Save my life, I’m going down for the last time…”

This song from the 70s is familiar to those of us who lived back in the day and liked the music. But what does that have to do with security and workplace violence (WPV) prevention? It is really very simple, think of a perpetrator, or potential, who is clinging to their last ripped and shredded fingernail to the edge of…sanity.

Ihis song is probably better known by this line in it rather than by the real title, “Never been any Reason” by Head East. In either event it could have been talking about WPV and the factors leading up to the perpetration of death, mayhem, injured, and traumatized people.

Another famous line from this said “Woman with a loving better than a white line”. White line? Cocaine, at the time, was the party drug of choice for most people and the addicts that came out of the 70s were nearly innumerable and impossible to count. If you will remember… one of the warning signs for WPV is drug and/alcohol abuse. Whatever their drug of choice may be it is still relevant.

Then of course there is the woman with the loving better than that white line. What does this refer to? You can reference it to being left by a woman they loved for innumerable reasons that cause break-ups. Possibly the woman who is with someone else and they want, think of Jesse’s Girl by Rick Springfield. Or possibly the woman who this man loves but still abuses.

Domestic violence of the significant other contributes to nearly 50% of all WPV incidents. It doesn’t matter whether the person in question is having an affair or the significant other just ‘perceives’ that they are, therefore, for some, the risk worth taking them out of the picture, and if you consider the hormones of younger men, and sometimes women, in high school or the workplace…

The title of this post could be the last cry of a person who is ready to go under and take a life. Whether that life is theirs or several others in one or multiple locations, in such an incident of WPV? No one knows for sure until it does happen. Who is this person who will do this? No one really truly knows until they pop their proverbial cork will we know, unless the warning signs are reported.

Unless the attitudes of management and employees are changed and the warning signs are no longer ignored as normal behavior. The company, and the rest of the employees closest to the perpetrator, no matter what they will say, is at least in part responsible for any incident of WPV that occurs either at the workplace or away from it.

By the attitudes they have, and pass around through culture and denials, they help to perpetrate these incidents. What are these attitudes? Look at these past posts and you’ll see them.

May 26, June 7, and June 9.

The warning signs? All 22 of them are just as easy to see…if you allow yourself to. Mostly, the warning signs are ignored for more than a few reasons and excuses are thrown around by employees as to why not. You as the management of your company, or security professional, need to recognize these signs and report them to someone when they start to add up for one employee.

1, 2, 3, or even 4 warning signs are probably not a reason to think they may be going down for the last time. However, if the signs begin to stack up into 6, 9, 12, or more… then you may be facing a serious, not to mention bloody, problem.

That is what has to be done…and impressed onto employees above all things when it comes to WPV. If you don’t train them on reporting the warning signs, even if it is a friend (anonymously of course), then you could be looking at a bloody, deadly, and bloodstained conscious incident at your facility. If nothing else someone being emotionally & mentally shaken by a verbal tirade against their parentage or appearance.

To most people, with all forms of violence and tragic events, they will utter one line above all else. “Why did this happen?” or possibly “There’s never been any reason”. So what can we do to give this insanity a reason? Nothing at all except long term support for their issue.

As security professionals it is up to us…not HR, legal, C-suite, or anyone else…simply US. It is up to us to create the programs that will encourage employees not to make excuses and report aberrant behavior even by a relative or close friend at the job site. Are you up to it or will you say “Never Been Any Reason” and allow someone to, at the very least, psychologically traumatize someone you know?

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

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