Community Discussion on Workplace Safety

Why a website on Workplace Safety?

In my line of work, I deal with workplace safety on a daily basis. I have learned that workplace safety is the most important security measure businesses should invest both time and money into now more than ever in today's society. With all of the violence happening across the country, safety and security initiatives are crucial. Utilizing multiple workplace safety products can add a level of security that no single safety product can offer. When gathering information about which initiatives would best fit your facility, consider adding several security solutions to the mix.

A History of Workplace Safety

This is some of the research that I have done before. Violence in the workplace is a constant issue that plagues the United States. One of the most common forms of violence in the workplace is of the psychological nature. Bullying, intimidation, and verbal threats are the least reported but the most common forms of workplace violence. However, according to FBI statistics, 80% of active shooter incidents occur in the workplace as well. Approximately 2 million people a year are affected by some form of workplace violence.

Workplace violence is not always about work-related issues. Most people assume that disgruntled workers are usually the culprit. However, that is not necessarily the case. As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in two-thirds of workplace homicides, the attacker has no known personal relationship with the victims. Furthermore, most assailants who are employees commit workplace violence due to something else going on in their lives. Some of the more typical reasons for workplace violence are mental illness, drug abuse, divorce, or perceived personal failure.

Close to half of all workplace violence happens in a public environment. It is virtually impossible to work on solving the issue of violence in the workplace when most companies do not see it as a problem. The estimated cost of a workplace homicide to the employer is a whopping $800,000.00. It is safe to say that it would be less expensive to take action against workplace violence before it happens rather than after the fact. Moreover, did you know that 27% of businesses have experienced at least one violent workplace incident within the last five years?

Some workplace violence historical events

  1. January 21, 2017An unnamed assailant entered a jewelry store in Henderson, Nevada, brandishing a firearm. The store security guard fired his weapon and missed the assailant, hitting the store employee. The employee later died in the hospital. The suspect is still at large.
  2. April 10, 2017Cedric Anderson, 53, walked into his estranged wife’s special education classroom in San Bernadino, California, and opened fire, killing his estranged wife and one of her students. Another student was injured. Anderson committed suicide before police arrived. Police speculate that the students that were hit were simply innocent bystanders.
  3. April 25, 2017Matthew Kempf, 60, went to his workplace and shot and killed his supervisor. Kempf later committed suicide.
  4. May 13, 2017 Thomas Hartless, 43, entered an Ohio nursing home and took two hostages, who were staff members. Hartless later killed the two hostages and a police chief responding to the active shooter call. The gunman later committed suicide. The residents were not among the injured.
  5. June 5, 2017John Robert Neumann Jr., 45, proceeded to shoot five people in his former workplace in Orlando; one survived. Neumann had been fired from his job in April. He committed suicide before police arrived.

Panic Buttons to help with Workplace Safety

Computer panic button software / phone app programs are great for notifying others during any manner of emergency situations. These types of safety products vary with offered custom features and add-on's to aid in getting notifications out quickly and quietly to necessary recipients. For example, Community Response Systems and Singlewire offer different levels of panic button notification options for alerting employees, staff members, and even first responders in the event of an emergency situation.

Technology to help with workplace safety

As an added feature, you may also want to look into safety devices that are placed over and/or under doors to prevent entry during active shooter or intruder situations. Fighting Chance Solutions and Bearacade offer some of the most affordable entry prevention products that requires little to no permanent structure modifications or maintenance. Security cameras and buzz-in door entry systems are also another great addition to your safety and security plan. Like the other products I listed above, both security camera and buzz-in systems offer several different features to help aid in keeping your company safe.

A little from the author and about this site

What are some other options for enhancing workplace safety? I am interested in seeing suggestions for both safety and security products along with incident response plans. What works and what doesn't. Please email me if you are interested in contributing to this document and making it better. Thanks and I hope this helps others when researching and looking at this topic.

Laura Ray