ASIS 2017 OFFERS BEST PRACTICES FOR WORKPLACE VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND RESPONSE

Leading security event to help address the significant growth of violence in the workplace

Alexandria, VA (August XX, 2017)ASIS International, the world’s largest association for security management professionals, today unveiled the workplace violence focused education sessions that will be featured during its 63rd ASIS International Annual Seminar and Exhibits (ASIS 2017), Sept. 25-28 in Dallas, TX. With the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration reporting that nearly two million American workers report being victims of workplace violence – and that is just in the United States – the ability to identify, prepare for, and respond to the risk of workplace violence incidents is paramount. ASIS 2017 has developed a program to provide best practices and education for organizations small and large.

“To demonstrate the serious and escalating nature of workplace violence, an FBI review of active shooter events between 2000 and 2013 found that over 70 percent of these incidents occur in the workplace or in an educational environment,” said Eugene Ferraro, CPP, PCI, CEO, ForensicPathways, Inc. and chair of the ASIS Active Assailant: Prevention, Intervention, and Response standard initiative. “ASIS is taking a leading role in developing industry standards to address security design considerations, security protocols and response strategies, as well as the procedures for detecting, assessing, managing, and neutralizing assailants. The sessions at ASIS 2017 will help any size organization analyze its current risk positioning, and establish or enhance their workplace violence response plans.”

A selection of the ASIS 2017 sessions open to the media that focus on helping businesses, schools, and community centers prepare for workplace violence incidents include:

 

Additionally, ASIS 2017 is offering a special program on Wednesday as part of its Security Cares initiative focused on active shooter/assailant response featuring Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez. The first panel will cover the unique risks facing small/medium-sized businesses and community and cultural institutions and steps these organizations can take now to both prepare for, and respond to, an active shooter/assailant incident. Insights will spotlight the importance of a crisis management plan and the various free resources available through local law enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The full panel lineup of speakers includes:

 

  • Kevin Doss, CPP, PSP, author Active Shooter: Preparing for and Responding to a Global Threat
  • Michael Dailey, Chief, Outreach Programs Branch, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Infrastructure Protection, Region VI
  • Paula Ratliff, author Crime Prevention for Houses of Worship​
  • Paul Timm, PSP, author School Security: How to Build and Strengthen a School Safety Program and president, RETA Security
  • Sheriff Lupe Valdez, Dallas County Sheriff’s Department

Wednesday’s second session, “Preventing Violence: Developing and Testing Your Readiness Plans,” focuses on having effective prevention and emergency response plans in place and includes peer-to-peer collaboration in an immersive, simulated scenario focused on testing protocols to surface vulnerabilities.

The ASIS 2017 educational program combined with leading solution vendors on the show floor will give business, human resources, and community leaders the information and tools they need to educate their workforce on the very real threat of workplace violence. The complete Workplace Violence track and associated sessions can be found here.

Media can register for a free press pass by contacting pr@asisonline.org.

INVESTIGATING ANONYMOUS WORKPLACE COMPLAINTS

According the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners 2014 Report to the Nation, most occupational fraud is discovered by way of a tips or merely by accident. In fact, most fraud is discovered by these two means alone. Only a scant 20 percent is uncovered by audit. While not all tips are anonymous, many are. Research shows that approximately 40 percent of all tips are submitted anonymously.

Thus one of most common concerns expressed by organizations that receive tips is, how can one investigate any matter of concern if the reporting party is anonymous?

The answer is simple, and somewhat a variation of the common adage, “don’t shoot the messenger”. Simply, investigate the issue being reported, not the reporter. Follow established investigative protocols by identifying factual information, interviewing employees, vendors, or others who may have knowledge of the issue being reported, and observe – objectively – the area of business where the incident occurred. Gather as many facts as possible before making any determination.

One of the most beneficial tools available when investigating an anonymous complaint is the ability to communicate with the reporter. This may not always be possible, depending on how the tip is received. However, if the recipient organization, makes no effort to investigate a reported concern simply because the reporter is anonymous, it robs itself of the opportunity to solve an issue at perhaps its earliest opportunity. Additionally, it may have failed it your obligation under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines by “…failing to take reasonable steps to prevent or detect criminal conduct.” See 2004 Federal Sentencing Guidelines §8.B.2.1.(b)(6) for details.

The decision to remain anonymous by a reporting party is primarily based on fear ─ fear of retaliation from supervisors or managers or from fellow employees. As such, the one’s decision to remain anonymous is often culturally based. This fear can be alleviated through respectful communications and developing a trusted relationship by the employer with its employees. The end result will be an improved relationship with the workforce and better investigations. Employers and the investigators who assist them should not let anonymity be an artificial roadblock to solving serious problems in the workplace. When someone cries out FIRE, it is not our natural reaction to determine gave the alarm, but to see if in fact there is fire. One’s approach to anonymous allegations of serious misconduct should be handled no differently.