If you ask any security professional what keeps them awake at night, you would most likely hear phrases like “workplace crime,” “active shooter scenario,” or “something unpleasant happens to an employee at work or on vacation.” As a result, we can confidently state that a workplace violence reduction initiative is high on our priority list when developing a mature business protection program. Fortunately, there are many tools available to assist them in combating this danger and developing a successful mitigation policy. The new ASIS International Standard, Workplace Violence Prevention and Active Assailant – Prevention, Intervention, and Response, is one such resource (WVPI).

A workplace violence reduction initiative has multiple components, including the formation of a threat assessment unit, proactive awareness classes for all workers, and an effective reporting/response process. Visitor Management Systems (VMS) is one of the tools in the occupational violence toolkit that have both direct and indirect references in the current standard. Here are some of the ways VMS will assist your company in its promotion of a healthy environment for both workers and visitors.

Recognizing Risk in All Demographics

The WVPI norm emphasizes many times that we must consider anyone who enters our office to be a danger. Employees, guests, contractors, temp workers, and even family members are all included. As a result, it is critical that we accurately scan all demographics of humans in our office. We also collaborate with human resources on background checks for workers, but this is just a small portion of those who pose a danger in our workplace. Via external watchlist vetting, visitor management will assist in performing swift scanning for the majority of the workforce who access the workplace.

Requirements for Prevention and Response

How we respond to allegations of danger is part of our workplace violence reduction policy. Next, what  happens (or does not happen) depends on how we treat a high-risk discharged employee or an employee in an intimate partner abuse case. Parts of the WVPI norm address the need for employee termination procedures. How do we ensure that those who have a right to know are informed about the termination and the risks associated with that individual? In a big organization, just knowing who the individual is by sight can be difficult.

Using the internal watch lists features of a guest management system allows you to monitor all of this knowledge for those who wish to know. Including a snapshot or other identification, details will help a security officer locate the terminated person even before they find their way back into the house.

We should use the same internal watch list (think BOLO) for our staff who are victims of intimate relationship abuse. In these instances, the person of interest is unknown to our security personnel. Having a photograph and the opportunity to immediately warn others about an attempted check-in will assist us in identifying and responding to this threat much faster than the alternative.

Physical security as a universal workplace violence prevention program

The value of a robust corporate physical protection policy as a universal countermeasure to occupational crime and many other threats is a recent addition to the mainstream this year. When it comes to responding to a challenge, we need to ensure that we have a plan in place to help us deal with whatever comes our way. The physical security section specifically mentions when all guests are signed in and followed by staff when on site. It goes a long way to provide a device that captures this data completely and correctly. It’s also important to find a device that will help drive enforcement with the pre-registration and escorting policies.

Every day, our receptionists and police officers are on the front lines with us. As part of our workplace violence reduction policy, we would provide them with the workplace violence prevention training they need to keep themselves safe. Emergency duress buttons and mass warning alerts built into the platform your receptionists use help to flag trouble as quickly as possible to keep them safe.

The last and most important part of a visitor management scheme is record keeping. It is well known that criminals can quickly switch from one place to another within the organization. Furthermore, when coping with a depressed person, the risk can fluctuate. The ability to collect this data in a readily readable format and serve it up at any moment is critical for ensuring stable protection in a risky setting. There are aspects that a pen and paper logbook obviously cannot provide.

The majority of your occupational violence prevention strategies will be focused on hazard control and dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic incident. However, there is a renewed emphasis on retaining the fundamentals of an organizational physical protection policy like a universal countermeasure to any danger we can face, particularly occupational crime. That is made clear by ASIS International’s latest WVPI standard. There are many resources you will need in your toolbox to combat this danger for your employer, but a robust guest management scheme will go a long way toward assisting in the construction of the fundamental layer.

This one cannot be ignored while you are reviewing your workplace violence reduction policy or just getting started.

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