Workplace Violence No Longer Front Page News

It’s big news that Representative Steve Scalise was shot and badly injured at a congressional baseball practice on Wednesday. The event was work related, so I suppose it can be classified as a workplace-related incident. Sadly, workplace violence has become all too common.

Did you know that on June 6 a disgruntled former employee shot and killed five people at a Florida awning manufacturer? Probably not, as it didn’t make the front pages of national newspapers or headline news programs.

Then, on the same day that Rep. Scalise was shot, a gunman shot and killed three workers in a UPS facility in San Francisco. Again, I didn’t see that news on the main page of any big news websites. I wasn’t aware of the incident until I saw it the next day on page two of a newspaper.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 354 workplace shootings in 2015, a 15% increase from the prior year. Unfortunately, these occurrences are no longer national news worthy, but remain a huge issue for workplaces across North America. I think it’s a good idea to revisit some basic preventative guidelines for creating a culture of workplace safety, as developed by the US Department of Labor:

• Promote sincere, open and timely communication among managers, employees, and union representatives
• Offer opportunities for professional development
• Fostering a family-friendly work environment
• Maintain mechanisms for complaints and concerns and allowing them to be expressed in a non-judgmental forum that includes timely feedback to the initiator
• Promote “quality of life” issues such as facilities and job satisfaction
• Maintain impartial and consistent discipline for employees who exhibit improper conduct and poor performance

You can see the full report, including security ideas, here.

Frank Kenna III
June 15, 2017

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