Do you have the appropriate workplace violence coverage?
Often times, the public only hears about extreme examples of workplace violence, such as the Virginia shooting homicide of two journalists on live television or the beheading of a woman at an Oklahoma food processing plant. However, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration reports that roughly two million workers per year are the victim of workplace violence. This includes everything from verbal abuse to physical assaults to homicide. Contrary to popular belief, workplace violence is not always about work, and can be completely random. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the assailant had no known personal relationship with his or her victims in two-thirds of workplace homicides. The frequency of these incidents is creating pressure for employers and risk managers to develop preparedness to deal with such challenges.
Workplace Violence Coverage is designed to cover third party claims associated with workplace violence including business interruption. It may also provide death benefits to victims’ heirs as well as the costs of independent security consultants or security guards along with public relations consultants. This coverage is intended to address circumstances where an unexpected fortuitous event causes liability or property damage to the Company’s operations, either from physical injury to the employees or damage to the Company’s personal property. A workplace violence incident can cause significant financial damage to a company, and Workplace Violence Coverage can help alleviate this risk and shorten the road back to normalcy. Bear in mind that unexpected expenses can result from employee counseling, crisis management, lost business, and salaries for victim and replacement employees. Chubb has a product in place that will allow the company coverage for these loses, and takes into account business interruption damages. The cost of this coverage varies by company, but many businesses purchase limits in the $1 million to $5 million range per incident. A $1 million limit on a policy for a small to midsize company could cost anywhere from $1000 to $3000 annually.
Developing a formalized workplace violence prevention program is the best way to create awareness, identify existing processes, and develop new processes to ultimately serve in formalizing a program that is customized to include prevention, mitigation, and response practices. The program should include a formal discussion with key individuals within the organization and include a variety of topics, including but not limited to a review of current policies and procedures, organized awareness and training sessions, internal and external communications, and incident management and response. For more information on forming a Workplace Violence Prevention plan you can visit the Crisis Prevention Institute and Osha.
About the Author
Tina Hinckley is an Area Senior Vice President at Gallagher WGA with over 30 years of insurance industry experience. She works with multinational manufacturing, life science, and high technology companies to design and maintain multinational programs, and provide well-rounded risk management solutions.