Strategies to Reduce Workplace Violence
PropertyCasualty360 (01/05/17) Bonczyk, Kathleen M.
Homicide is the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the U.S., according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and about two million workers experience workplace violence annually. Disgruntled employees and ex-employees may be prone to violent behavior, even to the point of killing supervisors or managers and harming other employees. Felix P. Nater of Nater Associates, Ltd. says workplace violence can be anticipated if employees are trained to pay attention to red flags and act on them in a timely manner. “Merely having a workplace policy is not good enough without a program supporting the prevention effort,” says Nater. “It has to be a living document that employees trust and have confidence in, not one that is used to discipline as a reactionary tool.” Supervisors must be aware of what is occurring in the workplace at all times, addressing cues of budding violence and abuse to prevent future conflict. Nater does not recommend “zero tolerance” policies, which emphasize discipline and take the focus away from implementing strategies to develop appropriate behaviors. For terminations, there are some steps employers can take to reduce the risk of workplace violence. Employers can avoid embarrassing the employee by scheduling the termination meeting away from co-workers. A person with strong human relation skills should conduct terminations, making sure to explain the situation carefully and avoid arguing with the employee.
Airports Boost Security After Fort Lauderdale Shooting
ABC News (01/08/17) Lloyd, Whitney
A fatal shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Friday morning has led airports around the country to ramp up security. At New York City airports over the weekend, Port Authority Police deployed officers with heavy tactical weapons and positioned armored vehicles outside terminals. K-9 patrols and random bag checks also were increased. In Los Angeles, officers were seen patrolling terminals with long guns. Several other airports have stepped up visible security in the public areas of the airport before Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints. The TSA’s responsibility begins at the TSA checkpoint, so areas before the checkpoint are left to local authorities. Following this most recent attack and similar incidents in airports in Brussels and Istanbul last year, a presence of armed, specially trained officers in the so-called “soft side” of the airport would serve as a deterrent and quicken response times in the event of an attack, according to John Cohen, a former counterterrorism coordinator for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “These officers should be trained to recognize the behaviors of an individual who may be planning or preparing to carry out an attack and should also be trained to respond to a mass casualty attacker or active shooter.”
Mexico Youth Shoots Teacher, Classmates, Then Kills Himself
Associated Press (01/18/17) Ibarra, Porfirio
A 15-year-old student at the American School of the Northeast in Mexico opened fire on Wednesday, hitting a teacher and two other students in the head before killing himself. Nuevo Leon state Gov. Jaime Rodriguez said the shooter died at a hospital and the other three victims with head wounds were “fighting between life and death.” Another student suffered lesser injuries in the shooting. State security spokesman Aldo Fasci said the shooter had been under treatment for depression, but the motive was under investigation. The spokesman said the boy brought the gun from home, but it was unclear how he got the .22 caliber pistol into the school. Mexico once had a program to check book bags at school entrances, but in many places it has fallen into disuse. “There was a reason why book bags were checked,” said Fasci. “I think we are going to have to start doing it again.”
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