Tragic work-related shootings occurred on both sides of the U.S. on Flag Day, June 14. Four mass shootings have occurred within 30 days. What can we learn?
In the most recent cases, a lone man opened fire with deadly intent. And in both cases the death toll could have been much higher.
"Run, there is a shooter!" CNN quoted in an interview shortly after UPS facility killings in San Francisco. A UPS employee opened fire during a "Wednesday Wellness" exercise at the facility employing 350. Three died, in addition to the gunman, who took his own life when confronted by police. Two others were struck by gunfire. A quick police response and speedy evacuation were credited with saving lives. Streams of brown-uniformed employees exited the building with arms held high. The gunman also wore brown.
Meanwhile in Alexandria, Va., another lone man, angered by politics, ambushed a group of Republican congressmen practicing on a baseball diamond. Firing an assault rifle sniper-style, he critically wounded a high-ranking Congressman and a lobbyist , and injured three others including a police officer. Authorities credited preparedness and the presence of trained police officers with stopping the gunman.
Deadly workplace violence incidents are increasing in the United States. More than 500 people lose their lives in work-related homicides each year.
Veritas Security Solutions CEO Rob Haley, a former FBI terrorism investigator says awareness, preparedness and an OSHA-compliant emergency plan can save lives and bring peace of mind to workers who worry about the possibility of an attack by a disgruntled employee, domestic partner or even terrorist attack at their facility or office.
Haley said the disturbing reality is that in many cases employees have a suspicion of danger but do not act on it.
"The bottom line is that employees deserve to feel safe while at work. Under federal law, OSHA requires it, labeling it a company’s responsibility and obligation to provide a safe workplace environment for their employees. In all fifty states, Worker’s Compensation regulations also cover the protection of employees in the workplace," he said.
Haley includes preparation, emergency planning and how to respond to the threat of violence in his upcoming training, "Active Shooter: Workplace Preparedness Plan" which will be presented live on June 22.