Fitness for Duty Evaluations with Violence Screen
When you’re assessing if an employee is ready to work—that is, if they are fit for duty and can safely perform the essential job functions—there’s another aspect to consider beyond their ability to fulfill their job responsibilities: whether they pose a risk for violent behavior.
It’s not common, but even a cursory glance at news headlines highlights that workplace violence is on the rise. No one wants to believe that a team member could hurt themselves or their co-workers, but unfortunately, it happens.
As leaders, it’s essential to be able to identify potentially violent behavior, assess the likelihood of a threat, and understand how to de-escalate the danger.
Screening for workplace violence—before it occurs
“It happened again,” Valerie Morris said flatly as William Banes, the CEO for a startup software company, entered the conference room. “Another workplace shooting by an employee. That’s three in the news from across the country this week.”
William sighed as he sat down across from Valerie at the conference table. “Seems that these tragedies are happening more and more.” “That’s because they are,” said Valerie, the company’s human resources director. “It’s not our imagination. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace homicides have gone up each year since 2013, and in 2016, increased by almost 20%.”
“That’s very concerning,” William agreed. “Every time I read about an incident with a violent employee, I always wonder whether the employee showed any signs, or if the company could have anticipated that this might happen.”
Valerie nodded. “I wonder that too. But the fact is, most people aren’t trained to identify the signs that an employee may become violent. I mean, someone may say something in the heat of the moment, but does that mean they’re really going to do something?”
“Or maybe someone is acting a little off,” she continued. “Managers may have a cursory conversation to see if an employee is okay, and of course, the employee will say they’re fine. And managers may let it go because they’re not comfortable dealing with behavioral issues anyway. But in reality, the employee may not be okay—and they may not even know that something might set them off for violence.”
William nodded in agreement. “We were originally meeting today to discuss the upcoming round of performance reviews, and this discussion about workplace violence is particularly timely. How do we ensure none of our employees are on the edge? How do we make sure our workplace stays safe?”
“We need to have resources on hand to help us in the event we need help identifying any at-risk employees,” Valerie said. “I recently met a consultant whose company can help.”
The FFD-VS evaluation
When R3 Continuum receives a referral for a fitness for duty evaluation with violence screen for an employee, we first review the case and assess both the employee’s capacity and risk for violence.
This means determining if there is an immediate or short-term risk, and what evaluations may be needed. Our expert, trained evaluator will conduct an FFD-VS, a specialized evaluation that includes all the same evaluation components as a standard FFD, but also looks for major risk factors for violent behavior. If those factors can be ruled out, the evaluator will continue with a traditional FFD. If those factors remain, a more in-depth violence risk assessment is needed.
Expert evaluators for difficult situations
You may not know how to recognize or address an employee’s likelihood of being violent at work, but you’re not alone. R3 Continuum can partner with you when needed, lending that expertise and advice to help you protect your workplace.
A plan to prevent workplace violence
When William entered the conference room this time, Valerie looked up with a welcoming smile. “I’m very pleased that we’ve gotten onboard with R3 Continuum to have resources available to conduct FFD-VS evaluations,” she said.
“Yes,” William said as he sat down. “I hope we never have an employee who shows violent tendencies, but as we’ve discussed, these are chaotic times and we can’t just hope. We must be prepared.”
“Now we know that if an employee behaves abnormally, particularly if violence seems to be part of the equation, we can get an expert evaluation of the situation,” Valerie said.
Being able to call on R3c for a fitness for duty evaluation with violence screen was like insurance, William thought. With good fortune, he wouldn’t need to use it, but if he did, he would be very glad he had it.
Protect Your Employees from Potential Acts of Violence
With the fitness for duty evaluation with violence screen, you can better protect your employees by recognizing, addressing, and forestalling potential acts of violence in the workplace.
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