Safety in the face of Gun Violence at Work: What to do under threat
It is safe to assume that most of us have (quite innocently) fantasized about becoming violent in the workplace at some point or another, particularly when there are a hectic deadline and management is placing pressure to perform, or your computer switches off for no reason and you didn’t save your work before it did. Despite our slightly more tongue-in-cheek treatment in introducing this topic, violence in the workplace can have devastating consequences, particularly when weapons are thrown into the mix. How serious is the actual risk of workplace gun violence occurring, and does your employer have a plan in place to safely deal with such an incident should it occur?
Some of the Stats
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) presents us with an answer to the first question. In 2013, a period with the most recent statistics relevant to our discussion, they reported that of the 4,5851 fatal injuries that occurred that year, 404 included workplace homicides, with 322 of the 404 listed as an intentional shooting by another person. They further reported a high rate of workplace homicides for men: 338 men were murdered on the job in 2013 when compared to 66 women during the same timeframe. Despite the BLS’s assertion that these figures indicate that workplace homicide is a comparatively rare occurrence, these statistics remain disconcerting.
Addressing the Issue
In answering the second question, GC Learning Services have created a course, “Active Shootings in the Workplace: Prevention and Survival Course” that is accessible via the Coggno eLearning platform. The workplace safety courses are invaluable in improving employees’ safety should they ever be faced with such a frightening and life-threatening situation, by focusing on these important aspects:
– A more in-depth look at the statistics relating to Private and Government Sector shootings;
– The definition of Workplace Violence;
– Comprehensive coverage of the reasons behind workplace shootings;
– The consequent effects on individuals who have experienced and survived such an incident;
– And most importantly, the provision of guidelines to employers to ensure the safety of employees in the face of such a dangerous situation.
Workplace safety is not only about ensuring that the physical work environment remains safe to the health and wellbeing of employees, but also about having contingencies in place to prevent physical harm coming to an employee through knowing which signs to look out for to possibly preventing a fatal incident, and should it come down to it, protecting employees in the face of workplace violence.
Click here to access the Active Shooter Alert course as the first step in keeping your team safe!