Risk Assessment

WPV and St. Mary’s University Develop Comprehensive Risk Assessment for Sexual Harassment/Workplace Violence

New Instrument Designed to Identify Risk Areas of Workplace Violence, Harassment and Sexual Harassment

WPV Corp. has designed a risk assessment instrument for workplace violence including sexual harassment. The instrument has been validated in a study performed by St. Mary’s University of Halifax. The study was conducted by Olivier Roncalez, a graduate student in Industrial & Organizational Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Kevin Kelloway.  Dr. Kelloway is the Canada Research Chair in Occupational Health Psychology at Saint Mary’s University.  He is the founding director of the CN Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.

The risk instrument is designed to assess the risk in 12 organizational areas.  The 12 areas are broken down divided into 4 major categories.  The categories that the instrument measures and assesses for risk are:

  • An organization’s Policies and Procedures
  • The Organizational Culture
  • The Workplace
  • Supports

The subcategories that the instrument measures are:

For Policies and Procedures:

  • Does an organization have zero tolerance policies toward harassment and sexual harassment;
  • Whether an organization communicates those policies to all employees and stakeholders and
  • Are procedures in place to enforce those policies and procedures equally for everybody.

For Organizational Culture:

  • Leadership
  • Unwritten norms/attitudes and behaviors
  • How people are rewarded and punished

For the Workplace:

  • Is the physical workplace safe?
  • Are there safeguards in place when people have to work offsite?
  • Is the workplace under a lot of emotional stress?

For Supports

  • Security supports that people can access if they feel at risk;
  • Emotional supports when dealing with significant stress;
  • Training on how to recognize and deal with issues of workplace violence, harassment and sexual harassment.

As Dr. Kelloway explains, “We examined the structure and validity of the WPV instrument based on data from over 300 Canadian employees. We found that the WPV scales significantly predicted respondents’ experiences of workplace aggression, violence, incivility, bullying and sexual harassment. Moreover, the WPV instrument was significantly and substantially correlated with an established measure of violence prevention climate. These data lead me to conclude that the WPV instrument does demonstrate validity and would have utility in assessing risk for violence and harassment in the workplace.”

“As we have seen from the daily barrage of scandals dominating the news, workplace harassment is a huge problem.” states WPV’s Michael Rosenberg.  “Through the use of our software and risk assessment, even a large organization can find where the greatest risk of harassment and sexual harassment lie even in the smallest team.  This allows the organization to target their resources to effectively help prevent sexual harassment and harassment before it becomes a crisis.”

For more information, contact WPV.  

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