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Violence Prevention Policy

May 10, 2000
Related Topics: Workplace Violence, Safety and Workplace Violence, Featured Article
Excerpted from the "Encyclopedia of Pre-written Personnel Policies", copyright Business & Legal Reports, Inc. Old Saybrook, CT ( or 1-800-7-ASK-BLR).

Below is a set of rules that an organization could put in place to minimize the threat of violence in their stores:

  1. At least two clerks will be present at all times.
  2. Facilities will usually close at midnight.
  3. Operating hours will be similar to other nearby businesses.
  4. Windows will be kept clear for increased visibility.
  5. Time-controlled drop safes will be installed and used.
  6. Signs will be posted regarding low cash.
  7. Escape routes will be identified.
  8. Employees will not resist robbers.
  9. Managers will invite local police into the store to promote good relations and to help them become more familiar with the facility. The police will explain what actions they typically take during incidents involving threats and violence.
  10. Managers will use law enforcement and security experts to educate employees on how to prevent violence in the workplace. Such experts will be asked to provide crime prevention information, conduct building security inspections, and teach employees how to avoid being a victim.
  11. Managers will survey the need for physical barriers such as bulletproof enclosures between customers and employees.
  12. Managers will survey the need for installing pass-through windows for customer transactions.
  13. Only employees are permitted in the store before and after closing.
  14. Doors used for deliveries will be locked when not in use.
  15. Managers will install and maintain mechanisms that permit employees to have a complete view of their surroundings, such as convex mirrors, an elevated vantage point, and placement of the employee/customer service and cash register area so that it is clearly visible outside of the retail establishment.
  16. Alarm systems, video surveillance equipment, drop-safes or comparable devices, surveillance lighting, or other security devices in the establishment must be used and maintained properly.
  17. Adequate outside lighting of the parking area and approach to the retail establishment during nighttime hours of operation will be maintained.
  18. Speed bumps will be placed in traffic lanes used to exit drive-up windows to deter would-be criminals by reducing the chance for a quick escape.
  19. An unobstructed view to the street from the store will be maintained. It will be clear of shrubbery, trees, or any form of clutter where a criminal could hide.
  20. Managers will enforce cash-handling controls, including the use of locked dropsafes, posting signs (perhaps in languages in addition to English), stating that limited cash is on hand during evening and late night hours of operation. They will keep cash to a minimal amount per cash register (e.g., $50 or less) necessary to conduct business, and prohibit transactions with large bills (over $20).
  21. Height markers on exit doors will be installed and maintained to help provide more complete descriptions of assailants.
  22. Garbage areas and external walk-in freezers or refrigerators should be located so as to ensure safety of employees who use them. There should be good visibility with no potential hiding places for assailants near these areas.
  23. Employees should wear conservative clothing and should be discouraged from wearing jewelry.
  24. Employees should not carry cash while on duty unless it is absolutely necessary.
  25. Incident report forms are to be completed immediately following a violent event. Emergency telephone numbers are to be accessible to all managers and employees, (including off-site) and the notification policy clearly posted. Lists of contact persons, crisis management plans, evacuation plans, and building plans should be placed where they can be made available to emergency responders. All violent incidents should be reported to local police.
  26. Managers will establish an internal emergency code word or phone number similar to 911.
  27. Managers will make adjustments and modifications as needed. Monitoring may show a need to modify administrative and work practice controls. Such adjustments could include additional security measures such as reducing the number of cashier positions; adding security personnel; or reducing the hours of operation.
  28. Employees who chronically and/or purposefully violate administrative security controls or security work practices will be disciplined. An employee who has been properly trained and counseled after such a violation, but who continues to violate established written work practice, should be disciplined accordingly.


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