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Friday, January 8, 2010

Workplace Violence Kills 4 in St. Louis

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 shooter was identified as plaintiff in a lawsuit filed in 2006 against the administrators of the company retirement plan. The law suit alleged that unreasonable fee were charged in administrating the plan.

While workers' compensation may provide a remedy for some victims and their families, the basic question remains on what can be done to make the workplace safer. What signals existed that this was going to occur and what actions could be taken by an employer  to assist disgruntled workers from "going postal."

All would agree that certain circumstances are difficult to predict. On the other hand, employers and their insurance carriers should be preemptive in their efforts to create a safer workplace. When Congress looks at work place safety it should broaden its vision to include regulatory preventive tactics so that this situation will not occur.