News | 12:25 am | May 5, 2010 | By Vivian Yee

Univ. continues expansion of workplace security policies

A month after students leave Yale for the summer, a new round of classes will begin on campus — this time for managers and faculty, who will learn how to prevent workplace violence through a series of workshops.

The training sessions, as well as the expansion of the University’s workplace violence prevention website, are the latest measures designed to fortify Yale’s security policies in the months following the on-campus murder of Annie Le GRD ’13, for which Yale lab technician Raymond Clark III was charged in September.

Vice President for Human Resources and Administration Michael Peel announced several changes to Yale’s workplace violence policy in October, the month after Le’s murder, requiring all employees to report threatening, intimidating or violent behavior on campus. At the time, both Peel and University President Richard Levin said Le’s death and the arrest of gun-wielding former employee John Petrini had prompted a major security review.

“Our experiences this fall certainly made it more urgent,” Peel said in October.

Peel could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Understanding the revised policy, which also provided specific examples of prohibited behavior and outlined procedures for reporting such incidents, will be a major focus of the training sessions, according to the course description.

“While no large organization is immune from acts of violence, clear policies and procedures help reduce the likelihood of such events and guide appropriate responses to situations that do arise,” the workplace violent prevention website reads. “University managers are expected to learn to recognize the early signs of hostile and potentially threatening behavior that could jeopardize the safety of a member of the Yale community while on our campus.”

Taught by Hamish Blackman, a director for the human resources company the Wellness Corporation, the courses will run in early June. Managers are required to attend, while other staff and faculty can attend if they wish, according to the human resources website. Blackman will train employees to recognize early warning signs, it says.

The newly expanded website also provides “prevention tips” for managers, including training their staff to resolve conflicts, making sure staff know about the counseling and security resources available to them and setting up an emergency management plan.

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