An effective workplace violence prevention program starts with employee screening and ends with publicizing a tough anti-violence policy, according to Dennis A. Davis, a former SWAT team negotiation coach who now directs client training for the employment law firm Ogletree Deakins.

Speaking at the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2009 Employment Law and Legislative Conference, Davis said tough economic times could cause some people to snap—and they might do so at work.

There’s never been a better time to implement a violence prevention plan with these five elements:

1. Screen applicants


“Your best chance to avoid workplace violence is to avoid letting in a violent person in the first place,” Davis said.

Ask all applicants for personal as well as professional references. Insist on a face-to-face interview so managers can gauge an applicant’s temperament. Ask everyone who comes in contact with the appl...(register to read more)

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