Understanding Workplace Violence Threat Assessments
Contributed by TAL Global
A workplace violence threat assessment is a complex process. It is used to help organizations prevent violent incidents such as mass shootings or manage and mitigate them should they be occurring.
“In today’s world, all types of industries, businesses, and organizations, including schools, offices, healthcare, and others are having threat assessments conducted,” says Oscar Villanueva, COO of TAL Global, a recognized expert in conducting threat assessments.“All we need to do is look at the numbers to understand why. In 2007, there were approximately eight mass shootings in the U.S. As of May 2023, there have been more than two hundred.”
Having a workplace threat assessment conducted before an incident is one way of addressing this alarming increase in workplace violence.
Villanueva gives five more reasons facilities need to have threat assessments conducted today. Among them:
1. The consequences of a successful attack are becoming more severe. More people have guns today and are willing to use them to express anger, retribution, personal problems, or unhappiness in general.
2. There are no one-size-fits-all solution. For example, what may ensure safety in a healthcare setting may not work in a school or office. Each facility needs its own workplace threat assessment.
3. Workplace threat assessments help identify other hazards and risks to an organization’s people, assets, and property. It uncovers vulnerabilities often not realized before.
4. A professionally conducted threat assessment provides a plan of action. Many organizations first realize they have no plan of action until an attack occurs. A threat assessment educates them steps to take before, during, and while an attack is happing to protect people and property.
5. A workplace threat assessment helps organizations improve security measures and their overall security posture.
“What’s most important is to consult with a team of experts when conducting threat assessments,” adds Villanueva. “It’s a specialized field involving not only risks and physical security but psychology, understanding how people might react in certain situations.”