Workplace Violence (WPV) acts are not random acts of violence. People do not just ‘snap,’ they take the time to plan their attacks against specific groups of people.
By understanding how perpetrators plan, you can implement a system to identify potential perpetrators, determine which step the perpetrator might have reached through monitoring behavioral activity, and intervene before the perpetrator acts.
WPV’s are categorized as acts of targeted violence. In targeted violence situations the perpetrator knows the target. The target can be a person, multiple people, organizations, or people of a certain ethnic or racial background. The general objective of the perpetrator is to “get even” for some wrong they feel has been committed. Anyone, including employees, former employees, contractors, relatives of employees, neighbors, or disgruntled customers, could be a perpetrator.
Targeted Violence Process
Perpetrators move through a series of steps called the targeted violence process, which consists of the following four stages:
Ideation: The perpetrator has thoughts about “getting even.”
Planning: The perpetrator starts to plan what they would do and how
Preparation: The perpetrator starts preparing for the event (collecting/stashing weapons, securing needed items that fit the plan, etc.).
Implementation: The perpetrator takes action.
How You Can Prevent WPV
Perpetrators move through the planning stages at varying rates. The University of Findlay’s All Hazards TAM program is based on a behavioral-based process developed by the U.S. Secret Service and helps create an internal system that can identify potential perpetrators, determine which step the perpetrator might be at through monitoring behavioral activity, and to intervene before the perpetrator reaches implementation.
- Develop a WPV policy.
- Identify Your TAM Team members who may include members of the following:
a. Plant security
b. Outside legal council
c. Local law enforcement
d. Local mental health agencies
3. Develop an intelligence collection system within the organization.
4. Train all employees what, how, and when to report, and to whom.
5. Train your TAM Team members on how to review cases, determine when and how to collect additional information, and when and how to intervene.
6. Implement the program throughout the organization.
7. Periodically audit the program and improve it.
At the University of Findlay’s All Hazards Training Center, we can help you prevent Workplace Violence incidents through well-developed and implemented initiatives known as Threat Assessment Management (TAM). If you are interested in preventing workplace violence incidents in your organization, please contact us for details.