When we think about danger and the potential for physical harm in the workplace, most people think about accidents. Whether they can be attributed to working closely alongside dangerous machinery in fields such as manufacturing, automobile accidents, or human error, many discussions of workplace safety tend to revolve around promoting safe habits to prevent such accidents.
Sadly, we also have to consider the possibility of workplace violence. Recently a former employee of an Orlando, Florida based company that manufactures accessories for recreational vehicles, returned to the workplace and killed five of his former coworkers and then himself.
There are several details from this event that stand out, from a workplace safety perspective:
- The shooter was able to enter the factory with little difficulty.
- This was not the first violent incident from this former employee.
- The shooter had a history of negative relationships with other employees.
Addressing workplace security measures is a critical part of preventing workplace violence. Particularly for high-stress industries, identifying potential sources of tension and violence is crucial.
- Keep an eye out for potential signs of animosity between employees.
- Non-employees should not have easy access to the workplace.
- Employees should be restricted from areas from which they do not have business.
- Doors should be secured, surveillance should be in place.
- Building Security personnel should understand their duty to protect.
- Businesses should have a clear crisis management plan.
In addition to the immense emotional distress that an event like this can cause for a business, workplace violence will also negatively impact businesses by disrupting their normal functions and potentially leading to business interruption and workers’ compensation claims and employee lawsuits.
Prioritizing the safety of your employees and your workplace through risk management and safety plans can help with preventing workplace violence situations. Contact HUB today to learn more about how to keep your company and its employees safe.