ASIS International (ASIS) has published the final version of its Workplace Violence Prevention and Response Guideline. The guideline is designed to help organizations understand the scope and far-reaching consequences of the problem that affects an estimated 1.7 million employees directly and millions more indirectly each year, and to serve as a practical tool in helping employers develop a proactive and reasoned approach to dealing with workplace violence issues.
The guidelineproduced by the ASIS Commission on Guidelines presents practical definitions of workplace violence and the continuum of acts and behavior, from less severe to more severe, and a classification of workplace violence incidents based on the relationship of perpetrator to victim. It outlines prevention strategies and practices for detecting, investigating, managing, and following up on threats or violent incidents that occur in a workplace.
A key conclusion of the guideline is that no organization can assume that it will be immune to the wide range of conduct that falls within the rubric of workplace violence.
“Workplace violence knows no boundaries in terms of time, place and circumstances,” said Michael A. Crane, CPP, the Commission member responsible for the development of the Workplace Violence Guideline. “Because this problem can surface anytime, anywhere, with little or no warning, it is one of the most constant and pressing challenges that any employer must face.”
While legal liability and other tangible financial costs are the most visible concerns facing an organization in the wake of a workplace violence incident, the guideline warns of the more fundamental costs to employers unprepared to detect, manage and prevent such incidents, in the form of disrupted productivity, low employee morale and a public image that communicates a disregard for employee safety. Conversely, an organization equipped to handle the broad range of workplace violence issues is more likely to not only avoid such costly incidents, but also will benefit from feelings of confidence, security and safety that characterize a successful enterprise.
“We are proud to offer this guideline as the first guideline after the U. S. Department of Homeland Security awarded ASIS a Designation for its Guidelines Program under the SAFETY Act (Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technology Act of 2002),” said Regis Becker, CPP, Chairman of the Commission on Guidelines. “This Designation is significant in three ways in that it establishes ASIS’ guidelines as qualified to be a ‘technology’ that could reduce the risks or effects of terrorism, limits ASIS’ liability for acts arising out of the use of the guidelines in connection with an act of terrorism, and precludes claims of third party damages against organizations using the guidelines as a means to prevent or limit the scope of terrorist acts.”
Up to five copies of the printed guideline are free to ASIS members; the non-member fee is $10. To order, contact the ASIS Call Center at 703-519-6200 or e-mail [email protected] This document is also available free of charge in its entirety.