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Facility Managers and Workplace Violence Prevention

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in FM Alert, Security

Tagged: , , , ,

Published on September 24, 2009 with No Comments

The recent death of Yale graduate student Annie Le and the subsequent arrest of lab technician Raymond J. Clark III — who is alleged to have murdered her — has thrust the topic of workplace violence back into the national headlines.

While workplace violence prevention has typically focused on the role of the human resources department, there are several aspects of the problem that can be alleviated by having the proper safety plans and security procedures in place, and by the facility itself.

To that end, facility professionals interested in reviewing their workplace violence prevention policies may want to check out the IFMA Foundation’s recent report entitled “Violence in the Workplace: The Role of the Facility Manager.”

Written by Wayne D. Veneklasen, Ph.D., CFM, and Donald W. Barnes Jr., CPP, the report looks at the history of violence in the workplace, examines the scope of the problem, describes the statutes surrounding it and concludes with a focus on planning, response and recovery. It takes the perspective of the building owner and facility manager while outlining the steps they can take to help mitigate this problem.

The report was made possible through contributions donated in memory of W. David Beverly, the late husband of Linda Beverly, CAE, IFMA’s vice president of administration. A long-time engineer at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, David Beverly was killed on April 20, 2007, at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, by a contract engineer who shot him and held another coworker hostage before committing suicide. This senseless act impacted the lives of countless people and underscored the very real threat posed by violence in the workplace.

To obtain a free copy of the report, visit

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at

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