Achieving an actionable corporate workplace violence prevention programme

Cynthia Simeone, Corporate Director Business Resilience Officer, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and Steve Crimando, Principal, Behavioral Science Applications

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Abstract: The US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration identifies recommendations within the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) General Duty Clause for establishing a safe and healthful workplace for all workers covered by the act. Employers that do not take reasonable steps to prevent or abate a recognised violence hazard in the workplace can be cited. While failure to implement various recommendations and guidelines provided by OSHA is not in itself a violation of the General Duty Clause, organisations that implement a workplace violence programme are providing defensible risk mitigation operations while enhancing the overall safety of their employees. Successful implementation of a workplace violence programme requires finesse and enhanced partnerships with multiple functional groups within the organisation. This paper provides proven steps to establish and operate a value-added corporate workplace violence programme that promotes identification and reporting of potential internal and external threats, ongoing evaluation and monitoring of threats, swift action to mitigate threats to the workplace, and actionable awareness, training and exercising components to provide employees with the necessary skills to detect, deter, respond to and recover from an actual workplace violence incident.


Keywords: workplace violence; violence prevention; workplace violence risk mitigation; threat assessment team; types of workplace violence; active shooter; bullying; workplace manslaughter


Cynthia Simeone is Corporate Director Business Resilience Officer at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, where she is responsible for emergency management, business continuity and disaster recovery for the Lifetime Healthcare Companies. Her previous role involved delivering risk management services to Excellus and other Fortune 200 companies in the pharmaceutical and diagnostics equipment, manufacturing and packaged foods, and financial services and investment management industries, through her firm, Aptus Business Consulting Services, Inc. She also spent several years as the Director of Business Resilience and Physical Security at Catholic Health Initiatives.

Steve Crimando is Principal of Behavioral Science Applications, a training and consulting firm specialised in human factors in violence prevention and response. Steve has nearly three decades of front-line crisis response experience, including deployment to the World Trade Center attacks in 1993 and 2001, New Jersey’s Anthrax Screening Center, and other major disasters and acts of international terrorism. He serves as a consultant and instructor for multinational corporations, government agencies, major city police departments and military programmes, as well as an expert to the media and the courts in the area of violence prevention and intervention.


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