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(c) 2014 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Workplace Violence and Sandy Hook Elementary School

Today's post comes from guest author Kristina Brown Thompson from The Jernigan Law Firm.

In light of the horrific elementary school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut last week it may be time to re-evaluate workplace violence, which seems to be increasing at an alarming rate. 

Technically, workplace violence is any act where an employee is abused, threatened, intimidated, or assaulted in the workplace. It can include threats, harassment, and verbal abuse, as well as physical attacks by someone with an assault rifle. 

Two million American workers are victims of workplace violence every year. What's worse is that workplace violence is one of the leading causes of job-related deaths in the United States. Last year, for example, one in every five fatal work injuries was attributed not to accidents but to workplace violence,  and  some employees are at an increased risk for harm. For example, employees who work with the public or who handle money are more at risk (i.e. bank tellers, pizza delivery drivers, or social workers). 


According to the 2011 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries by the U.S. Dept. of Labor, robbers were found to be the assailants in almost a third of homicide/workplace violence cases involving men, whereas female workers were more likely to be attacked by a relative (i.e. former spouse or partner) while at work.  

Preventing workplace violence is a challenging task and OSHA advises employers to create a Workplace Violence Prevention Program. Creating a safe perimeter for employees is crucial. Likewise, having an emergency protocol in place should reduce the number of fatalities in an attack, and that’s exactly what happened at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut when the school’s protocol saved the lives of many children.

Read more about "workplace violence" and workers' compensation:

Jun 13, 2012
workplace violence and other hazards; more than $104,000 in fines proposed. The U.S. ...Information on workplace violence is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/index.html. The citations can be ...
Jan 28, 2012
Workplace Violence: Workers Compensation Judge Removed For Taking a Gun To Work. I once walked into a workers' compensation court and the Judge was using a 3 foot sledge hammer as a gavel. How far a field one can ...
Jan 08, 2010
The terrible consequences of workplace violence left 4 people dead and 5 hurt at a St. Louis transformer plant yesterday. A disgruntled employee took a gun to work and opened fired killing his co-workers. The suspected ...
Jan 29, 2012
Workplace Violence: Workers Compensation Judge Removed For Taking a Gun To Work (workers-compensation.blogspot.com); Disagreement on workplace bullying strategy increases in Australia (safetyatworkblog.com) ...