Wednesday shootingis just the latest example of an employee shooting at work.
But while many companies offer aggressive gunnery training, experts say how to prevent workplace violence, especially how to identify and address worrisome employee behavior. Not much focus.
Workers too often don’t know how to recognize warning signs and, more importantly, don’t know how to report suspicious behavior or don’t have the authority to do so, according to workplace safety and human resources experts. I don’t feel given.
James Densley, Professor of Criminal Justice at Metropolitan State University in DePaul, Minnesota, said: Co-founder of The Violence Project, a non-profit, non-partisan research group. But in the workplace shooting, “this is someone who already has access to the building,” he said.
The Walmart shooting in particular has raised questions about whether employees feel they have the power to speak up, since it was the team leader who carried out the shooting.
Walmart identified Andre Bing, 31, who has worked at Walmart since 2010, and his most recent position at the Chesapeake, Va., store was “overnight team leader.” According to police, he opened fire on his fellow employees in the break room, killing six and wounding six before apparently committing suicide.
Brianna Tyler, an employee who survived the shooting, said the shooter didn’t appear to be targeting anyone in particular. She said she had never had a negative encounter, but others told her he was a “manager to watch out for.” She said Bing has a history of writing people up for no reason.
Two of the deceased victims were identified by their families as 22-year-old Tyneka Johnson and 39-year-old Brian Pendleton. The identity of the sixth victim, a 16-year-old boy, was not released because he was underage. Said.
Policy change after filming in 2019
Walmart launched computer-based active shooter training in 2015. This training focused on his three pillars of avoiding danger, keeping distance and finally defending. Then, in 2019, after a shooting at a store in El Paso, Texas,Walmart has addressed the threat to the public by stopping the sale of certain types of ammunition, asking customers to stop openly carrying firearms in stores. We only sell ammunition.
Walmart on Wednesday did not specifically respond to a question seeking details about training and protocols to protect its employees.The company said it regularly reviews its training policies and will continue to do so. only.
Densley said employers should create open channels for employees to raise concerns about their behavior, such as confidential hotlines. He pointed out that too often attention is drawn to “red flags” and that workers should look for “yellow flags” — subtle changes in behavior such as rising anger or not showing up to work. did. Densley said managers should work with these individuals to get counseling and conduct regular check-ins.
In fact, the Department of Homeland Security’s Active Shooting Manual states that personnel personnel are responsible for “creating systems to report signs of potential violent behavior.” We also encourage employees to report behavior such as increased absenteeism or repeated violations of company policy.
But many employers may not take such precautions, said Liz Peterson, quality manager for the Society for Human Resource Management, an organization of more than 300,000 HR professionals. .
She found that in a 2019 survey of SHRM members, 55% of HR professionals said they were unsure whether their organization had policies to prevent workplace violence, and another 9% said they did not. This contrasted with 57% of HR managers who said they had received training on how to respond to violence.
recent federal government report A study of workplace violence for more than 30 years has found that workplace homicides have increased in recent years, but have remained in a sharp decline since their peak in the mid-1990s.
Decrease in workplace homicides
The latest Walmart attack was the second major mass shooting in the United States in recent days.five peopleEarly Sunday morning when a suspect opened fire at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Between 2014 and 2019, workplace homicides nationwide increased 11%, from 409 to 454. That’s still down 58% from his peak of 1,080 cases in 1994, according to his report released in July by the Department of Labor, Justice and Health, and Human Services. The report found that workplace homicide trends largely mirrored national homicide trends.
However, the surge in mass shootings in the country has prompted employers to recognize the need to address workplace mental health and prevent violence and the responsibility employers face if warning signs are ignored. is on the rise, Peterson said.
In one high-profile example, a victim’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Northern California Department of Transportation earlier this year. Wright his railyard in San Jose in 2021.
The Department of Transportation has released more than 200 pages of emails and other documents that show shooter Samuel James Cassidy is the subject of four workplace conduct investigations, and one worker accused Cassidy of murder. It shows that I was worried that it might be “mailed”. The term comes from the deadliest workplace shooting in U.S. history in 1986, when a postal worker opened fire in Edmond, Oklahoma, killing 14 workers.
“Workplace violence is a situation you wouldn’t think would happen to your organization until it happened, and unfortunately they are becoming more common, so it’s important to be prepared for them,” says Peterson. said.