February 20, 2019 - Just one year and a day after the anniversary of the Parkland shooting, another workplace active shooter took five lives in Illinois. Such violence has become so commonplace that it's critical we know what to do in the event of an active shooter or other violence -- and also how to recognize potential trouble and what to do about it. This issue can be helpful in determining your policies with regard to workplace violence.
Just one year and a day after the anniversary of the Parkland shooting, another workplace active shooter took five lives in Illinois. Such violence has become so commonplace that it's critical we know what to do in the event of an active shooter or other violence -- and also how to recognize potential trouble and what to do about it. This issue can be helpful in determining your policies with regard to workplace violence.
This article about workplace violence answers these questions for the health and safety of your employees. (Item #1) For some occupations, violence is 3rd leading cause of death. (Item #2) Where there is awareness of workplace violence, there is prevention. (Item #3)
Workplace violence prevention policies must be carefully crafted and legally balanced to offer support for victims and consequences for perpetrators. (Item #4) With mass shootings on the rise, experts share best practices for training employees how to react in an active shooter situation at work. (Item #5) You're at work and suddenly you think you hear a gunshot. What do you do? (Item #6)
As always, I look forward to hearing about your concerns with regard to business continuity. If there are any topics that you'd like to see covered, email me at
Bob Mellinger, President
1. Workplace Violence: What to Look for and Who Typically Commits Such Acts
A very real, clear and present danger lurks just beyond the consciousness of people who work together eight to ten hours a day, five to seven days a week. It is the potential for workplace violence to occur in your workplace. Increasingly, the Human Resources function is both the target of these threats of workplace violence and the organization's first line of defense for the prevention of workplace violence.
2. Is Your Workplace Prone to Violence?
While roadway incidents are the No. 1 cause of death for workers overall, violence is the third leading cause for healthcare workers, and employees in professional and business services like education, law and media, according to Injury Facts 2016®. Taxi drivers, for example, are more than 20 times more likely to be murdered on the job than other workers, according to OSHA. But make no mistake: Workplace violence can happen anywhere.
3. Workplace Violence 2019
Workplace Violence has haunted us for decades, from shootings, bomb threats, harassment, and much more. The goal of this article is to help you understand the warning signs of someone being potentially violent and also to show you how quickly and dangerous these circumstances could be should they transpire. All businesses should be acquainted with and aware of these warning signs of potential Workplace Violence. Every employee should do their best to prevent any form of workplace violence, no matter the industry.
4. Improving Your Workplace Violence Policy
Company HR and security professionals began to focus on workplace violence prevention using policies and training as far back as the early '90s, when the issue was often described as something that happened either rarely, only at the U.S. Postal Service, or both. Early policies included language that prohibited weapons in the workplace and at our schools and spoke somewhat inaccurately of "zero tolerance." Times change as events do, and this issue now requires new language and policy developments that fit the company culture and defining both the possibility of workplace violence along with the response to it.
5. How to Prepare for Active Shooters in the Workplace
Numerous crisis consultants and security firms have recently entered the L&D world to help prepare and train employees for an active shooter situation in the workplace, and not without reason; 2017 broke the record for the most mass shooting deaths ever recorded. At work, a 2018 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that workplace homicides were up from 83 cases in 2015 to 500 cases in 2016, with shootings accounting for 79 percent of deaths.
6. How to survive an active shooter situation in the workplace
Simply hearing what you perceive as a gunshot can dampen cognitive processing --- causing you to freeze instead of act. Getting out of the building safely is the top priority and the only way to know if there's a clear exit is to pinpoint the danger. This expert recommends opening the door to a stairwell to listen to whether the sounds are coming from above or below. If the sound is coming from above, get down the stairs and out of the building as fast as you can. Or...
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