New Report On Workplace Violence Focuses On Role Of Facility Managers

The IFMA Foundation has released a new report on workplace violence entitled Violence in the Workplace: The Role of the Facility Manager. Written by Wayne D. Veneklasen, Ph.D., CFM, and Donald W. Barnes Jr., CPP, the report looks at the history of violence in the workplace, examines the scope of the problem, describes the statutes surrounding it, and concludes with a focus on planning, response, and recovery. Copies of the report are available free of charge from the IFMA Foundation or can be e-mailed as a PDF if you send your request to

While publications on workplace violence have traditionally focused on the preventive role of the human resources department, there are many aspects of the problem that can be alleviated by having the proper safety plans and security procedures in place — and by the facility itself. This new report takes the perspective of the building owner and facility manager while outlining the steps they can take to help mitigate this problem.

“There is a lot out there on workplace violence. You read about it all the time. However, there has been nothing done on what it means for the facility manager. What can they do if something happens?” said Veneklasen. “There is no simple answer. We’re just trying to create opportunities for people who have a concern and want to do something about it. Here are some tools. You can assess your own vulnerability and learn how to write a workplace violence policy if one doesn’t exist.”

The report was made possible through contributions donated in memory of W. David Beverly, the late husband of Linda Beverly, CAE, IFMA’s vice president of administration. A long-time engineer at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, David Beverly was killed on April 20, 2007, at Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX, by a contract engineer who shot him and held another coworker hostage before committing suicide. This senseless act impacted the lives of countless people and underscored the very real threat posed by violence in the workplace.

“While it isn’t always possible to predict when workplace violence will occur, we hope that the tools outlined in this report will help facility professionals do their part in preventing these acts,” said IFMA Foundation Executive Director William Rub. “Our goal is to help create a safer workplace for everyone.”