Nov 17 2011

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Workplace Violence on the Rise

By Jessica Lovell, 8NewsNow.com

Violence in the workplace is an unfortunate growing trend. On average, two people a day are killed as a result of workplace violence. That’s why more and more businesses are turning to security companies to help educate their employees about the dangers.

Local security experts are sharing what they’re seeing and helping the public better understand who they’re looking for.

“We have had one incident not too long after the V-Tech incident where there was a threat. It wasn’t against us directly, but we were able to track down the perpetrator,” said Buster Neel with Nevada State College.

Neel was one of several leaders at a school and workplace safety and violence prevention meeting. He says communication and an up to date plan are critical. Security consultant Steve Albrecht warns the way we see threats at work and school has changed.

“In the old days, when we looked at the subject of school violence or workplace violence, we sometimes would focus too much on profiles — whether people fit a profile. That was wrong. Now we’re focusing on behavior — what people do at work, or interaction that is a high risk behavior,” he said.

He also puts today’s attackers into two categories — howlers and hunters.

“Howler behavior is aggressive, in your face, assertive. We recognize those people. Hunter behavior is stealth, where those folks get a gun, come up with a plan, they come to a target and attack the target without any warning,” he said.

This was seen earlier this week when a Las Vegas bartender was killed at work after his ex-boyfriend walked into a bar and shot him. Still, more than half of workplace attackers are not the employee or even someone they know.

It’s important you know your company or your school’s emergency policies and know the numbers to call if you see suspicious behavior in other students or co-workers.

“They are actually criminals or strangers who have the intent and opportunity and desire to act out on an area of anger to them,” said Tom Donahue with Allied Barton Security.

Now it is about recognizing the signs and preventing the next tragedy.

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