Security Guards’ Response to Workplace Violence: Proactive Measures and Response Tactics

December 16, 2023

Workplace violence is a serious issue that affects various industries, particularly those involving security and protection. It encompasses acts or threats of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or disruptive behavior that occur at the worksite. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines workplace violence in these terms.

Security guards play a crucial role in preventing and responding to workplace violence. However, they themselves are at a higher risk of becoming victims due to their frequent encounters with hostile or aggressive individuals or situations. Therefore, it is vital for security guards to be well-prepared, trained, and equipped to effectively handle and manage workplace violence incidents in a professional manner.

Proactive Measures

To prevent or minimize the likelihood of workplace violence, security guards can take proactive measures. Here are some recommended actions:

  1. Conduct a risk assessment: Assess potential sources and levels of risk at the worksite, considering factors such as industry type, location, layout, access control, lighting, security equipment, policies and procedures, employee and customer profiles, and incident history. Based on the assessment, implement appropriate preventive and protective measures, such as installing cameras, alarms, locks, barriers, and signage.
  2. Provide security awareness and education: Educate employees, customers, and visitors about security policies and procedures, emergency plans, reporting mechanisms, and available resources and support for dealing with workplace violence. Promote a culture of respect, cooperation, and non-violence among stakeholders.
  3. Establish and maintain good communication and relationships: Interact with employees, customers, and visitors in a courteous, professional, and respectful manner. Build rapport and trust with stakeholders, be attentive and responsive to their needs and concerns. Cooperate and coordinate with other security personnel, law enforcement, and emergency responders, sharing relevant information and intelligence.
  4. Monitor and patrol the worksite: Regularly and randomly monitor and patrol the worksite, remaining visible and vigilant for signs of trouble or suspicious activity. Check and maintain security equipment and systems, promptly reporting and rectifying any malfunctions or deficiencies. Enforce security policies and procedures, intervening and addressing any violations or breaches.

Response Tactics

In the event of a workplace violence incident, security guards should be prepared to respond effectively. Here are some recommended response tactics:

  1. Assess the situation and act accordingly: Evaluate the nature and severity of the incident, determining the appropriate course of action. This may involve calling for backup, activating alarms, notifying authorities, or initiating an evacuation. Assess the level of threat and danger posed by the perpetrator, deciding whether to confront, contain, or retreat from the situation.
  2. Use de-escalation techniques: Attempt to de-escalate and defuse the situation through effective communication. Utilize active listening, empathy, acknowledgment, apology, explanation, negotiation, and other verbal and non-verbal strategies. Maintain calm and confident body language, such as maintaining eye contact, keeping a safe distance, and adopting a neutral posture. Avoid provoking or aggravating the situation.
  3. Use self-defense techniques: If necessary, employ self-defense techniques to protect oneself and others. This may involve the use of physical force or weapons, such as batons, pepper spray, tasers, or firearms. Apply the minimum amount of force required to neutralize the threat, while adhering to legal and ethical guidelines of self-defense, such as proportionality, necessity, and reasonableness.
  4. Provide assistance and support: Offer immediate assistance and support to victims and witnesses of workplace violence. Administer first aid, call for medical help, provide comfort and reassurance, and preserve evidence. Extend support to fellow security personnel and co-workers by encouraging them to seek counseling, debriefing, or any necessary form of help.

Contact Us Today

Workplace violence is a significant concern across industries, particularly within security-related roles. Security guards serve as the first line of defense, but they also face heightened risks. Therefore, it is crucial to equip security guards with the necessary training and resources to prevent, respond to, and manage workplace violence effectively.

This blog post has discussed proactive measures and response tactics that security guards can employ to address workplace violence based on recommendations from reputable sources such as OSHA, the International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO), and the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS). By implementing these measures and tactics, security guards can enhance their performance, promote safety, and safeguard themselves and others against workplace violence.

If you are interested in hiring our security guards or learning more about our services, please visit our website or contact us today. We are AAA Security Guard Services, a trusted security company that can effectively handle and document any incident. Our experienced team offers a range of security solutions, including armed and unarmed guards, mobile patrol, and executive protection services. For personalized assistance and a comprehensive security plan, feel free to contact us:

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