From Claims Journal: Staying Ahead of Workplace Violence by Identifying Behaviors of Concern

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Claims Journal’s Denise Johnson sat in on a recent Firestorm and University of Alabama webinar and captures the essence of the Firestorm BeRThA® (Behavioral Threat Risk Assessment) Program:

ClaimsJournalCoverIn most incidents involving violence in the workplace, there are warning signs that precede an event, according to Jim Satterfield, president, COO and founder of crisis coaching firm Firestorm.

According to a Firestorm survey, more than 90 percent of employees are concerned about workplace violence, while only about 50 percent have had any formal training related to it.

During a recent University of Alabama/Firestorm webinar on the subject, he offered potential warning signs for employers and a template to identify and address potentially violent behavior.

Violence prevention starts by identifying behaviors of concern, he explained. Employers need to focus on identifying behavioral warning signs and actions in advance in order to intervene prior to a violent act taking place, he said.

Many employers have no formal structure to address observations beforehand. Satterfield explained the value in having a central data repository because it can assist in connecting the dots of what may appear to be unrelated behavior. Documentation of what co-workers and employers see and hear, as well as documentation of an employee’s actions, are to be included in the repository.

Satterfield offered the hypothetical example of employee Fred Rogers who receives a poor work performance review and is visibly not happy. Rogers argues with security personnel at his workplace and the incident is documented in a security log. A co-worker says Rogers made threatening statements and his absenteeism increases abruptly. Rogers’ social media posts say that he has been treated badly at work and that he will make them sorry.

If there is no central data repository, then all of Roger’s potential warning signs might be missed or shrugged off.

Often a person planning to commit a violent act will [Read this article in its entirety on]

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