Say it ain’t so!!!
I saw with alarm the reports of the killing of a reporter and cameraman today in Virginia. Two people doing their jobs today lost their lives. Why were their lives in jeopardy? They were filming an interview with a chamber representative at a strip mall in Virginia. They were not in a war zone. They were not covering a plant explosion. They were not in a wildfire. They were not in a riot.
What they were was a target. As always, there are mixed reports in crisis events. The reports appear to indicate that this was a workplace violence related event. A missed promotion or other office action may have triggered this event. As result, death. Any death is unacceptable. A death over a perceived slight should never occur.
When do you want to know about violence? Before it occurs or when the gun comes to work? The answer is BEFORE NOW™. If you’re explaining why you let something happen you are losing. Unfortunately, your fellow employees may be the targets next time.
Today, there are over 5000 workplace violence episodes EACH DAY in America. OSHA requires employers to provide a safe workplace. Yet, the vast majority of employers do not have a workplace violence prevention plan (WPV). Does your company? Why not? Do the companies where your family and friends work have a WPV plan?
There are warning signs of potential behaviors of concern. Does your company have a program to identify and respond behavioral risks and threats? Why not? Everyday events (terminations, performance reviews, perceived slights, arguments, etc.) can trigger violence. We all know that. Yet, many miss the warning signs.
If someone has harmful/violent intentions, 80 percent of the time someone else knows. In fact, 67 percent of the time two or more people know. If people know they talk, and today they talk on social media. Do you have a plan to look and listen on social media to identify the risks and threats before they occur? Do you have an Intelligence Network to identify these risks and threats? Why not?
Unfortunately, tomorrow is another day. Another 5000 workplace violence events will occur. Look for a copycat killer to emerge over the next few weeks. Expect another death on a reporter. Violence begets violence. Say it ain’t so!!! What are you doing at your workplace to change the trend? If you don’t do something, who will?