THE MAGAZINE

Developing a Prevention Policy

By Teresa Anderson

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To make changes to the existing workplace violence policy, buy-in from senior management was critical. CSO F. Mark Geraci, CPP, led the team with the senior VP of HR serving as the second in command. The threat of workplace violence, with its potential to devastate the company on a personal and professional level was enough to bring them on board. “These two individuals were involved in almost every meeting,” says Faber. “They were involved at every level. This was a key factor in keeping the project on track.”

With critical endorsements in hand, Faber and Arenovski followed the standard and identified the appropriate members of the team such as HR, General Counsel, and EHS.
 
After the first few meetings, an additional HR representative was asked to join the team because that person specialized in the employee assistance program (EAP). It was critical to include multiple persons from multiple domains in order to have protection-in-depth.
 
Once the team was assembled in February 2012, it set a goal to have the workplace violence policy reviewed and a new policy in place in six months.

Existing Policy

The company’s existing workplace violence policy was a one-page policy in the employee handbook, says Faber. “We had a policy that basically said violence is not tolerated; a simple broad statement,” he explains. “But, the standard says you are going to create a program to get ahead of and prevent opportunities for workplace violence.”

Once team members had examined the existing policy, they were instructed to read through the standard twice; the first time for a general overview, the second time from their domain expertise. “We asked each team member to read the standard cover to cover and then read it again,” says Arenovski. “The second time, members were urged to understand how the standard related to them and how it overlapped into other domains. For example, security was asked to review sections that cover HR and consider how they might affect security operations.”

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