Protecting against the broad spectrum of workplace violence

A look at the steps employers should take to mitigate their risks

"Many of the security measures that can reduce the likelihood of violence - adding patrols, increasing visibility of security, training employees to be on the lookout for suspicious individuals - are the same ones that can reduce the likelihood of a successful terrorist attack," stated the IOMA report.

In today's environment, no business or industry is immune to the possibility of workplace violence, terrorism or any number of man-made or natural disasters. The all too frequent media reports of armed attackers in our workplaces should be enough to thwart an ostrich-like approach.

Modern technology and public/private law enforcement integration has altered how companies should respond to active shooter incidents. Background checks for workers and contractors are an important tool in the workplace violence prevention arsenal as is ensuring the physical security of controllable spaces and educating employees. It is critical for business leaders to work proactively to prevent and prepare for workplace violence to protect their employees and their business operations.

About the author: Bill Whitmore is chairman, president and CEO of AlliedBarton Security Services, a provider of security personnel to many industries including commercial real estate, higher education, healthcare, residential communities, chemical/petrochemical, government, manufacturing and distribution, financial institutions, and shopping centers.