Podcast: How to establish a workplace violence prevention plan at your facility

Podcast: How to establish a workplace violence prevention plan at your facility

May 14, 2024
In this episode of Great Question: A Manufacturing Podcast, Matt Doherty from Sikich explains how a new California law could impact safety compliance at plants across the country.

Matt Doherty is managing director of the workforce risk management team at Sikich and has over 30 years of experience in both the government and private sectors. He is known for his work in violence prevention and threat assessment and management. In his current position, Matt helps organizations build and expand violence prevention programs; assess and manage violence risks; train and empower workforces; and gain the business benefits that come with safe and supportive workplaces. Matt recently spoke with EHS Today senior editor Adrienne Selko about California Senate Bill 553, which will require nearly all California employers to establish, implement, and maintain a detailed workplace violence prevention plan.

Below is an excerpt from the podcast:

EHST: So, a lot of companies do have workplace violence policies. How will this new bill affect those policies?

MD: Well, first of all, it's been our experience in the last 15 years of developing workplace violence prevention policies, programs, and training, as well as consulting on serious situations in the workplace, that many companies think they have policies on workplace violence, when in actuality, they have a plan to respond to an act of workplace violence or an active assailant. So, they're conflating the two. What is a workplace violence prevention plan, which is the California mandate, versus a response plan or active assailant? That's a fundamental conflation, if you will, that a lot of companies are making. But even if they have a pretty sound policy or program or training, the policies will need to be revised, definitely, to fully encompass the directives of 553, which are extensive. Most companies have a one-sentence statement in their handbook. It's just amazing. We've been looking at workplace violence prevention policies and developing programs, and oftentimes, even with large sophisticated corporate companies, let alone 10 or more employees, which this requires, we'll ask them for their workplace violence prevention policies, and we'll get a one-sentence epiphany in the employee handbook that workplace violence won't be tolerated.

About the Author

Adrienne Selko

Adrienne Selko is senior editor at EHS Today and Material Handling & Logistics. Previously, she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. Adrienne received a bachelor’s of business administration from the University of Michigan.

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