Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Surviving Workplace Violence

As a homeland security expert, I often get asked about issues of workplace violence. It can and does occur from internal and external sources.

On average, workplace gun violence claims somewhere between 500 and 1,000 lives each year.About a third of these deaths are suicides. The rest are homicides, about a fourth of which are committed by people known to the workers (coworkers, former co-workers, family, friends, clients, and patients.)

The first defense is to understand that it CAN occur. Don't think workplace violence happens "somewhere else." Always take any type of threat seriously. Don't blow it off. Threats are threats. And, if someone is starting to escalate a situation verbally, walk away. Even if you are right, diffuse the situation and walk away.

The next thing is to make sure you develop a plan for your business. If you are an employee then make it your business to know your business. What is the plan for your company? Also, put yourself on the board for safety review. Don't have one? Create it. This will help you keep your ears to the ground and identify safety concerns and potential threats.

There, of course, are more tactics that are useful- such as running, knowing when to play dead and when to put your palms to a shooter's face. My company specializes in security and safety. Let's talk. Send in your questions about protecting your workplace and I will be happy to answer them.

Let's talk. Find me on Twitter, click here.

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