Security and Crime News
Workplace violence carries heavy cost
A family lost a loved one in a senseless crime. But what were the other side effects ?
Workers at the plant are suffering from nightmares, impaired judgment, chills, headaches and other health problems, according to an article in the Toledo Blade. What's more, they are reliving the scene over and over, according to the article.
The UAW-DaimlerChrysler National Training Center has recognized the employee situation and has sent in eight professionals to help the employees through this difficult period.
Meanwhile, the manufacturer could be looking at other troubles down the road.
According to the Workplace Violence Research Institute, workplace violence often hits companies in three areas:
So, what does a company need to do to avoid a violent situation?
Establish a zero-tolerance violence policy.
That means company representatives need to sit down with employees and new hires and explain what is expected of them.
This goes both ways: The employee has a right to expect a secure workplace environment.
Employees need to know there is a person to whom they can report a potential problem without worrying about retribution. Employees should know that it is imperative that all threats, either explicit or implied, be reported to a supervisor.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends securing the workplace, in part by using digital surveillance cameras in hallways, entrances, exits and stairways. This can make it difficult for an outsider to get through the property without being noticed.
The agency also recommends extra lighting, alarm systems, electronic keys, identification badges and security guards.
OSHA and other security-minded agencies have other recommendations:
Sgt. Randall Miller of the Baltimore County Police Department's Behavioral Assessment Unit, Workplace Violence Team, says companies need to recognize some key problems in the workplace: mental illness, drug addiction, alcohol abuse and domestic problems.
In the mind of someone who is on the edge, a small problem or work-related criticism can escalate quickly in significance.
At the Jeep plant in Toledo, Myles Meyers, the shooter, had met with his bosses the day before the shooting to discuss his job performance.
Meyers had an extensive criminal background involving assault and disturbance.
He had been charged in December with possession of a dangerous drug.
These were warning signs.
Sgt. Miller and Officer Cathleen Batton, a colleague on the county police force, tell companies not to make the mistake of profiling employees. That is best left to experts.
For help or advice regarding workplace violence, call the Workplace Violence Team at 410-931-2145 or go to www.baltimorecountyonline.info/go/police and look for "Workplace Violence Prevention."
© J. R. Roberts, Security Strategies