection engineering, industrial security, environmental health and safety, emergency management, operations continuity consulting, and construction administration services. TEC professionals are dedicated to delivering value through effective protection solutions that meet today’s unique risk challenges. Contact us for immediate support at 1.302.300.1400 or tec@telgian.com.

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