Last Thursday was a tragic day, five people killed by a shooter who entered The Capitol Gazette newsroom and opened fire. Just another example that these acts of violence can happen anywhere.
According to the US Department of Labor, Workplace Violence is defined as any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening, disruptive behavior that occurs at the workplace. That includes but is not limited to threats, verbal abuse, physical assaults and homicides. Violence in the workplace can affect and involve employers, clients, customers and visitors and does not apply only to employees within a business, as we saw last Thursday.
Nearly two million workers report being victims of workplace violence every year in the US however; many more go unreported.
In addition to concerns over worker to worker violence, those same concerns should be considered for individuals outside the business. Whether it be a domestic or relationship issue involving an employee, contractor or vendor, it is just as much of a concern.
In this case, the gunman had brought a defamation lawsuit against the paper that was later dismissed. He then began to constantly harass journalists at the paper via twitter, some of which could be considered threatening.
Businesses can protect themselves from disgruntled employees and protect their employees from problems faced by others outside of the business. Here in California, section 527.8 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, businesses can get a restraining order for themselves or on behalf of an employee or multiple employees.
Unfortunately, current laws limit what law enforcement can do. Our laws need to be updated so that they can prosecute those who harass and threaten others before it before an incident like this can occur.
If something like this should ever happen where you are, there are some things you can do to protect yourself. First, if you are near a door, whether it be a hallway or an exit and you are not near the shooter, get as low as you can and get out the door running as fast and as far as you can. If you cannot safely get to a door, hide under or behind a desk. Turn one on its side for better cover if needed and stay quiet.
Most importantly, report any suspicious, harassing or threatening behavior immediately to your superiors and law enforcement as well as obtaining a restraining order against that individual.
Before hiring a security company, alarm response, patrol company or any other security vendors, contact us for an evaluation.
Security companies will take advantage of someone if they feel that that person doesn't know much about security. In addition, many security companies advertise security consulting however; their only goal is to place their security guards and install their equipment in an effort to make a larger profit.
In so many cases, security guards have little to no training which places a potential liability to their clients.
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The Thousand Oaks, CA shooting, Chicago hospital shooting and the Alabama mall shooting.
Please see the Current Events page for information on these incidents.