Special Topics in Safety Management

Is Your Violence Prevention Policy Really Doing Its Job?

These key principles will help you ensure that your violence prevention policy is effective.

According to the FBI, “Any organization, large or small, will be far better able to spot potential dangers and defuse them before violence develops and will be able to manage a crisis better if one does occur, if its executives have considered the issue beforehand and have prepared policies, practices, and structures to deal with it.”

The FBI recommends that employers consider these key principles when developing and maintaining an effective workplace violence prevention policy:

  • Make sure you have the full support and cooperation of top management. If a company’s senior executives are not truly committed to a preventive program, it is unlikely to be effectively implemented.
  • Realize that there is no “one-size-fits-all” strategy. An effective violence prevention plan must be tailored to the needs, resources, and circumstances of your workplace and your workforce.
  • Design a plan that is proactive rather than reactive. The goal is to prevent violence rather than having to deal with incidents after the fact.

Are you prepared to handle an incident involving an active shooter in the workplace? BLR’s upcoming live webinar will provide a proven strategy for developing and implementing an effective and comprehensive workplace violence prevention program with a focus on active shooter events. Click here for details.


  • Take your workplace culture into account, including work atmosphere, relationships among employees and between employees and management, traditional management styles, and so on. If there are elements in that culture that appear to foster the potential for violence (e.g., tolerance of bullying or intimidation; lack of trust among workers and between workers and management; high levels of stress, frustration and anger; poor communication; inconsistent discipline; erratic enforcement of company policies) these problems should be addressed and corrected.
  • Use a team approach when planning for and responding to workplace violence. The effort requires perspectives and expertise of a variety of people within the organization.
  • Make sure supervisors and managers play an active role in communicating the your violence prevention policy to employees. Also train them to recognize warning signs of potential violence as well as how to respond to troubling behavior, threats of violence, and violent incidents.
  • Practice your violence prevention plan and response procedures to make sure that they are effective and everyone involved knows his or her role. Evaluate practice exercises and correct any weaknesses in your plan.
  • Reevaluate and revise your violence prevention plan periodically. Personnel, work environments, business conditions, and society all change over time. An effective violence prevention program must change and evolve with them.

Employee Training and Drills

Does your emergency action plan:

  • Identify how and when employees will be trained so that they understand the types of emergencies that may occur, their responsibilities and actions as outlined in the plan?
  • Address how and when retraining will be conducted?
  • Address if and how often drills will be conducted?

Join us on September 11 for an in-depth, live webinar when our presenter, a former head of OSHA, will demonstrate that making the right preparations ahead of time will eliminate active shooter incidents and/or significantly reduce their impact. Learn More.


Does Your Plan Prepare You to Handle an Active Shooter?

If an active shooter entered your workplace, would you know what to do? This is a serious question that every safety manager, HR professional, and employee should be able to answer with a resounding “yes.”

In 2012, 375 workers nationwide were shot and killed in the workplace, with an additional 108 suicides by shooting at work. The most common non-suicide shooters were robbers and coworkers. Since 2009, deaths from active shooter incidents were up 150 percent, Attorney General Eric Holder noted in a 2013 speech.

Also consider that several states have recently enacted laws that allow workers to store guns in their vehicles while at work, causing many employers to evaluate their policies towards guns on their property.

On August 19, a BLR live webinar presented by a former head of OSHA will provide a proven strategy for developing and implementing an effective and comprehensive workplace violence prevention program with a focus on active shooter events. Our presenter will demonstrate that making the right preparations ahead of time will eliminate active shooter incidents and/or significantly reduce their impact.

You and your colleagues will learn:

  • Statistics and case studies highlighting recent active shooter incidents in the United States
  • How to identify behaviors of concern, causes, and red flags typically associated with active shooter incidents and workplace violence
  • Best practices for developing an effective workplace violence program with a focus on active shooter prevention
  • How to communicate with management to gain support and backing for an effective workplace violence program
  • Key strategies for developing “enhanced situational awareness” and a “survival mindset”
  • Approaches for training employees to assure that they know how to safely respond to an “active shooter” event
  • What needs to be done after an active shooter event to minimize trauma to your workforce
  • How can you identify and evaluate resources to help you develop and implement a workplace violence program

And, as a bonus for attending, you’ll get a 12-point action plan for handling violence in the workplace, as well as an OSHA inspection checklist!

About Your Presenter

Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., a partner with Fisher & Phillips LLP, a leading national labor and employment law firm, is co-chair of the firm’s Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group in its Atlanta, Georgia office. Prior to joining Fisher & Phillips, he was the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. Named by President George W. Bush to head OSHA, he served from April 2006 to November 2008. During his tenure at OSHA, workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities rates dropped to their lowest level in recorded history. He is the only person in the country to have held both these positions.

His practice includes workplace safety compliance and strategic safety planning, whistleblower compliance and litigation involving the 22 whistleblower statutes handled by OSHA, defense of employers in responding to workplace health and safety cases including OSHA citations and providing advice and assistance to employers in responding to workplace fatalities and catastrophic accidents and in legislative and regulatory matters. Mr. Foulke has represented employers in thousands of OSHA inspections and OSHA citation contests.

For approximately 30 years, Mr. Foulke has worked in the labor and employment area, specializing in occupational safety and health issues. In 2010, 2011 and again in 2012-13 he was named as one of the “50 Most Influential EHS Leaders” by EHS Today magazine, as well as being named one of the “50 Most Influential EHS Leaders” in the United States by Occupational Hazards magazine in 2008. Mr. Foulke is recognized as one of the nation’s leading authorities on occupational safety and health issues and one of the top speakers and writers in this area.

How Do Webinars Work?

A webinar is remarkably cost-effective and convenient. You participate from your office, using a regular telephone and a computer with an Internet connection. You have no travel costs and no out-of-office time.

Plus, for one low price, you can get as many people in your office to participate as you can fit around a speakerphone and a computer screen.

Because the conference is live, you can ask the speakers questions—either on the phone or via the webinar interface.

You will receive access instructions via e-mail three days before the event and the morning of the event. Your conference materials will be included in these emails for you to view, print, and download prior to the event. They are also available on the webinar interface when you log in.

If you are ordering online the morning of the webinar please call our Customer Service Department at 1-800-727-5257 to be sure to get your access instructions and handout materials.