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While efforts to reduce workplace violence often focus on the role of human resources, having the proper safety and security plans in place, and the facility itself, can also pay a role, according to a new report.
Released by the IFMA Foundation, the report, “Violence in the Workplace: The Role of the Facility Manager.” Written by Wayne D. Veneklasen, and Donald W. Barnes Jr., 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. It 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?” says 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.”
“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.”
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, Texas, by a contract engineer who shot him and held another coworker hostage before committing suicide.