Leadership Solutions

Workplace Violence Cross-Functional Risk Management Teams

Created by the Security Executive Council

The following is an example of cross-functional workplace violence (WPV) team membership and responsibilities. It is not meant to be all inclusive. The roles and responsibilities are identified and documented through a process of team member selection, indoctrination, training and performance results. The team can vary significantly by organization and available resources. This is an often-missed element that results in increased risk and inconsistent, indefensible case outcomes.

Most organizations use a cross-functional WPV Risk Response or WPV Risk Management Team for threat assessment, mitigation strategies and implementation to lessen the threat of WPV. Team members should consult to develop plans of action to resolve reported incidents of concern for potential workplace violence.

Additionally, the team receives periodic training, reviews previous results, and makes recommendations for changes to the WPV program. They will also implement policy revisions as necessary. Team members have an interest and specialized training in the latest practices and are familiar with the team’s protocol of violence mitigation. A typical cross-functional team may comprise the following:

Human Resources

Develops and maintains policies and philosophies upon which the program is founded. Human Resources ensures that employees are treated fairly and equitably, and additionally:

  • Provides guidance and direction to the Risk Response Team and management regarding practices and procedures for managing employees on short-term or long-term disability or workers’ compensation, and their return to work. Assist with addressing concerns for functional capacity and safety on the job.
  • Ensures that all managers and supervisors receive information and education on policies and procedures and guidelines related to workplace violence prevention.
  • Acts as liaison to union and labor officials.
  • Conducts exit interviews with separating employees and reports any potential risk of workplace violence as a result of the separation to local management, Human Resources and Corporate Security.
  • Provides linkage between the Security Committee and site management and Human Resources.

Corporate Security

  • Manages cases and facilitates security of people, facilities, and the Corporation when confronted with the potential of violence:
    • Establish primary responsibility
    • Develop information sources
    • Constant assessment
    • Upgrade classification as needed
    • Modify response and plan
    • Effective case files
    • Constant communication
  • Analyzes and reports findings and conclusions appropriately.
  • Coordinates the training program and serves as the central resource for providing direction to senior management on matters of workplace violence prevention.
  • Serves as the record keeper of potential workplace violence incidents.
  • Conducts risk assessments and implements measures to reduce risk to people, property, product and the Corporation.
  • Acts as a liaison to outside resources such as law enforcement agencies, threat assessment professionals and trauma teams.
  • Provides investigative, informational, or interviewing services required to resolve or manage potential violence cases.
  • Coordinates emergency services efforts, i.e., emergency response/crisis management.
  • Assists with prosecution coordination as needed.

Law Department

  • Provides legal advice and information to the Risk Response Team and regularly reviews the training program and the case management process to ensure that it complies with all applicable laws and provides maximum protection against liability exposure.
  • Provides consultation to supervisors and management regarding human resource practices, procedures, and management of employee situations.
  • Reviews issues as they apply to employment law.

Safety and Workers Compensation

  • Consults on workers compensation cases and provides information as appropriate to resolve the issues at hand.

Employee Assistance Program

  • Provides consultation to supervisors on approaches to threatening individuals or victims, and on the management of employees with behavioral health concerns that influence their functioning in the workplace.
  • Provides initial assessment of risk and determines appropriateness of further referrals. Assists with case management of a potentially violent employee for evaluation and treatment.
  • Provides counseling to victims and targets of violence.
  • Provides liaison relationship between the workplace and relevant external mental health providers.
  • Interfaces with mental health providers and professionals.
  • Obtains releases for medical/psychiatric information.


For more information on this topic see Program Best Practices: Protecting People

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Copyright Security Executive Council. Last Updated: April 17, 2019

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