Ever had a home or car repair completed and then you are totally surprised with the final bill? The repairman tells you “Oh, we had to do that because…” When you try and complain about it…nothing. You either pay or they file a lien against you and your home/vehicle. Sound familiar? These are the small irritating costs of owning either one and it relates to workplace violence (WPV).
This is an issue that has plagued families and loved ones of WPV victims since it came into the mainstream more than 30 years ago. Not many people pay attention to what happens after the investigation is over. But there are many costs, and stories, that will never be covered or told.
Most of the public, media, or uninformed on WPV, won’t notice it either, even if they wanted too. The unreported costs of WPV are far more expensive than the cost to the business of clean-up, reputation restoration, replacement of equipment, and etc. It can run for a lifetime with nightmares and anxiety.
Those in the security field and specifically WPV will instinctively know these items. But most everyone else who doesn’t perceive much, except the latest fiction of the screen in front of their noses, won’t. Even most security professionals won’t know these issues either because they just aren’t associated with them on a daily basis, like other security professionals are on their specialty, which you can’t blame them for.
What are some of these unreported costs to families and businesses? Some of the reasons that businesses will ignore the potential issues associated with WPV, by sticking their heads in the sand and having the CHH attitude, are listed here:
- Economic loss for the families (especially if it was a single parent as in a Domestic Violence (DV) incident
How do you tell a child that you have to move because you can’t afford to live near their school, and friends, anymore? It would not be easy and that is before the crying and depression starts…again.
- Emotional toll on the families
Again, do you want to be the one telling a young child and their family that their mother or father is never coming home again? As heart-breaking as it is for the family it may be harder on the bearer of bad news no matter how many times they have had to do this grief-stricken task.
- Economic & emotional loss for employees
For some employees who may be close to the co-worker it will be hard to not look over and see their face across or next to them anymore. For some it could cause traumatic episodes, leading to psychological issues, which can last for a lifetime.
The whole community will feel the loss of an employee. Even more so if this individual was a volunteer for non-profit’s and other charities involving children, hospice, animals and the like.
- Sense of safety that every worker has a right to feel while on the job.
As a kid you experienced the safety & security when your parents told you that there were no monsters under the bed and they checked for you. Then they let you sleep in their bed on stormy nights. Now imagine the monsters standing in front of them every day taunting and daring them to close their eyes, as either a child or adult.
- Work disruption/loss of productivity
A fatal WPV incident will disrupt your work flow no matter what anyone may say. Even if it’s not fatal your work and productivity will be interrupted for a period of time, minutes, hours, or days,. According to some surveys it will take 6-8 weeks to get back to full productivity after a fatal incident, which for a manufacturing business…
- Medical and workers compensation claims
Depending on the injuries and wounds, this could very well cost the business millions. And then of course there are the employees. Even with a platinum health insurance plan it could cost them upwards of several hundred thousand dollars or more depending on the severity and the lasting effects.
An average lawsuit that is settled over a fatal incident is nearly $6 million. Inadequate security could cost you $1.2 million. And if you look at the findings against U.S. Security Associates in March 2015, it was over $45 million for 2 families. That may have been unique but even if you are found innocent…what about the cost to litigate the case? Attorneys ain’t cheap, especially for the good ones.
You see that most of those items will never reach the full audience of people who may have watched the incident unfold in rapt fascination. None of the final toll gets reported, except in limited circumstances. But these costs that are directly related to an incident of WPV are real and can last for a lifetime for the families who now have to live without a loved one. Or the victim themselves who may have to live with the horror of being wounded and possibly disabled, both physically & psychologically, by an incident.
Some people can, and do, put such bloody carnage behind them easily with no lingering effects. However, there are just as many who will suffer the lasting images, nightmares, and medical/psychiatry bills for their entire life. Then of course it’s not the business suffering…just the victim and their families!
Robert D. Sollars assists businesses and their employees to lessen their risk of WPV as well as other security/customer service related issues. You can follow him on his Facebook page, facebook.com/oneistooomany, or twitter@robertsollars2.
I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear