Preventing Violence in the Workplace Essay

2265 Words Dec 2nd, 2010 10 Pages
Violence in the workplace is a growing trend among American businesses that needs the prompt attention of individuals, governments, and corporations alike. In fact it is so serious that “violence in the workplace in recent years has grown to be the second leading cause of death in the workplace” (Baron, Hoffman, & Merrill, 2000). Responding to this epidemic will take a tailored dynamic approach that must be embraced by employees and management alike. First, we must understand exactly what constitutes workplace violence and understand some common triggers from past cases. Second, employees and managers must know and understand what signs they must be aware of that could escalate into workplace violence through effective and recurring …show more content…
After receiving a reprimand on August 19, he reported to work on the morning of August 20 armed with three semiautomatic pistols and ammunition. He entered the facility, shot his supervisor to death, and tracked his co-workers through the building, killing fourteen and wounding six. He then killed himself” (Everett, 1986). The events that led up to this mass murder do show some of the most common signs of a potential for workplace violence. Patrick Sherrill showed some of the prominent signs of a potential offender: access to and knowledge of weapons, limited or non-existent coping skills, actual or perceived negative and stressful events, and most importantly ineffective organizational response. Had the United States Postal Service had better organizational response, these events may have been avoided. In response to the massacre at Edmond and fourteen other incidents occurring at post offices there have been changes to the postal service including new hiring practices, employee screening, and certain safety practices to help minimize the chance of these events happening again. Most organizations today have a reactive approach to handling these situations. However, there should be a more preemptive strategy to preventing these practices.

The most important aspect of preventing workplace violence is recurring and effective training of employees and supervisors in identifying and responded

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