Never forgetting September 11, 2001 means Understanding the Threat by taking proactive steps to harden businesses against external threats, increasing security awareness and the risk of Workplace Violence, merging the employment of security technology with employee
1. The Security Consultant's Perspective…
Never forgetting September 11, 2001 means Understanding the Threat by taking proactive steps to harden businesses against external threats, increasing security awareness and the risk of Workplace Violence, merging the employment of security technology with employee education, proper employment screening and thorough pre-employment interviewing, training leaders on Threat Assessment and Crisis Management strategies and training the workforce on Workplace Security Issues. Not forgetting is not taking anything for granted.
2. Is Your Company At Risk..?
Is your company at risk of a violent act by an employee, customer, client, or even a potential terrorist?
Regardless of your company size, location, or type of business, the threat of violence in the workplace and terrorism is all around us. It could involve you, your employees and your business at any time. A disgruntled employee is only a moment away from violence, a criminal could be planning his next deed and yes, the terrorist from within is only waiting for the call to act. A domestic dispute triggers a violent reaction, a desperate thief blunders during a simple robbery and takes your employees hostage or a truck laden with oil, gas or other flammable gets hijacked by a terrorist who has specific demands. These scenarios do not take into account the potential for a bomb threat or a bomb explosion.
In the the final analysis no business, building or individual is safe from the object of a violent act in the workplace. Threat Assessment requires a perpetual risk assessment. Employees contribute to the risk assessment if they are informed and aware
By asking tough questions about your ability to defend yourself against various types of threats increases your survivability and preparedness. Taking proactive measures to safeguard sensitive areas, limit access, establish key control measures, issue photo identification and monitor computer usage are risk management practices. Limit remote accessibility to your proprietary information via computers and change locks and codes annually or as necessary. A thorough assessment would ask the following critical questions:
Do I have a workplace security plan for my company?
Are employees familiar with it?
Are roles clearly established?
Is the plan integrated with the Homeland Security Advisory?
Do I understand the Threat Assessment and the Security Risk Analysis Process?
Do I build in time to practice the security plan?
Is Security Awareness part of the security process?
Are employees aware and conscious of what to do?
Do you know what to look for?
Is there periodic security awareness educational opportunities?
Do you have a mechanism to address breeches of security?
Are your employees properly screened during the hiring process?
Is there Workplace Violence Prevention Awareness Training?
Are Supervisors trained in Threat Assessment?
Are the Emergency Management and Evacuations Plans current?
Are the Emergency Management and Evacuation Plans rehearsed?
Is management really committed to the plans?
If we answered NO to any of these questions, we have the ability to take corrective action NOW, if we Understand the Threat. Like the disgruntled employee who is “event driven” the Terrorist "waits for the event". Related to the need to conduct a perpetual threat assessment is the threat emanating from a disgruntled customer or client who has a grudge against the company. In all cases, they are willing to hide their intentions until they are ready to act out.
Linda Lockwood, PhD at the Metropolitan State College, Denver, Colorado reminds us that workplace violence is obviously a serious problem that must be better understood in order to prevent its occurrences. Consider the threat from within by developing a comprehensive security policy and plans to minimize risk and reduce exposure.
3. A Workplace Violence Survey…
The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) recently issued their 2004 Workplace Violence Survey and White Paper developed and reported by JoAnn M. Sullivan, CSP a member of ASSE, as a follow up since the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001. Ms. Sullivan identified 16 specific findings to help respondents in the development and implementation of risk management strategy. The entire survey, which can be obtained through the ASSE website at www.asse.org. appeared in the July issue of Risk Management/Insurance Practice Specialty Newsletter called RM/Insight. Approximately 4,560 surveys were mailed to ASSE members resulting in a response of 755 or a return rate of 17 percent, produced emerging patterns. Fifty-six percent of the respondents organization's had established or revised programs to address workplace violence, 44 percent had established or changed their emergency response procedures and that while workplace violence incidents remained the same, employers were making a good effort to increase security measures. Of note was that employees were still fairly concerned about workplace violence. What follows is a well developed summary of Ms. Sullivan's Workplace Violence Prevention Measures and Recommendations, which I endorse.
- Establish a workplace violence prevention policy.
- Establish and maintain security policies.
- Examine and improve hiring practices.
- Implement prescreening techniques.
- Utilize background checks.
- Encourage employees to report threats or violent behavior.
- Establish termination policies.
- Provide post-termination counseling.
- Train all employees in the warning signs of aggressive or violent behavior.
- Train management in threat assessment and de-escalation techniques.
- Conduct formal workplace violence risk assessment.
- Increase security as needed.
- Develop Contingency Plans.
- Develop Crisis & Media Communications Plans.
- Review insurance coverage & verify coverage’s and exclusions.
- Identify a defensive strategy
4. About Nater Associates, Ltd.
Nater Associates Ltd. is a Security Management Consulting practice specializing in Workplace Security Issues, Workplace Violence Prevention & Security Awareness. We strive to integrate the unique aspects of personnel & physical security to protect the workforce & technology from threats of violence. Essentially, we are a company that applies intelligence to the application of security methodology in the workplace and in other commercial settings by designing and implementing security policy & programs to minimize risk and reduce workplace violence. (www.naterassociates.com)
5. Contacting Nater Associates, Ltd.
Felix P. Nater, President, Nater Associates, Ltd., 116-03 Parkway Drive, Elmont, New York 11003, (Office) 516-285-8484, (Fax) 516-285-0880, (Cell) 516-946-8416, (Email) [email protected] and (Website) www.naterassociates.com