Our Workplace Violence Consulting Perspective and Approach

No canned or off-the-shelf Workplace Violence and Domestic Violence or Harassment Program will adequately and properly address your very unique and particular risks, threats, culture, values, history, functions and budgets.  You do not have a true Workplace Violence Program if yours is composed mostly of statements of zero tolerance, banned weapons on site, active shooter plan and/or required reporting of threats or violent acts.  Your people will not report just because there is a workplace violence policy - they must understand why, how, what and when to report.

We are often called following a workplace violence-related incident or when there is a perceived threat, and we advise as to reasonable, prudent and cost effective steps to take that meet your particular needs, values, culture, history, risks, vulnerabilities and budgets.

Our planning reflects your particular industry and environment.  The workplace violence risks, threats and plan differ greatly in environments such as healthcare, education, manufacturing or office buildings

There are four essential facets of a proper workplace and domestic violence program, and yours should address each, including:

  • Prevention, largely addressed by employee and supervisory training and awareness, physical and procedural security measures, EAP and counseling options, appropriate workplace violence and related policies and plans, and respectful leadership

  • The Mitigation and De-escalation of threatening and otherwise potentially violent behavior, to include training employees in handling confrontational and aggressive behavior and robberies; planning for the safe handling of triggering events such as terminations, disciplines, lay-offs, refusals of service, bad news and facility closings; and an early intervention multi-disciplinary Threat Management/Assessment Team and Process to identify, address and mitigate problematic situations

  • Crisis and Duress Response, or safely responding to the actual attack or workplace violence situation including the active shooter.  This includes communications, Incident Command, best response options (i.e. lockdown, evacuation or shelter in place), identifying safe rooms and shelters, security staff roles, law enforcement liaison, etc.

  • Recovery, or reasonably assuring that those affected are cared for, recurrence will not happen and reputation is protected

Workplace Violence Planning During and After the COVID-19 Crisis

As the the COVID-19 crisis continues and evolves, safety and security-related risks and vulnerabilities with also evolve.  Some will likely increase including workplace violence, often driven by domestic violence spill-over, and thefts of newly marketable materials.

While at the present we're properly focused upon protecting each other from exposure, preserving our businesses and workers, and supporting and protecting our front-line workers, other risks will likely magnify as new and increased stressors also evolve.   Such stressors could include reduction or complete loss of wages, lack of access to mental health support, domestic conflicts against spouses and family members, heightened resentments based upon conspiracy theories and racism, placing blame upon past or current employers or fellow employees, fear and bitterness driven by little access to food, drugs and other necessities, etc.

During this crisis we perform virtual security and workplace violence assessments with the objective of determining related risks and vulnerabilities during and after the crisis and analyzing whether existing and planned physical and procedural countermeasures will suffice.


This process would consist of:

  • Sending to me, by email, thumb drive or dropbox, relevant materials to review which could include relevant policies, procedures and plans, training programs, recent security incident reports, security officer training programs and post orders, related measurements and contracts/agreements, facility diagrams, etc.

  • Conducting virtual staff interviews by teleconference or videoconference.   I typically interview employees at all levels, departments and shifts, including:

    • Relevant administrators and executives

    • Staff responsible for security, safety and emergency preparedness

    • Risk management and Legal

    • Front line employees (receptionists, greeters, admissions, clerks, etc.)

    • Late shift supervisors

    • Human Resources

    • Facilities Management and Engineering

    • Local Law Enforcement Leaders (optional)

    • Managers, supervisors and employees working in higher-risk areas

    • Etc.

  • Performing a crime analysis of the area of your facility(s) to include crime trends

  • "Touring" your facility(s) virtually by means of teleconference or videoconference, supported by videos/photos of key and critical areas and using provided facility layouts, with Facilities Management and/or Security leaders.

    • Note that much of this process could also be applied to smaller outlying facilities

  • Close-out conferencing with key executives and leaders to outline my preliminary findings and possible recommendations

  • Within a few weeks, submitting an assessment report outlining steps taken, findings, discussion of current risks and vulnerabilities, recommendations and items for consideration/best practices

While not quite as advantageous as an in-person assessment, this process will be less costly and will provide a useful and objective perspective on a facility, department or area of concern.

Following the assessment we can, as needed, develop related security and/or workplace violence policies, procedures and plans.

Please call or write if you would like to discuss this process.  In any case, don't hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or would like to discuss a related issue or concern.

Let's do all we can to be safe and secure through this unique and challenging crisis.

Richard Sem, CPP


Sem Security Management

Burlington, WI


Our Workplace Violence Consulting Services
  • Development or Review of Workplace Violence and Domestic Terrorism Plans, Policies and Procedures. 

  • Development of Domestic Violence Prevention and Response Plans and Programs

  • Needs Assessments and/or Workplace Violence and/or Security Management Assessments to determine your true risks and vulnerabilities and to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of your present physical and procedural countermeasures and your Workplace Violence Prevention and Response and/or Security Programs.  For more on Assessments and Surveys, please see our "Assessments" page.

  • Workplace and Domestic Violence and Terrorism Prevention and Response Training of employees and supervisors/managers on Workplace Violence Prevention and Response.

  • Support in planning for and managing potentially problematic or disruptive workplace violence situations (triggering or precipitating events) such as lay-offs, terminations, disciplines, expulsions, downsizing, strikes, demonstrations, facility closings, acquisitions/mergers, refusals of service or drugs, providing of bad news, etc.

  • Development of a workplace violence Response, Critical Incident, and Threat or Incident Management Process to assure proper and qualified  teams/responders, protocols, team-based risk assessment programs, investigations, tracking, remediation options, emergency notification communications, law enforcement liaison, family and community communications and support, media relations, etc.

  • Development of multi-disciplinary Workplace Violence Threat Assessment Teams (TAT) or Threat Management Teams (TMT) and processes

  • Providing Support Following a Workplace Violence Incident such as an active shooter. or assault  Such an incident can have a detrimental, even devastating, long-term effect on morale, reputation and productivity.  We can assist in planning to prevent recurrence, eliciting feedback from employees, training, conducting employee town hall meetings, root cause analyses, and other appropriate steps to reflect the company's or organization's concern for its people and their welfare.

  • Incorporating Safety and Security into Disciplinary, Lay-off, Downsizing, Closing, Merger and Termination Procedures 

  • Litigation and Workplace Violence Expert Witness Support in lawsuits involving workplace violence and in mitigating such lawsuits

  • Counter-terrorism planning



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2133 Ravenswood Road, Burlington, WI    53105